Cllr John Hemming is delighted to announce to the world that pensioners in Birmingham should be able to travel free on buses and trains by the summer. Nice to see that he's an early adopter of Labour policy, so I can't criticise the council for their action. That free travel will perhaps cheer those pensioners affected by cuts to the home care service announced last year.
He's also focussed on the depletion of the planet's oil resources - so perhaps we can look forward to his council delivering more for public mass transport rather than attacking buses and delaying development of the Midlands Metro.
John also criticises the Labour government for making political capital about trying to save Rover. Something, of course, that he would never do...
'He is also known for having brought together the Phoenix Consortium that took over Rover from BMW.'By the way, John. You tell us that you are
'particularly concerned about the growing levels of Crime and particularly Violent Crime in Yardley'Yet you cite no evidence to support this claim. What's so wrong in Yardley that it is bucking the trend elsewhere in the West Midlands Police Area and across the country? Surely you aren't just trying to jump on the fear bandwagon generated by your new Tory friends and their discredited lies and misrepresentations about crime?
He tells us that Labour funded a scheme to teach graffiti artists to do better graffiti, of which more here, but that the Liberal Democrats provided a state of the art CCTV scheme in his ward. Hang on a second - wouldn't that have been funded by Neighbourhood Renewal Fund money from the Labour government? Indeed it would. So, projects that John doesn't like are funded by Labour, but projects that he does like are provided by the Liberal Democrats.
Let's hope that they run it better than their Liberal Democrat colleagues in Kings Heath who are trying to blame the previous administration for their own failings.
'Labour preside over a massive increase in drugs in schools to a record level'While the Liberal Democrats will support letting 16 year olds drink and appear in porn films. Incidentally, Mark Oaten MP, Jenny Tonge MP and Chris Davies MEP - all Liberal Democrats - have supported legalisation of hard drugs.
'Firm action on anti Social Behaviour with Lib Dems heading up enforcement in Birmingham City Council'If the Liberal Democrats had their way, ASBOs and dispersal orders wouldn't have existed. After Charlie Kennedy realised this mistake, the Liberal Democrats have become outspoken supporters of the new legislation. Even their home affairs spokesman, Mark Oaten has been forced to admit that
'I can't hand on my heart, say these aren't a useful thing'They also opposed the new fireworks legislation, which brought my part of Birmingham a much quieter autumn last year. Lembit Opik said
'I honestly don't see how anyone can expect this extra raft of rules to have much impact'Well, they did.
Finally, in an echo of the League of Gentlemen, John claims to be a local man for a local job. You would think that after being rejected in 1992, 1997 and 2001, he'd get the message, but he still fights bravely on, attacking the Labour candidate for the heinous misfortune of not being a Brummie.