OPINION: Erdington Cllr Robert Alden, Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

Words and lead pic supplied by Erdington Ward Cllr Robert Alden – Leader of Birmingham Conservatives

Cllr Gareth Moore and I, working with Parliamentary Spokesman Steve Knee and local campaigner Clifton Welch, have been leading the campaign to save Erdington, Kingstanding and Perry Common Libraries from the savage Labour Council’s bankruptcy cuts.

Gareth, Steve and I (pictured) joined the recent Friends of Erdington Library for their ‘read in’ protest and also held a public meeting calling for the saving of Erdington Library.

Erdington Library is a vital part of the heritage and character of our local High Street, it provides valuable services for local residents and gives people access to resources they may not otherwise be able to use. It must be saved!

This month has also seen the Labour Council launch their consultation on the ‘Be Heard’ Council consultation site. We attended the public consultation event for Erdington Library recently held by the Council. Sadly, the Council did not allow residents to make any verbal contributions, nor was any Erdington specific information shared with residents who attended.

This was frankly totally disgraceful and no way for the Council to treat residents. Sadly, the way the consultation has so far been run by the Council suggests they have contempt for the Library service.

Thank you to the 100’s who have already signed our petition to save our libraires, if you have not yet signed you can by going to our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ErdingtonNews and also to the Friends for their continued efforts fighting to save our local library as well.

For more from Erdington’s Councillor Robert Alden and Councillor Gareth Jones visit www.facebook.com/ErdingtonNews

NEWS: Councillor Robert Alden will not stand for Birmingham Erdington seat at upcoming General Election

Words and pics by Ed King / Profile pic of Cllr Robert Alden supplied by Birmingham Conservatives

Erdington Ward Councillor Robert Alden will not be standing for the Birmingham Erdington seat in the upcoming General Election – as he has done successively since 2010.

Birmingham Conservative members who live within the Erdington constituency will be voting for their new parliamentary candidate on Wednesday 13 March – alongside further votes to select Conservative candidates for the Erdington, Pype Hayes, and Kingstanding Wards.

Party members outside of the specific constituency and Ward boundaries will not be eligible to vote but have been invited to attend the selection meeting, where the nominees will be presented and voted on – to be held tonight at the Erdington Conservative Club on Orphanage Road from 7:30pm.

Whilst the date for the next General Election is yet to be set, in accordance with parliamentary process it must be called by 28 January 2025.

However, many have speculated Prime Minister Sunak will announce May as the month – with growing speculation about a ‘snap election’ following the recent defection of Conservative Deputy Chairman Lee Anderson to Reform UK.

Leader of the Birmingham Conservatives, Robert Alden has been an Erdington Ward councillor since 2006 after taking it from Labour – a position he now shares with Conservative running mate, Cllr Gareth Moore.

A prolific figurehead in the area, who lives in central Erdington, Cllr Alden stood against Erdington’s previous MP Jack Dromey in four General Elections. After the sudden death of Mr Dromey in 2022, he stood against Paulette Hamilton in the March ’22 by-election – losing a fiercely fought campaign with 36.3% of the turnout.

As a local councillor, Robert Alden has held the Erdington Ward with a comfortable majority – securing his position in the 2022 local elections with over 50% of the turnout.

A recognised campaigner, Cllr Alden has been a long supporter of community groups such as the Erdington Litter Busters – and was heavily involved in the fight to stop a housing development on Short Heath playing fields, backing the successful campaign led by the Short Heath Fields Trust.

Alongside Cllr Gareth Moore, Cllr Alden is currently campaigning to secure the future of Erdington Library, Perry Common Library, and Kingstanding Library, following fears they will be sold off by Birmingham City Council as part of a £500m assets sale to repay a loan from central government to tackle the city’s financial crisis.

However, at the time of writing it is unclear if Cllr Alden will also be withdrawing from contesting the Erdington Ward in the next City Council elections – as well as the Birmingham Erdington constituency in the General Election.

An email sent to Birmingham Conservative members in February said: “As an Association, we have been fortunate in that Cllr Robert Alden has kindly stood as our parliamentary candidate in five previous elections and has achieved some phenomenal results – turning Erdington from the safest Labour seat in Birmingham in 2005 to now the most marginal Labour-held seat in the City in what has sometimes been trying circumstances for the Party.”

The message continues: “Robert has decided to not stand as our parliamentary candidate on this occasion which means we need to choose a new candidate for the General Election.

“In addition to selecting our parliamentary candidate, afterwards the Association will be selecting our local government candidates for the 2026 elections for Erdington, Pype Hayes and Kingstanding Wards.”

Erdington Local has approached Cllr Alden for comment and has been told more information will be released after the selection meeting on 13 March.

For more from Cllr Robert Alden and Cllr Gareth Moore visit www.facebook.com/ErdingtonNews