AHEAD of tomorrow’s local elections, the Observer has contacted each of the major parties and collated their election manifestos and plans for the borough.
There will be 17 seats up for grabs on the day as rival parties attempt to make an impact on the Conservative stronghold.
The current political makeup of councillors in Solihull is:
- Conservatives – 32
- Green Party – 8
- Lib Dem – 6
- UKIP – 2
- Labour – 1
- Independent – 1
Conservatives have a strong, proven track record of providing quality, value for money services for residents of Solihull. We recognise that we are spending YOUR money and we have a responsibility to provide the best possible value and services.
Conservatives have worked hard to keep Council Tax low, weekly refuse collections, free garden waste collection, great schools for our children and, despite being one of the worst funded Metropolitan Authorities, still deliver quality, value-for-money services. Crime rates are low, employment is high and opportunities are ever growing.
We’ve reduced waste and continue to work ‘smarter’ by adopting new ways to reduce overheads to protect the frontline services residents deserve and rely upon.
Solihull is consistently rated by independent auditors as one of the best authorities in the country for managing its finances.
Conservatives will continue to invest in schools, roads, leisure facilities and care for the elderly and vulnerable; whilst protecting our environment.
Conservatives, have a long term vision and are clear on our priorities for the future security and wellbeing of the people of Solihull.
In summary: Conservatives will continue to create a sustainable economy whilst recognising what is important to the people of Solihull – the environment, quality education, investment in transport and infrastructure, job creation and providing care for the elderly and vulnerable. Solihull is a great place to live, let’s keep it that way!
Why vote Green Party?
1) To support small local businesses. We would use money from sale of the Powergen site to support Shirley high street.
2) We would involve residents more in decision-making and listen more to local people. This contrasts with Conservative plans to impose on Solihull a Greater Birmingham super-mayor who will take powers away from us.
3) Housing: we will work to provide houses that Solihull’s families can afford.
4) Solihull Council needs to become more open, transparent and honest. The committees that scrutinise council decisions are currently chaired by the party that makes the decisions!
5) Green Councillors will work constructively on the Council to provide accountability. Currently the Council has a huge Conservative majority, and a healthy democracy needs some alternative voices. In many parts of Solihull, only the Green Party can beat the Conservatives.
6) Solihull is one of the best places to live in the UK. Yet the people who live here are no happier than the UK average. We will re-focus the Council on working to make lives better for everyone.
7) Pay Council workers the UK Living Wage to ensure staff are paid a fair salary for an honest day’s work.
We’re fighting in Solihull to hold on to three wards in the borough and to defend half our strength on the council. We have some very strong candidates – the mayor Coun Glenis Slater being one, who has shown great service over the years. We also have two new people wishing to become councillors. Ex-Yorkshire girl who has lived in Solihull for years, Jo Fairburn, is standing in Olton ward and she hopes to bring her years of experience in both nursing and social work. And Ade Adeymo standing in Lyndon who has spent his last year working hard for the Lydon Liberal Democrats and the ward residents.
Our aim is to stop the ‘dead hand’ of one party control, which has happened under the Conservative in Solihull. Like others with large majorities, they tend to disregard what is going on and we want them to take notice of people again. As Liberal Democrats we are going back to our fundementals – to serve all the people going and taking up the matters which concern them in their day-to-day lives. We are concerned about the environment and the effects of movement of people in the borough, so we will look at our roads and inadequate bus services. We are also concerned about our adult social services and the current Governement’s scheme for the academisation of schools.
We were hit hard nationally in last year’s general election but our strength in the past has been local, grassroots politics and will be our strength again in the future.
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Solihull and Meriden UKIP is proud to be able to field candidates with passion for and dedication to representing the community of Solihull. Our focus is on local issues that have a direct effect on the lives of Silhillians; one of our current campaigns is for the removal of the non-pursuance policy in place by West Midlands Police in relation to off-road vehicles. We believe that this is hindering the fantastic work of our police force and is having a detrimental effect on local communities.
Our choice comes down to what sort of society we want to live in. In Solihull, like the rest of Britain, we can see how Tory policies lead to a widening of the gap between rich and poor and to inequality in every area of life, from education through to life expectancy. Tax cuts for the very wealthy put an end to them saying ‘we are all in this together’. The Tories used the recession, caused by the ‘banking crisis’, to do what they had wanted to do for years – reduce and then privatise public services; slash pay and weaken employment rights; forced academisation (privatisation) of schools; fragmentation and privatisation of our National Health Service are driven by Tory ideology.
Labour provides an alternative and hope! Labour will invest to create a more prosperous and fairer society. One where we have: integrated health and social care; housing that is once again affordable to rent and buy; good quality employment and training. Labour believes that by investing in people we maximise individual achievement AND create a dynamic and vibrant economy. Labour has done it before, we can do it again! Join us in that fight! You will be very welcome!