I am writing to thank everyone for their support over the last few months to re-elect me for the Butt Lane ward. I wanted to carry on in my work as a Councillor and I have enjoyed fighting to gain a second term. Every single vote made all the difference. The Kidsgrove Labour Team and Stoke North CLP helped me knock on over 2000 doors and we spoke to hundreds of residents. I was overwhelmed by the support I received and it was very humbling to receive over 55% of the vote.
Usually I like to thank the other parties for campaigning on local issues. Unfortunately local UKIP ran a very dirty campaign full of personal attacks and lies. I don’t like gutter snipe politics and neither does the general public. Instead, people would like to hear what the candidates are going to do for the local area. Some leaflets given out by local UKIP claimed immigrants are given advice not to defecate in the streets and claims Sheffield City Council gave out this advice is libellous. This is the politics of fear attempting to frighten people into voting for a party on one issue, immigration. All mainstream parties need to listen to what the general public are saying about immigration, but lets not be rash. Lets have a proper debate on this issue with all facts and figures presented to us. Let us remind ourselves that a local Councillor cannot stop immigration and never will.
I won this campaign on a banner of hope for our community, not an agenda of fear. In Butt Lane and Clough Hall we are facing increasing pressure from luxury housing developers, failing to provide us with affordable housing for our young people. We must ensure social housing and smaller properties are a large percentage of those newly built estates by using planning policy. Whilst I recognise the need for housing, we should always look to protect our green spaces for our future generations. I recognise that the land off Slacken Lane and Coalpit Hill continues to be seen as the green lungs of Butt Lane. If we stand together as a community we can make sure positive changes are made to protect things that are important to us, but also deliver things that we need. So in a few weeks time I enter the chamber to represent you and I will do my best as always.