Why I'm Standing For TUSC

Birmingham Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates tell us why they're standing in this May's council election

Eamonn Flynn, Hall Green North

Working-class people need a voice in the council chamber. When the Labour Party was formed a hundred years ago, it did that job. It pulled together workers and fighting trade unionists, and gave them a voice. Not only a candidate to vote for at election time, but a movement to fight in their interests all year around.

For far too long now, the Labour Party and its candidates in council and parliamentary elections have failed to do this. In Birmingham, I have listened to councillors telling the public that there is nothing they can do to oppose cuts in council services and jobs. I would just like to see them try, as Labour councillors in the past did in Liverpool and Poplar.

If our existing councillors are not prepared to defend communities, they must step down and make way for someone that will. I think that if councillors took a stand and built a campaign to demand the funding required from the government to meet the needs of their communities, workers would stand with them in that fight, and that fight could be won.

That is why I will be standing as a TUSC candidate in May.

Abdul Haq, Billesley

I disagree with this year's 4.99 per cent council tax rise – particularly as the West Midlands Police precept has increased. We should be funding a decent pay rise for NHS workers, not councillors' inflated allowances.

To make change you have to be in the areas where working class people are discussing and debating. It’s the only way you can do things in Birmingham.

We need to sort out the potholes currently plaguing Billesley – I will cover the costs out of his own councillor allowance if I cannot get the council to do it.

Another key issue is street lighting in the ward, which currently leaves residents with safety fears and unable to see where they are going at night.

Ted Woodley, Oscott

Primarily, we are an anti-austerity campaign. We are campaigning for better public services and the reversal of all cuts carried out by the council since 2010.

I think I can make a difference. If we had just one socialist councillor, that would be a fantastic platform from which we could build a struggle in the community against the cuts.

A massive problem affecting Oscott – as well as the rest of the city – is a shortage of social housing, with private accommodation being very expensive and also not being maintained to a decent standard.

If elected I would push for a far more rigorous approach to dealing with rogue landlords as well as a building and refurbishment programme for social housing in the city.

Come to our West Midlands online rally at 7pm on Sunday 2nd May – Zoom ID 818 0628 0433 (no password required)

This post promoted by Joe Foster at 11 Kerby Road, Stockland Green, Birmingham B23 7EX on behalf of Birmingham TUSC candidates

Written by workers for workers.

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