AS POLLING day nears for this year’s European poll, the various parties contesting the seats have been sending out their candidates to meet with residents and supporters and convey what they can do for the electorate.
► CONSERVATIVE candidate Alex Avern, who is from Blackwell, has been out on the campaign trail speaking to local businesses with other supporters and fellow candidate Anthea McIntyre.
Ms McIntyre took her seat in the European Parliament in November 2011 and was made the party’s employment spokesman in January 2012.
Miss Avern told The Standard the response they had received had been very positive and reiterated that it was a vital election in which only the Conservative Party stood for reform, renegotiation and an in/out referendum.
“Only the Conservatives can deliver real change in Europe.
“We are beginning to see new jobs coming to our area and the economy starting to recover.
“The ongoing regeneration of the town centre is bringing more people into Bromsgrove and the feeling amongst business people is positive.”
Ms McIntyre added: “In the European Parliament, Conservatives are backing our small businesses by securing exemptions from additional EU regulation.
“We recognise 85 per cent of all new jobs come from small businesses and we need to help them thrive” she said.
► LABOUR European election candidate Sion Simon met up with members of the Bromsgrove party to listen to their concerns.
Among the issues raised were road and transport infrastructure investment, especially in light of proposals to build thousands of new properties in the district in the next few years.
The town’s Labour group said it was hopeful there would be an increase in the number of Labour MEPs representing the West Midlands after next Thursday’s election.
Among the priorities highlighted by Labour candidates have been ‘sensible reform to the European Union’, less waste and delivering more economic growth for the West Midlands.
Coun Chris Bloore, Labour’s campaign organiser in Bromsgrove, said “Residents from across the district are telling us they want their future MEPs to back jobs, rights at work, growth and transport infrastructure investment locally.
“They want MEPs that will stand up for our area in ensuring Bromsgrove gets a better deal.”
The Labour leader on Bromsgrove District Council, Coun Luke Mallett, said: “Labour will stand up for the investment needed in Bromsgrove to support jobs, communities and growth, both in Europe and here in Worcestershire.”
►LIBERAL Democrat Phil Bennion was on the campaign trail in Bromsgrove, visiting Artrix and meeting party activitsts.
Mr Bennion, who has been a farmer for almost 30 years, also spoke to stall-holders at the town’s popular farmers’ market.
The Liberal Democrats’ North Worcestershire chairman Janet King said: “He listened with interest as they spoke of their issues, taking home with him some individual cases for his attention.”
She added he was a regular visitor to Worcestershire and had a proven track record in the European Parliament picking up issues for West Midlands’ residents.
Mr Bennion also met staff at Bromsgrove’s new blue light centre – one of the first of its kind in the UK.
And his visit concluded with a visit to Hanbury Hall where he looked at the parterre garden which was restored using funding by the EU.
“Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats wish to thank everyone, who gave Phil such a warm welcome, and are looking forward to seeing him again soon.” added Mrs King.
Visit www.philbennion.org for more on Mr Bennion and http://westmidslibdems.org.uk/en/ the Liberal Democrats’ West Midlands.
►AS PART of her Euro election campaigning, Nikki Sinclaire, from the We Want a Referendum Now party, visited Bromsgrove’s Primrose Hospice.
Ms Sinclaire was given a tour of the hospice and spoke to staff, volunteers and patients. She also spoke about EU funding available for organisations.
She said after seeing what a happy place it was, the visit changed her perception of hospices.
“It shows what can be done in the community when people pull together.”
During her time there, she also looked at the plans for a children’s garden intended to offer a safe haven for youngsters to help them explore their feelings whilst dealing with bereavements.
It takes children along a winding path, past a sleeping dragon, to a fire pit which doubles as a barbecue.
There, there is an area where they can take part in quiet and noisy exploratory work to help them express their feelings in a positive way.
There is also a water feature where children can display decorated stones they have painted in memory of a loved one.
Nurse manager Libby Mytton said: “She came for a look around and we spoke about the difficulties in funding facing us and other hospices.
“The visit went really well and she was really interested in what we do here.”
►A SOUTH Bromsgrove High School student organised for a Green Party European election candidate to sign a pledge to help end extreme poverty.
ONE Youth Ambassador Emily Watkins welcomed Will Duckworth to the campus last week.
The pledge, which was signed by Mr Duckworth, focused on people, politicians, originations and country’s working together to virtually eliminated extreme poverty by 2030.
As a part of the campaign Emily has been contacting the West Midlands’ European candidates to urge them to sign the pledge.
In June she will be travelling to Brussels, for a ‘power summit’ to meet other ONE Youth Ambassadors from across Europe.
Emily said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Will Duckworth and I am very pleased that he agreed to sign our pledge.
“Hopefully other MEP candidates for the West Midlands will follow his lead and agree to sign.”
Visit one.org for more.
Coun Chris Bloore, Labour candidate Simon Sion and Bromsgrove District Council’s Labour leader, Coun Luke Mallett during Mr Sion’s visit. s
Lib Dem MEP Phil Bennion paid a visit to Bromsgrove. Picture by Marcus Mingins 1814006MMR
MEP Nikki Sinclaire looks at the garden plans with Millie Harries (volunteer), Olivia Kirk (garden designer), Ian Marshall (Family Support), Libby Mytton (Director of Care), Carole Wells (Family Support) and Linda Babb (volunteer). Picture by Marcus Mingins 1914007MMR