Cllr Robert Alden is Leader of the Conservative Group on Birmingham City Council.
While the weather has recently been freezing cold, the election in Birmingham has been hotting up. The end of February saw the yearly Council budget set. Labour rejected the Conservatives proposal for a big freeze in Council tax for the next four years, instead preferring to put in place plans that will see Council Tax £350 higher at the end of this budget plan than when Labour took control in 2012. All that after an election promise in 2012 of “no Council Tax increase”.
With the Labour administration still reeling from a 221 day long bin dispute, the Labour administration budget led to headlines of “Labour is ‘lacking big ideas’ in plans for city”.
This highlighted how, as the streets of Birmingham continue to be covered in rubbish, Labour has run out of ideas. Labour proposed a further 12 per cent cut in street cleaning, and sadly rejected the Conservatives’ Cleaner Streets plan.
Meanwhile away from the Council budget, the Birmingham‘s Labour Council continues to miss deadlines for issuing a clean air plan. In contrast the Conservative Group have published our plans for rolling out a step change in green infrastructure including living green walls on canyon style roads like the Aston Expressway (see image), which have generated local and national news, showing our vision for a cleaner, greener and safer Birmingham.
Out on the campaign trail more and more residents our talking about how we have a vision to help make our great city an even better place to live and work over the next four years.
With seven weeks still to go, anything can happen but at the moment the response we are receiving is positive. 2018 sees new boundaries and a mixture of one and two member wards not previously tried in Birmingham. No doubt there will be shock results in some of these new wards.
The Conservative team in Birmingham is united, enthusiastic, and hard working. They go into the election full of energy and firing on all cylinders. This contrasts with the Labour party which saw a long running battle between members and the sitting Councillors over whether or not Labour members who joined post 2015 could vote on selections or not. This, combined with the factionalism that has been growing, meant there have seen several high profile sitting Councillors de-selected including two assistant leaders and a cabinet member.
With all up elections in May 3rd, Birmingham is set to be one of the places to watch – as a tired Labour Administration on its third leader in 30 months, which is out of ideas, overspending year after year, and which leaves our city covered in litter, tries to hold onto power.
If you would like to support/donate to the campaign, you can do so by contacting Birmingham Conservatives on 0121-472-0740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org