We asked Leigh Whitehouse a few questions (via Zoom) about why he wants to join Worcestershire County Council and Kidderminster Town Council. Leigh is the Wyre Forest Labour Candidate for St Johns, Kidderminster for Worcestershire County Council and Blakebrook & Habberley South for Kidderminster Town Council.
Can you tell us a little about yourself, and why you want to join Worcestershire County Council and Kidderminster Town Council?
My name is Leigh Whitehouse. I’m currently a District Councillor with Wyre Forest District Council, after you elected me in May 2019. It was one of my greatest achievements to date.
One of the reasons why, one of many reasons why I want to be both a Town Councillor and a County Councillor is I’ve found when constituents get in contact with me, they sometimes raise issues that relate specifically to, for example, a road surface or a pavement and whilst I’m more than happy to campaign on those particular issues, I always think that it would be better for me to be on the County Council so I can actually see those matters through rather than just campaigning on it.
Why did you get involved in politics?
The British people are great when it comes to looking after people less fortunate than themselves. There are all kinds of services out there, many services that we hope we’ll never need to use in our lifetime. It wasn’t until 2016 when my daughter was born that I realised that there was a gap in our public services. We spent many weeks at her bedside in Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with all the care that you could ever dream of right at the push of a button.
But when we came home, we realised that those services just weren’t available everywhere, and not because the NHS staff didn’t want to; they simply did not have the resources available to provide the care that our daughter really needed. Since then, I’ve been determined to make sure that no one – no one should suffer from the lack of public services, whether it’s health care, social care or even things like local buses.
What is your biggest success so far?
Towards the end of 2018, and the beginning of 2019, it came to my attention that the Habberley bus service was going to be pulled, so i spoke to many residents on the estate to really understand the impact of this. One or two residents even cried in front of me, telling me how it was their lifeline, and other residents told me how they’d likely lose their jobs as a result of this. The whole estate was isolated.
The local Conservatives told me that I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it – that it was gone for good. However, after the petition and lots of hard work by the community, we were able to actually see the return of the Habberley bus service and I’m really pleased that it’s running through the estate again today.