On May 5th, a number of elections will be taking place across the country. One of them will be for the Sutton Coldfield Parish Council where 24 Parish Councillors will be elected to the newly formed Parish Council looking over local issues in Royal Sutton Coldfield. Over the past few months it has been my great privilege to get to know the six candidates Sutton New Hall ward is putting up under the Conservative banner.
Terry Wood is in my opinion an outstanding public servant in the true sense of the word. He has served as
a magistrate, until he retired from the bench, and sits on a number voluntary groups including the Wylde Green Neighbourhood Form, each of which takes up immense dedication and commitment.
I have got the great pleasure to call John Perks a very good friend of mine. Kind in spirit, generous and hard working we first met while both going through our training as magistrates some six years ago. Tireless and positive in many things he paved the way for support from JLR Jaguar into Jones Wood, drags his two boys out leafleting and to litter picks teaching me how not to break his very expensive camera. He does not seek the limelight wanting only to make a difference.
Joanne, who has lived in Sutton all her life, educated locally and sits on the Sutton Arts board has been exceptionally busy working but still makes the time to join us as a team with her mother around the ward when needed. Compassionate and her desire to improve Sutton is only outdone by her ability to do so.
Derek Griffin moved into walmley in 1968, his daughters studied in Walmely first and Middle school, and he has served as a governor in Walmley for many years. He is typical of the loyalty and attachment felt by Suttonians in Sutton.
In every group there is one character and Leeford certainly checks that box! Eccentric, hardworking, he brings a smile to every meeting- especially when he starts telling a story! His passion for Sutton is clear a mile away.
Rachel Toussaint is an incredible mother, campaigner, a self employed immigration lawyer and rights activist, she is utterly dedicated and thorough in all she sets out to achieve and we do our best to get out of her way! She is also a governor at Perry Beeches, and a campaigner for greater provision for younger children.
Everyone who speaks with them can see that they are ordinary residents, and ordinary people- some who have already given a large amount of their own time genuinely for the community, and who have taken a leap of faith into the unknown world of local politics.
Come polling day, people will go to the booths and mark a piece of paper without really knowing the stories behind the name on the lists, and the journey that led them to put themselves up for public scrutiny. There are politicians who seek elected office for their own ego, power or advancement, and there are those who simply wish to make a difference to the area that they have lived for many years and who call it more than home.
We push leaflets in the hope that people will read them, see through their own disillusionment with the system, politics and their mistrust through to the hope and possibilities that we hope to be.
Please take the time to consider carefully how you vote in May. We are all more than just names on a list.
Documents: New Hall intouch responding to the Green belt decision