BIRMINGHAM: Councillor to step down ahead of 2022 election
Image: Birmingham city council
A Northfield councillor who has been struggling with long Covid has announced he will not be standing for election next year.
Speaking in a video posted to Twitter Labour Cllr Olly Armstrong said that ‘unforeseen’ events had meant he had been forced to take the ‘difficult’ decision to stand down ahead of next year’s election.
Cllr Armstrong was first elected to the Northfield ward in May 2018, when he beat his closest competitor, Conservative Randall Brew, by 1635 votes to 1257.
Cllr Armstrong had recently revealed that he had been struggling with long Covid, revealing the ‘mental toll’ it had taken on him.
And he has now been announced that he will not be standing again, saying on Twitter: “Over the summer I’ve made the difficult decision to not put myself forward to be the council candidate for Labour for Northfield ward in May 2022.
“I had always intended to keep putting myself forward to represent my friends and neighbours in Northfield as long as they wanted me to be their councillor in the coming years, but of course unforeseen things come up.
“I believe that politics should be the space in which the human touch impacts the structures around us and pushes them, changes them, challenges them so they uplift the most vulnerable, so it makes our communities, our lives, more equitable, more just, more fair for all.
“I believe that politics should be the way in which we use our political power to stand by, for and with and give a voice to the most vulnerable and the most struggling. And far too often that is not, in my experience, what politics is.
“I will continue to fight for those things in the next coming months while I’m still the Northfield ward councillor. I’m still fully committed to serving the people of this area. I will of course continue to fight for those things even when I’m not a Labour councillor.
“If you want to talk through with me why I am not standing again I’m more than happy to have a chat – a chat over coffee and cake would be nice. Get in touch.
“I’ll continue to serve the people of this area with my whole heart and whole ability for the time I’ve got still as your councillor for this area.”
Words: Tom Dare, Local Democracy Reporter
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