Standing up for a quiet man

There’s going to be some political stuff here over the next few days – I’m aware some readers will take exception to this, or my opinions – if you do, go here instead – whilst I value everyone’s opinion and contribution, I have views and opinions, and this is my blog. I’ve never shied away from political stuff, and that’s what started this blog, seven years ago to this day.

846348_8c50efca

Local policing cuts have been savage and show in the increasing incidence of crime here. Despite fine words, tour local station still closed. Image by John M and posted on Geograph.

In case you’re unaware, there are local council and PCC elections in the borough of Walsall this week, on Thursday, 5th May 2016, when you get to vote for one of the three councillors to represent your ward at Walsall, as well as selecting the next Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands.

The election is separate to the EU referendum in June, and is not connected with it.

Right now, Brownhills has Councillor Steve Wade – Labour, Councillor Ken Ferguson – Conservative and Steve Craddock – UKIP. It’s Steve Wade that’s up for election this year.

Steve Wade is standing against Conservative candidate Ben Brittain and UKIP candidate Derek Bennett. Steve and Ben live locally.

Whilst many here can’t fail to notice I’m a left winger, I have criticised here in the past Walsall Labour, Tories and LibDems – in fact, I’d tenure some of Walsall Labour probably loathe me more than the Tories. Likewise, I’ve not been slow to praise good Councillors of any stripe; Mike Flower may have been a Tory, but he was good in Walsall Wood and gave a toss. I continue to hold Pelsall Tory Marco Longhi in high regard, despite disagreeing with him stridently on lots of issues.

I hold off on telling people who to vote for, because that’s not my place and we all must decide for ourselves. however, I’ve been watching politics for a few months in Brownhills and have noticed a rather unpleasant note to proceedings.

The Conservatives in Walsall are currently holding power in a ramshackle coalition with UKIP and independents, and are desperate to win seats and consolidate power on Thursday. Recently their budget was voted down and unless they increase their number of councillors, life could be very difficult for them.

Control of Walsall Council probably rests on about four seats this year, one of which is Brownhills.

Walsall Council has traditionally been finely balanced, but the Conservatives have held power here either by themselves or in coalition for most of the last 16 years. Since Brownhills is an unpredictable ward electorally, the Conservatives have thrown a lot of energy into campaigning in Brownhills over the last few months. They want your vote, and don’t seem to care much how they get it.

85273950

‘Our drive to regenerate Brownhills District Centre’ – as erected in 2007. How’s that going, folks?

I wasn’t minded to comment, but something changed my mind a while ago which I’ll come to later in the week, and I think it’s time to speak up for Councillor Wade.

I have found Steve – who lives in Brownhills West, and whose lad goes to a local school – a pleasant, quietly spoken man on the few occasions I’ve met him – but I know that he’s been working hard here for years. Steve doesn’t shout about what he’s doing, or make a big fuss with press photos and showy publicity stunts – he just gets on with being a Councillor, taking time to help people and try and improve life in Brownhills.

Steve has dealt with flyposting by removing the posters himself, he’s swept accessways and  collected littler of his own volition. Because he cares.

Steve has been battling for years to get Walsall Council to legally enforce the owners of Ravens Court to clean it up; Steve has never had any truck with the vague promises sold to more credulous politicians of upcoming big names and redevelopment; he recognised a long time ago that only legal action could make a difference, and has pursued the cause doggedly.

After years of other politicians being willing, useful fools and relaying false promise, it finally looks like legal action may be imminent.

12194963_127785207580522_6937485590895142960_o

on the few occasions I’ve met Steve, he’s been a quietly spoken, but passionate advocate for our town and the people within it.

As to other matters locally, Tory promises were made to fight for the local Police Station before the last election, yet it still closed without a whimper, and whilst Conservative candidates and the local MP have been asked about other local cuts and closures – like the upcoming loss of the Walsall Housing Group office in Silver Court  – nothing has been done.

When the Brownhills to Birmingham bus service was under threat, it was Steve Wade who raised petitions, organised meetings with the authorities and bus company, and actually invited the public to join him in those, only for the Tories to attempt to take the credit after the event.

Steve shares the work he does on his blog and via Facebook, and has recently been interviewed by the wonderful Madwblog for Clayhanger. I commend readers who may be interested to check it out.

I’m not telling anyone who to vote for, you must think for yourselves. But I know who  I support, and who best supports our town.

Think about it: in the last decade and a half in Brownhills, what has a Tory council ever done for Brownhills?

Untitled 9

Over in Clanger, Madwblog is doing great stuff. Click on the screenshot to read their interview with Councillor Steve Wade.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Standing up for a quiet man

  1. Seven years? Thanks for all those years of answers, questions, opinions and quirks of life.

    I managed to read the article without feeling outraged, offended, patronised, disrespected or the other emotions that usually go with a “political discussion” on the internet.

    I still thought I better have a look at “if you do, go here instead” and was shown “1 HOUR of Funny Cat & Cute Kittens Fail Videos” — I though a nice soothing hour watching a little fluffy kitten playing with a ball of wool. I am still not outraged, offended, patronised, disrespected or any of the other emotions but after the first 15 seconds of video I am now VERY scared of cats!

  2. Steve Cawley says:

    Hi Bob

    On the subject of political stuff here are a couple of pictures taken in the council house of Brownhills UDC in the early 60’s the first one in 66 third row on left ismy dad Trevor Cawley directly in front of him is if think Jonah Deakin second photo my dad is 4th from right on middle row his friend Keith Whordley has the chain of office so this may be 62 to 63 as his name is on the board on the first photo. They were both in the Labour Party and both worked at the pit my dad was a face worker and Keith was an electricianEverything was voluntary in those days and housing must have been a big issue as we would regularly have people asking for dads help at our house during the evenings sometimes till very late.My dad also represented Brownhills on Staffs county council in around 68 to 69.can anyone help with other names?

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. Steve Cawley says:

    Hi Bob.

    Did you get these if you could confirm at least I know it’s working. Thanks

    Sent from my iPad

    Begin forwarded message:

    > From: Steve Cawley > Date: 2 May 2016 at 19:00:12 BST > To: BrownhillsBob’s Brownhills Blog > Subject: Re: [New post] Standing up for a quiet man > > Hi Bob > > On the subject of political stuff here are a couple of pictures taken in the council house of Brownhills UDC in the early 60’s the first one in 66 third row on left ismy dad Trevor Cawley directly in front of him is if think Jonah Deakin second photo my dad is 4th from right on middle row his friend Keith Whordley has the chain of office so this may be 62 to 63 as his name is on the board on the first photo. They were both in the Labour Party and both worked at the pit my dad was a face worker and Keith was an electricianEverything was voluntary in those days and housing must have been a big issue as we would regularly have people asking for dads help at our house during the evenings sometimes till very late.My dad also represented Brownhills on Staffs county council in around 68 to 69.can anyone help with other names? > > Sent from my iPad > >>

    • Sorry, Steve, I replied by email originally, you can’t have got it, I received no images.

      If you can send them to BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, that works!

      Cheers, and sorry you didn’t get the mail!

      Best wishes and thanks
      Bob

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s