This is not just the case just at election time but should be the case throughout the year.
The benefit being the first hand experience and knowledge of seeing how people in the neighbourhood; are affected by decisions which impact upon their daily lives.
The other and important pint being people must see and recognise their representative and dispel the myth of being a cardboard cut out.
Unfortunately, over the past few years the latter does appear to an increasing and alarming norm in some areas of Birmingham and this has led to the mass disaffection that we face today.
In Ladywood there are according to the 2011 Census 25000 over 18’s in residency, with only 20000 being on the electoral register, hence a shortfall of some 5000.
When registering people to vote over the past few weeks, all I keep hearing is “what is the point?, we see no-one until election time and no one cares”. Note not my words but a common trend in the dialogue that I have on the ground.
We all have a responsibility to deal with this, I believe that some Politicians out their career ahead of those they are suppose to be representing and that they strive on low turnouts, which only fuels the feeling of oppression that many face.
On my walks through Ladywood, I intend to let the residents know that they are the ones with real power and encourage them to use it on 22nd May, we keep hearing we need more young people to get involved, but, what chance do they really stand when we have representatives, that have been in office for over 20 years and are not willing to step aside for the next generation.
Its time for a new approach, its time for change and time to put “People first Not Party”