Ahead of the General Election on Thursday, Bournville News contacted each of the candidates standing to be MP in the Selly Oak constituency in order to tell you a little more about them and their priorities for Bournville.
Third in our series is Clare Thomas, who is standing for the Green Party.
What motivated you to stand as an MP?
I was motivated by a determination to stand up for the people of Bournville.
I’ve been a member of the Green Party for 4 years and I have been shocked by the austerity measures and the extent of the cuts under the Coalition Government. It’s a disgrace that food banks are being used by so many working people and it should not be left to charities to support people who don’t have enough money to live on.
The Green Party has the policies to address the growing inequality between the rich and the poor in the UK.
Why should local residents (of Bournville) vote for you over the other candidates standing?
Bournville residents should vote for me because I oppose austerity and further cuts. The Green Party believes that the wealthiest people in the UK should pay their fair share of taxes. They can afford to do so and the money raised will be invested in frontline services, such as education and health.
If the Conservatives are re-elected, there will be further cuts to vital services, such as the NHS. The disabled, sick and unemployed have been unfairly targeted by the cuts, while people who are far better off have avoided paying taxes by using loopholes. Labour has pledged to match some of the Coalition’s cuts. This means that they don’t offer much in the way of an alternative for Bournville voters.
The Green Party offers a real alternative to business-as-usual politics. We will invest in public services, so that decent jobs are created and key services are protected. We will ensure that local Councils have the money that they need to provide essential services, such as refuse collection and home care for the elderly. I will take action to protect our local green spaces and waterways, so that we have places to relax in and enjoy for years to come.
If elected, what would be your top priorities for Bournville residents?
My top priorities for Bournville residents would be; ensuring that local GPs, health centres and hospitals have the funding that they need to continue to provide high quality treatment and care, reversing the creeping privatisation of health services and putting the patient at the heart of the service, making sure that local shopping centres are thriving and attracting new businesses into the area and addressing residents concerns about traffic flow problems.
What is the achievement you are most proud of in life? (This does not necessarily have to be related to your political career but can be.)
My proudest achievement in life is going to university and gaining a degree. I was a parent, working part time and studying for my degree. Looking back on it, I wonder how I managed to fit everything in. It just shows how determined I was to finish my studies.
My proudest achievement in my political life so far is being selected to represent the Green Party in Birmingham, Selly Oak constituency.
As Bournville is rightly famous for being the home of Cadbury’s, what is your favourite Cadbury’s chocolate bar?
My favourite Cadbury’s chocolate bar is the Picnic. It’s got chocolate, peanuts, raisins, nougat, caramel and crisped rice. It’s delicious!