Mike Vale – Town Council Elections
Having grown up in Kidderminster, I have seen many changes to the town and watched its continual decline and failure to respond to the challenges of nearby retail centres. The failure of the Tory dominated council to address this decline and their policy of papering over the cracks, illustrates that Kidderminster needs a new, vibrant town council with vision and energy. I believe that only Labour is committed to the common sense policies that will bring life back to our town centre and I want to be a part of that campaign as the representative of Offmore and Comberton.
The recent announcement of more job losses at Britons has robbed our town of its great heritage in the carpet industry. It is vital that our town adapts and reinvents itself in order to attract new jobs and investment. Kidderminster currently is a low wage area with average wages well below the national average and people trying to survive on zero hour contracts or minimum wage. As a town we need to develop a sensible strategy to attract new start-up businesses, particularly in high skilled, high wage industries. The Tories have controlled our area for years but have failed to meet the challenges facing families. Cuts at Kidderminster College by the Tories shows a lack of vision and a failure to advance new skills and training to lift our people out of poverty. Labour is committed to a first class education system that prepares people for the high tech jobs our town needs.
Living on Offmore, I am well aware of the problems facing local residents. Having had a Liberal councillor for decades has brought no benefits to the area. I shall fight to get Offmore and Comberton on the map, rather than being seen as a backwater of no relevance by the Tories. I shall champion common sense policies for the area: improved buses with evening and Sunday services, the re-routing of the X3 so our area has a direct link to the hospital, the new leisure centre and local amenities, free 24 hours ATMs so people are not charged £1.80 to withdraw cash and improved junctions to make it easier and safer to leave our area by car.
About me: I was brought up in Kidderminster and have lived in various parts of the town. I currently live on Offmore. I was raised as part of a single family in a council house in Foley and so know the great challenges that face so many people in this town on a daily basis. I know how important adequate social housing and affordable places to live and rent are, and support Labour's policy to tackle the scandal of 5000 on our housing waiting lists by building the homes our town needs. I was educated at King Charles, which provided me with an excellent education and I want that opportunity for everyone. I am opposed to Tory cuts to education and the abolition of student maintenance. Having been a teacher for over 20 years, I have witnessed first-hand the increasing pressures being piled onto young people. They face challenges unimaginable to my generation at that age and I believe we cannot afford to neglect the young and leave them with poor education, no hope of decent housing and a future on zero hours contracts. We must champion the next generation to ensure rising living standards across the board. Having done voluntary work helping people as a digital and consumer champion, I am aware of the need to help people cope with the changing world of technology and to protect the vulnerable from unscrupulous businesses.
I am standing for the town councillor because I believe there is a better way, that all our citizens are entitled to excellent public services that we need to improve the skills and wages of local people and because the Tories have betrayed our town and people. Only Labour can offer the common sense policies that Kidderminster needs and deserves.