Make Your Voice Heard in May


Polling day is now less than a month away. On 22 May, people in Northfield have the chance to ensure your views are heard and make a real difference in local City Council and European elections.

The Conservative-led Government is out of touch and shows little concern for the needs of people here in Birmingham. While local people continue to be hit by the cost of living crisis, David Cameron has cut funding for our city twice as much as the UK average. I and my Labour colleagues regularly raise this unfairness with Ministers in Westminster. But we know that we need to take action for Birmingham’s future too.

Since Labour took over two years ago, the City Council has driven new levels of investment and growth for our city, working closely with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to do so. Our City is certainly on the way up.

Ed Miliband recently came to Birmingham to announce welcome plans to give cities like ours more powers to let local people determine local priorities. The 2015 General Election, which would enable a Labour Government to do this, is still a year away.  But we won’t let up in the meantime. May’s Council elections are also about fighting for new jobs and apprentices in the future; about investment in better public transport and communities, and about more homes for local people. With a third of City Council seats being contested in the local elections, I really hope local Labour supporters will join us to ‘Stand Up for Birmingham’ in May.

And of course, the elections are also the time to ensure you have people who will really represent you in Europe. UKIP and the Tories fight each other and trade threats which leave the UK with less influence than we should have. But Labour’s priority is to stand up for ordinary families – whether at a local level, national level, European level or beyond. Like it or not, what happens in Europe affects jobs and prosperity here in Birmingham. So week in, week out, Labour Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) work to deliver jobs and growth in the UK, fight crime and help protect the environment we globally share.

As ever, please do get in touch if you have questions – whether about the issues in the elections, or about other things that concern you. And remember to cast your vote on the 22nd!

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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You can reach me by email at or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.