To stand as a candidate in a snap election takes some resolve. To stand as a Liberal Democrat candidate for Solihull is a no-brainer. I don’t feel we are getting a good deal at the moment in Solihull, and I firmly believe that Solihull deserves better.
I trained as a civil engineer, and work in risk management. I face daily challenges in my professional life, and have to take tough decisions that can change people’s lives. My professional experience shapes how I do politics. For me, it is all about achieving that important balance between the needs for investment (in schools, hospitals, houses and businesses) and the needs of the people who live, work and go about their daily lives in special places like Solihull.
I entered local politics because I care deeply about our town and borough. I know Solihull well because I have lived here for over 20 years. I brought up my family here, and this is the place they call home. But now is the time to transform Solihull’s future. I want to be a good leader for Solihull. That starts with being a great listener. By listening to people, I know that there are three core issues we need to sort out.
We can all see how unfair allocation of funds to pet projects such as free schools is starving local authority-controlled schools. We must change this for the better. I am connecting with local education campaign groups to fight the £11.8 million funding cuts to our schools. We simply cannot afford to lose the 300+ teachers that this slash in budget will mean. Underfunding our schools to the tune of £350 per pupil will only make the crisis in Solihull schools worse. I will campaign locally, regionally, and nationally to change this.
The health of Solihull’s residents is at risk because of savage cuts to hospitals and social care facilities and services. With an NHS which is chronically underfunded and woefully overstretched, we have to act now. I know from talking to doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals in Solihull that proper investment can change this. I will ensure that our healthcare workers’ voices are heard loud and clear. We need to safeguard Solihull’s health and social care provision, to make sure that we have access to the best healthcare in the world here on our doorsteps.
Sustainable growth and development
Solihull attracts businesses and people who want to come and live and work in our beautiful town. My engineering expertise means that I understand the demands that growth and expansion make on the environment, and I believe that Solihull must balance needs of the environment with the needs of the people. Already my experience serving on the Solihull Council means I see first-hand the planning issues that can plague and blight our town. We need properly considered and sustainable development, and I will lobby all groups involved in making these decisions so that we get the best outcome for Solihull and its needs for the future.
The way I see it, Solihull’s long-term prosperity will only be secured if we prioritise first-class education for all our schoolchildren and keep our residents healthy for longer. I find it heart-breaking to sit on the side-lines as the government’s economic agenda closes schools and hospitals, and keeps on privileging the few who have the financial resources to fund their own. If elected MP for Solihull, I will take an active part in shaping Solihull’s future.
Put simply, Solihull deserves better. It deserves better hospitals and schools. It deserves better-respected nurses and teachers. It deserves to be prosperous and wealthy, supporting its residents, and making it a welcoming place for investment. To do this, it must be able to connect its local needs to the country, continent, and world in which it sits.