THE GREEN Party has declared its candidates to contest Solihull’s two seats at the general election.
Voters will go to the polls on December 12, and the Green Party nominations are held by Dr Rosemary Sexton, for Solihull, and Stephen Caudwell, for Meriden.
Dr Sexton is currently a Solihull councillor for Shirley West. She said: “I am proud to call Solihull my home but over the last five years I’ve watched in horror as the Conservative government have slowly eroded our community and our economy by cutting money to the services we all need, whilst giving tax cuts to the super-rich.
“In Solihull, the cost of living is rising faster than our wages are rising, so people here are getting poorer in real terms.
“We have just seen Morrisons close its doors in Shirley and high streets in general are facing challenges that are seeing the hearts of our community beat more slowly.
“We need to build a thriving economy based on local businesses that keep money in our community, and that create good, lasting jobs that pay a decent wage.
“It is immoral that the Conservatives have cut over £18 million from school budgets in the last four years alone.
“As a result, many children with special educational needs are now waiting 18 months for a school place, which is an absolute scandal.
“As a healthcare professional, I’m most concerned about the NHS and care for older people. When previous generations built the NHS it was one of the greatest accomplishments of our country. But we’re now seeing people dying on average 10 years earlier in the lower income areas of Solihull than the richest areas.
“Overall life expectancy is dropping faster than ever before in peacetime, increasing rates of suicide along with a mental health crisis and a terrifying lack of care for older people.
“One of the reasons I joined the Green Party was because traditional parties have failed us. Green Party politicians will be honest, will listen to people and act on their concerns, will work hard, and will do what’s right rather than what’s easy to make sure the country is put back together again.
“We don’t just need to heal the divides for our wellbeing, but also to tackle the great problems of our day like the climate crisis.”
In Meriden, Steve Caudwell will run for the Greens, he is currently a councillor for Castle Bromwich. He said: “I’m honoured to have been chosen as the Green Party’s candidate for Meriden. It’s a really important time to be standing for the Green Party. More people have realised how urgent action on our climate and environment is – but people in Solihull and Meriden know that we aren’t only about that. We need evidence and pragmatism guiding policy, not ideology. That is how meaningful change happens.
“It’s important to be honest – everyone can see our country is not working right now. Politics as usual has failed us, with the traditional parties fighting themselves and each other. We need a new approach. That’s why the Green Party has grown so rapidly. We’ve seen a surge in elected Greens in recent years. In Solihull, our fourteen Green Party Councillors makes us the formal opposition. It makes us a first choice for many wanting to see a change after the General Election.
“Our support has grown so rapidly because only the Green Party has a credible roadmap: to sort out Brexit with a People’s Vote; to deliver rapid action to tackle the climate crisis; and to build a fairer Britain. This means taking action on the grinding inequality permitted by the Tory-led council in North Solihull, where people die on average 10 years younger than in the south. Or the complete disregard the Tory government has shown for people in Meriden by allowing HS2 to plough through our communities and ancient woodlands with no regard to the damage caused.
“Politics as usual has let everyone down – it’s time to think differently, for the sake of our communities, our country and our planet. If you agree with me that decades of the same old ways of doing politics haven’t worked, please vote for me on 12th December.”
The incumbent MP for Solihull is Julian Knight (Conservative). Dame Caroline Spelman, Conservative MP for Meriden, has said she will not stand at the election on December 12. The Meriden Conservative Association is set to select its candidate to replace her at a hustings tonight (November 5).