Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Local Election: Parties make their final pitch

SOLIHULL goes to the polls tomorrow (Thursday), with candidates battling for a third of council seats.
A full list of those standing in the north of the borough is available here, with further details below about how the parties stand locally.
Remember that polling stations are open from 7am-10pm. You need to be registered to vote in the local elections, but you do not need to take your polling card with you.
Full results for every local ward will be published on our site on Friday evening.

No of Solihull councillors: 31
In North Solihull: 6*
One line pitch: Conservative leader and Marston Green man Bob Sleigh believes that the Tory-run council has delivered jobs, opportunities and investment.
Local difficulties: The Conservatives have increasingly been accused of not doing enough to tackle inequality in the borough and particularly the divisions between north and south.
Ward to watch: Castle Bromwich. Normally a Conservative stronghold, but the Greens are campaigning hard to pull off an upset.

No of Solihull councillors: 10
In North Solihull: 6
One line pitch: Group leader James Burn, standing in Chelmsley Wood, argues the Greens have done politics differently in Solihull, with more emphasis on listening to residents.
Local difficulties:  The Greens have expanded rapidly to become the official opposition, although they will need to make many more gains from the Tories to challenge the ruling party.
Ward to watch: Smith's Wood. The party made their breakthrough here a decade ago, but Labour still consider it a possible target.

No of Solihull councillors: 2
In North Solihull: 2
One line pitch: Coun Debbie Evans believes that UKIP still enjoys strong support at the grass roots level and has railed against the state of local services.
Local difficulties: Since Brexit, the party's polling has plummeted around the country and they are standing in just two seats in Solihull this year.
Ward to watch: Kingshurst & Fordbridge. Debbie Evans shocked Labour here four years ago, can she hold the seat this time?

No of Solihull councillors: 1
In North Solihull: 1
One line pitch: Former Chelmsley Wood councillor Nick Stephens has urged people to send a message to the Government about the effects of austerity.
Local difficulties: Labour is the only party not defending a seat in Solihull this year, but only because they have been all but wiped out in former heartlands.
Ward to watch: Bickenhill. The party has not won here for many years, but victory would be a boost for its greatly increased membership.

Lib Dems:
No of Solihull councillors: 6
In North Solihull: 0
One line pitch: Leader John Windmill had said the Lib Dems place great emphasis on giving local residents a platform to raise their concerns.
Local difficulties: The Lib Dem group, once the second largest in the borough, has been rapidly depleted since the Coalition agreement of 2010.
Ward to watch: Bickenhill. It's the only seat they are contesting in the north, where the party has struggled to establish itself as a force.

* Including Bickenhill, which incorporates Marston Green. Our blog always counts this among the North Solihull wards, although it does also extend south of the Coventry Road to encompass the village of Bickenhill itself and Hampton-in-Arden.

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