The new Leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr John Clancy, set out his economic vision for Birmingham at Weoley’s meeting last night and launched Julie Johnson’s official campaign to win in Weoley again this May.
Birmingham has been grossly unfairly targeted by the Tory government. They’ve cut our budget much more than other areas, but, despite this, Labour in Birmingham has been able to defend many local services and even build 1,000 new council homes.
Cllr Clancy warned Weoley Labour members that the Tories are “dismantling the welfare state before our very eyes”, but, referring to his “budget for change”, he reaffirmed his promise to protect Labour values by investing in children’s social care, increasing the wages of low-paid careworkers and providing free school meals for all Birmingham children, while ruling out any question of introducing a congestion charge in Birmingham city centre.
Cllr Clancy committed the council to keep building new homes and to devolving more decision-making power to local areas, saying that electing Julie as Labour’s second councillor in Weoley will give Weoley residents a say in the future of jobs and services in Birmingham.
Following Cllr Clancy’s endorsement, Julie Johnson said, “Here in Weoley, Labour Party members are simply fed up with endless Tory government cuts in services. We meet people all the time who are unable to cope and we are determined to give people practical help. In short, if the government won’t help people, then we will.”
Labour members in Weoley voted overwhelmingly to select Julie Johnson as their candidate for the council elections in May 2016.
Julie said, “I’m absolutely delighted to be representing Labour in Weoley and I’m very proud that I have the opportunity to develop strong links within the community.
“I’ll be meeting as many people as possible during my visits to community events and to our local schools during our campaign – and knocking on doors, of course!
“Since he was elected, Steve Booton has done a terrific job. Weoley now needs a second Labour councillor to add to the work he’s done and I’m the woman for that job!”
Like everyone else living in Birmingham, Labour believes that the green waste collection is an important service and we would love to keep it free. We understand the concerns being expressed across the city.
The Tory/Lib Dem government has slashed Birmingham’s funding by a massive two thirds. Imagine if you earned £18,000 a year and your wages were cut to £6,000. Wouldn’t that change everything about your life? That’s what has happened to Birmingham.
This means that Birmingham has to lose many valued services – like the free green waste collection. The bitter alternative would be to cut precious services for vulnerable elderly people and local children. We know that there have been problems with implementation and we are working round the clock to get it right, but these new charges are happening because of Cameron and Clegg’s decisions in Westminster – faithfully supported by local Tory and Lib Dem councillors and MPs, the very people who are now crying crocodile tears about cuts.
We are used to the hypocrisy of the Tories and Lib Dems, especially when it comes to standing up for the wrong people:
- On the same day they condemned more than 13,000 disabled, sick and vulnerable people in Birmingham to the bedroom tax, they gave a tax cut of £100,000 to millionaires so that they can have as many bedrooms as they like.
- ‘We will look after the vulnerable,’ they said. Yet disabled people in poverty are bearing the brunt of the national cuts, losing an average £4,660 per year.
- ‘We will protect front-line policing,’ they said. Yet 15,000 police officers have been cut, 1,171 in the West Midlands, the region the hardest hit.
- ‘We will make it easier for parents to balance childcare with work,’ they said. And then? They voted against extending free nursery places for 3 and 4 year olds from 15 to 25 hours a week.
Richard Burden, Northfield MP, said: “I get so angry about the breathtaking hypocrisy of the Conservatives who complain about green waste charges at the same time as cheering on the government which has put Birmingham in this position.
“Tories in this area claim Birmingham gets a good deal from their friends in Downing Street and that the council has more than enough money to go around. Not so long ago, they used to complain that Birmingham did not get enough from the last Labour Government when funding for our city was at record levels.”
The Tories and Lib Dems are against green waste charges in Birmingham where the Tories are in opposition, but they support them in nearby Bromsgrove where Tories run the council. In London, Lib Dem minister David Laws has gone so far as to suggest that councils could charge for bin collection.
Standing up for Birmingham?
They say one thing here and do the reverse in Westminster. The simple truth about Birmingham Tories and Lib Dems is that not once have they stood up and opposed what their government has done to Birmingham.
They claim to be your friend. But, if you shake their hands, you would be wise to count your fingers afterwards.