Well Brummies, we have just 12 days now until electoral D-day on Thursday 3 May. Birmingham votes in the local elections and the referendum for an elected mayor.
The former vote will almost certainly see a huge shift in Birmingham Council towards Labour. Incumbent Tories and Lib Dems are not going to be looking forward to facing the public vote. 3 particular scalps look possible with Martin Mullaney almost certain to be removed from the cabinet and the council by the voters of Moseley and Kings Heath. While the husband and wife senior Alden councillors representing Harborne and Edgbaston will face a major battle given the likely swing we will see across the city.
Close to home in my ward of Sutton Vesey we could well see history being made. Sutton has 4 wards and, historically, 12 Tory Councillors; the Vesey ward is the southern part of Sutton, bordering Erdington, and very different to the other 3 with Boldmere at the centre. Rob Pocock is the consummate street fighter and local activist who has been working Sutton Vesey for quite some time now. He has been edging closer and closer through the last 2 sets of local elections and this could be his time – this could be Sutton returning a Labour councillor which would be a momentous occasion.
Of course, alongside the local elections is the City referendum for an elected mayor. The general commentary from across the city and indeed the country is that Birmingham is the most likely candidate to vote YES. Obviously I very much hope we will get a YES vote but it is not being taken for granted. The Yes campaign has been working hard with little resource to try and get positive messages out – this included a major event last Sunday at the Town Hall. I had the pleasure of speaking on the first panel about transport and general asks for an elected mayor. The purpose of the event was to help Brummies visualise what an elected mayor could do for them and for the city – this is crucial, to share the vision that we can see for how Birmingham can help itself to punch its weight again on an international stage in a way that will benefit ALL of its citizens.
There will be an awful lot happening over the coming days. The more everyone can not only engage but actually engage others will only benefit the city, bear that in mind – don’t be one of the plonkers that says how terrible it is that noone is engaging the people. Everyone has a right to get involved or not, to find out or not – we at the YES Campaign are trying as hard as we can while doing our regular jobs to making the campaign happen. So in 12 days time, i genuinely hope we will have reached many more people and will see a strong vote for change and a YES for an elected mayor for Birmingham.