THE local elections in May this year will have added spice following the decision by Labour’s Sam Mather to take on Councillor David Coles in Kingshurst and Fordbridge.
Sam is the chair of Solihull and Meriden Labour Party and campaigned to get the then Labour supporting Coun Coles elected.
However since then Coun Coles has crossed the floor to join the ruling Conservative Group.
That move, together with the defection of Coun Marcus Brain to the Green Party, left Solihull Council without a Labour representative at the Council House for the first time since the inception of Solihull MBC in 1974.
Speaking of Coun Coles, Sam said: “Before he left I was part of his core campaign team that helped get him elected and to see all the effort that both myself and party members put in just disappear was really disappointing.
“The people of Kingshurst and Fordbridge wanted a Labour voice, not just a voice.
“They haven’t elected a Conservative now for many years and then to see a decision like that, without them even being consulted beforehand, is very poor.
“Only by electing a strong voice in the council chamber can the people of Kingshurst and Fordbridge start to influence the decisions taken there.
“The Sure Start centre has closed, funding for social care has been decimated, there aren’t enough places for children with special education needs and disabilities.
“And it’s inappropriate for money to be spent on HS2 when people can’t even get an appointment at the doctors.”
He predicted that rises in council, tax, income tax and soaring energy prices will hit local people hard.
“We are about to go through a really difficult period and people want some empathy from those they elect.
“The aim is to win in May as these Tories with their sleaze, scandals and Christmas parties are completely out of touch with normal people’s lives.”