I have campaigned tirelessly in Weoley since 2011. I am committed to the people here having the rights they are entitled to. A local Councillor’s ability to improve the lives of residents and local people is governed both by national policies, as well as his or her commitment to local constituents.
Unfortunately, the current three local Tory Councillors have failed to stand up for the people of Weoley and Birmingham. They have actively supported vicious and unfair Tory-led Government cuts to Birmingham Council’s budget, affecting our services and our jobs.
Local Tories have openly supported the bedroom tax and have publicly declared that foodbanks are for “people who cannot manage their money or cook!” The Tory Councillors’ idea of representing the people of Weoley is to pick up litter and clean road signs!
Over the last four years, I have represented people in Court threatened with eviction because of the Bedroom Tax. I have helped families to be rehoused in Weoley because of the housing shortage created by the lack of house-building programmes. I have raised money for a local foodbank, although I think foodbanks are a national disgrace in 21stcentury Britain. I know that foodbanks help not just those on out-of-work benefits, but also many working families on such low wages that they have no money left for food after rent, heating and water bills are paid. I am proud to represent the Labour Party, which will get rid of the Bedroom Tax and zero-hours contracts and raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour.
Along with Richard Burden, my team of Weoley volunteers and I are organising a campaign with local residents, Centro and Birmingham bus companies to improve local services and instate traffic-calming measures in Gregory Avenue. We set up a Community Hub in Weoley Castle along with local churches to work in partnership to sustain and improve support services for young parents and elderly residents. I hold a monthly advice surgery in St Gabriel’s Church, dealing with individual residents’ issues.
As a tenant adviser, I have over 20 years’ experience of building partnerships between different agencies and local communities across the country. This involves consulting local communities, helping people to organise so they have a voice, representing individual housing cases and dealing with wider neighbourhood issues such as antisocial behaviour.
I am not only willing to fight for people’s jobs, wages and services, but for their right to be governed by a party that cares for working families rather than rich millionaires (many of whom are private landlords raking in housing benefits on overpriced and under-repaired properties!).
The people of Weoley deserve better – they deserve affordable, well-managed houses; good schools for their children; proper healthcare; a living wage; and care for the elderly and vulnerable in the community. That’s why a vote for me is a vote for a better future for every family living in Weoley.
On the 7th of May, a vote for Steve Booton is a vote for working families.