Sunday, 29 April 2007

View from the Midlands

When I'm wondering how to make a difference in my own area it helps to find out how others have dealt with a similar problem.

Today I returned to Birmingham Northfield where I stood as the parliamentary candidate two years ago. In Longbridge the Rover Factory has been almost entirely levelled. Acre after acre of what was once the centre of the British car industry lies flattened. The 6,000 ex Rover workers mostly have "jobs" but many are temporary, part-time or low skilled. Loan sharks hover, and of the £175 million that the government promised for "re training and re-generation" £50 million never arrived.

However, where people live I can see a real difference. Streets are cleaner, graffiti has disappeared, many estates have been tidied up. The council now under Conservative leadership for 3 years has given local councillors power over local cleanliness, machinery and manpower. Its better. I learnt from them.

I went out canvassing with Cllr Keith Barton and his wife (since last year Cllr Sue) and then with Cllr Andrian Delaney as well as Keeley Rodgers their new Parliamentary candidate. The Labour vote appears to be melting but there are lots of smaller parties, including the BNP, who are picking up votes as well as the Conservatives. The stay at home vote say they will be large too.

Then I went out Maggie Throup canvassing in Solihul. She had her team had been joined by election observerers from Uganda to learn about local democracy in the UK. We can all learn a bit from others.


Praguetory said...

I wonder who took those photos. ;-)

The Green Arrow said...

I used to work in the City. Spendt some time at S.G. Warburgs (MAM) and J.P. Morgan. Used to drink with a bunch of guys from No 1 London Bridge.

Sorry Vicky but I think the Conservatives have had it. I will never vote for them again. D.C. is a clone of Bliar and whilst it is good that your council is cleaning up, I hear no noise about leaving europe and reversing immigration. No the real Conservatives are now supporting the B.N.P.

May 3rd should be interesting.

Vicky Ford said...

Dear Green arrow
Personally I think local elections should be about what local politicans can do not about international issues - but I agree that immigration is a huge issue as is waste in Europe.
Perhaps you should go to to see the miriad of comments from the Conservative Party on Labours immigration failures. And if you followed recent debates you will have seen a pledge by Cameron that the Conservatives will pull out of the European Peoples Party after the next European election. You are obviously intelligent and wish to be informed so why not go along to some debates on the subjects before making a final decision.

Vicky Ford said...

Praguetory I thought you wanted to remain anonymous? It was great to meet you

Ellee said...

Great stuff Vicky, and a bonus in meeting up with Pragetory too. You always work so hard with your campaigning and council work, I'm sure it is appreciated. I admire you for fitting so much into your life.

QUASAR9 said...

Hey congrats Vicky,
just heard on the evening news
they got the 10,000 signatures
to stop the closure of
Milton Country Park

Vicky Ford said...

10,000 signatures is good - the country park is important, hence why Ive been spending lots of time on it too!