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Westminster Column

As this will be my final column this year, I would like to start by wishing all my constituents and readers of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer a very happy Christmas and relaxing and enjoyable New Year.

This Christmas I will be raising a glass to the Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council which has now established itself as the largest Town Council in Britain and is starting to exercise power and influence on behalf of everyone who lives in our Royal Town.

Very great thanks go to the Leader of the Town Council, Simon Ward, who is not a professional politician but a successful businessman giving his considerable ability and professional experience for the benefit of our community; he of course builds on the start-up under Councillor David Pears, now our second very successful Royal Town Mayor.

As we advance into 2018, the Royal Town Council will be seeking to take over a number of local services and activities. Conservative Councillors would also like to take over Royal Sutton Park and are thinking carefully about the Town Council’s role in addressing one of our Town’s most vexed issues – parking. It is also ensuring residents views are heard on key issues such as the future of our town centre.

Do not be put off by the bluster of a few of the usual suspects: real progress is being made and the case for the greater devolution of power and responsibility to our Royal Town Council is overwhelming and unstoppable.

The danger, as my constituents well know, is that a disastrous and failing Labour Birmingham City Council continually lets down Royal Sutton Coldfield.

While Labour apologists in the Royal Town seek to muddy the water, the reality is that Labour Birmingham wants to double-tax Suttonians. They withdraw services or fail to meet their financial and moral obligations on the grounds that Sutton Coldfield is “rich” and can pay out of the Town Council precept raised from Sutton Coldfield residents. This is quite simply double-taxation.

Fortunately the Conservative Group on the Town Council and some of the small group of Independents loudly denounce and oppose this Labour disrespect for Sutton Coldfield and I am sure will continue to so in 2018.

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