NEW COUNCILLOR: Nominees for Yardley East by-election named
Ballot paper being posted into ballot box, Image: Chris Loades/Association of Electoral Administrators
Nominees for a council seat by-election following the death of a long-standing councillor have been announced.
Yardley East will elect its new Birmingham city councillor on October 21 following the death of Cllr Neil Eustace (Lib Dem) earlier this month.
The city council has now published the list of candidates for the ward – with only Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats putting candidates forward.
Cllr Eustace served as a councillor for 35 years with tributes paid across the political spectrum this month.
A new councillor is now set to represent the ward ahead of all-out elections for the whole council in May 2022.
The candidates for the seat are:
- Pervez Akhtar (Con)
- Carmel Corrigan (Lab)
- Deborah Harries (Lib Dem)
Ms Harries, 53, who has held senior communications roles in both local and central government, said a key issue in the ward is residents’ opposition to plans from Persimmons Homes for 110 houses on Barrows Lane Football Fields.
She said: “Neil was really heavily involved with this campaign. As a Liberal Democrat candidate, I am committed to carrying on with supporting the residents – to protect the sports facilities on this site.
“It’s a real tribute to Neil that the people of Yardley East speak so fondly of him, and held him in such high regard. My commitment is to follow in his footsteps and carry on his good work representing residents.”
Ms Harries said her decision to run for the council seat comes after community work to start a Friends of the Park group in Acocks Green, tackling litter, graffiti and anti-social behaviour.
Ms Corrigan, 59, a caseworker in Jess Phillips MP’s Yardley constituency office, is also “committed to supporting residents to ensure that the Barrows Lane playing fields are protected from the ongoing threat from housing developers”.
She said: “I am a strong advocate of empowering communities and I want to see serious consultation with residents and stakeholders over the future of the Old Stechford Cascades site.
“I would work to ensure that local businesses were benefiting from any post Covid recovery funding that was available.
“The people of Yardley East want a strong, effective voice representing their interests on Birmingham City Council and I offer good local knowledge, years of experience of actioning residents’ queries with the city council and am committed to ensuring that Yardley East gets its fair share of services and support.”
Mr Akhtar, 67, is a retired train manager and former school governor and said “ensuring that children from the ward are able to succeed is something that is very important to me”.
He said: “I want to see investment in suburbs like Yardley so that our businesses and communities can thrive.
“Having been a train manager for over four decades, improving public transport and especially expanding the train network within the city as well as improving existing stations is something I will be campaigning for.”
Speaking against the Clean Air Zone, he said residents of Yardley “need as many choices as possible so they can decide the best form of transport for them”.
He said: “A vote for the Conservatives is a vote for a strong opposition on Birmingham City Council, holding the Labour council to account and fighting for cleaner streets.”
Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Demcoracy Reporter
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