Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
As another year draws to a close, I have been spending some time reflecting on the past twelve months and looking ahead to all that awaits us in 2018.
In opening the event and welcoming the 150 guests, Liberal Democrat members from across the West Midlands Beverley Nielsen, Chair, West Midlands Liberal Democrats observed some of the aspects about our new leader, Sir Vince Cable, that set him apart from others in the political fray. You can read more about Vince's visit, on the Regional Website.
“Sometimes there is a voice that cuts through. You don’t have to be the most informed person to see it or to hear it. And that’s what we have with Vince. An authentic, sincere, well-meaning voice.
“Because we all know that with Vince it is about our country’s best interests and our people’s best interests. Always speaking with these at the core of his words and actions.
“‘Enigmatic’ is the word the BBC chose in describing Vince…’not given to emotional outbursts or shows of passion.
“A contemporary of the likes of Ken Clarke, Michael Howard and Norman Lamont - some of the Tory "big beasts" of the 1990s - while at Cambridge University.
“In the West Midlands so long overlooked and coping with a growing legacy of inequality and exclusion, we are especially heartened to see your manifesto flag up the ‘fair free and open’ core of the liberal values at the heart of our party.
“Wikipedia says of you – ‘the conflict between big ideas - rather than the day-to-day grind of politics - seems to animate him most’ and your manifesto seems to back this up. You state:
“The House of Commons is unrepresentative and tribal. The Lords are chosen by patronage, not the people. The party funding system gives wealthy people undue influence. English local government has been nationalised, creating the most centralised system of government in the Western world.”
Do we take it you don’t think the Mother of Parliaments is working? Or even fit for purpose?
“We agree that the hugely-centralised nature of our political and economic management is damaging. We agree that enlightened entrepreneurship lies at the heart of renewal in our communities, in our public services and education as well as through our economy.
“We need in our region, a long-term cross-party approach.
We are proud of your achievements in government on our behalf – when as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, following the financial crisis from which we still struggle to recover, you “reformed the banks and created the world’s first Green Investment Bank and the British Business Bank.” And much more besides.
“If ever we needed our voice to cut through it is now. We need and want to secure electoral success at all levels of government – especially in the West Midlands where we have no MPs and a big challenge to re-establish ourselves where we once had.
“We want to recruit more members, run campaigns to make our country more liberal and more democratic. Your concerns speak to us, to our hearts as we sit here in the heart of our great country.
“We look to you for the answers to help us rebuild and renew and we can assure you that you have our full support, our energy and enthusiasm. We want to fight for our future. We want to fight for our children’s future. And fight to remain at the heart of Europe.
“Show us the steps Vince – as you did not so long ago on Strictly(!) and we will do our very best to follow. But above all, let’s start winning, focussing on winning and helping all in our winning team.”
Following the West Midlands Mayoral Election results last Friday I was keen to extend my very sincere thanks to everyone who supported my campaign over the past 8 months.
During this period I have spoken at over 40 Hustings and 60 speeches along with numerous media interviews on national television - BBC1, BBC2 (incl Newsnight), C4, ITV, R4 Today Programme, Sky TV (including singing on Carpool Mayors!), along with many regional and international channels representing our multi-cultural communities.
Whilst I was clearly disappointed that the result did not go our way, coming third in our strongly pro-Brexit West Midlands was an outcome worth noting and certainly beating UKIP into fourth place was noteworthy.
The results show that in our stronger areas of Birmingham - Yardley, Selly Oak, Perry Barr and Hall Green, Edgbaston, as well as Solihull there is still everything to play for and we have some strong areas of rising support including Coventry and parts of the Black Country, including Walsall.
I know that our attention is now firmly focused on the General Election and for all those concerned about the hard Brexit being foisted on the West Midlands and its impact on our manufacturing heartland I urge you to continue to support West Midlands Lib Dems and the strong candidates we are fielding.
Please support us as we work for an open, tolerant, welcoming West Midlands, built on the diversity we are known for and celebrate.
Please support us as we promote our pro-small home grown business and home grown talent as well as the greatest access to the EU Single Market.
With best wishes,
West Midlands Mayoral Election Lib Dem Votes and Vote Share
Yardley 2519 (14.3% vote share)
Selly Oak 1639 (9.3% vote share)
Perry Barr 1740 (8.8% vote share)
Hall Green 2202 (8% vote share)
Edgbaston 1494 (7% vote share)
Solihull 3578 (6.8% vote share)
The Lib Dem candidate in the West Midlands Mayoral election has climaxed her campaign by issuing a plea to urge voters to back “consensus not confrontation”.
Beverley Nielsen said traditional two-party politics had failed to deliver transformational change for either the region's urban areas, or its rural districts, for decades.
Local authorities and higher education (HE) institutions across the West Midlands must become much better at working together to roll back the impact of austerity, says Beverley Nielsen, the LibDem candidate in the region's Mayoral race.
The Liberal Democrats have become the first major party to commit to ending the "national scandal" of rough sleeping across Britain, which is a huge problem in the West Midlands. This national policy has been welcomed by Beverley Nielsen, Lib Dem Candidate in the West Midlands Mayoral election which is just days away on 4 May.
The Lib Dem candidate in the West Midlands Mayoral campaign has issued a passionate plea for the region's creative digital sector to embrace the wider business community. Beverley Nielsen has spent the last decade at Birmingham City University (BCU), acting as a catalyst for numerous productive partnerships between employers and the education sector.
The Tories have been accused of cynically targeting vulnerable young people to slash government spending by Beverley Nielsen, the Lib Dem candidate in the West Midland Mayoral campaign.
Beverley Nielsen, the Lib Dem candidate for West Midlands Mayor, wants to clean up our streets by enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to littering.
Birmingham City Council is in danger of destroying its historic Jewellery Quarter (JQ) by focusing on new residential space, and ignoring the small manufacturers which gave the area its name, says Lib Dem Mayoral candidate, Beverley Nielsen.