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In her words: How Conservative Jackie Gardiner stormed to victory in Coventry
The Conservative Council Candidate defied the odds to secure over 50% of the vote despite a difficult national back drop.
Tucked quietly away in the heart of the nation is Coventry, a city referred to disparagingly by Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer during its recent bin strike.
At the heart of Coventry lies Sherbourne ward where a quiet revolution took place in a by-election held on 22nd September. Local people took a stand against complacency and out of touch local Labour governance.
Labour have controlled Coventry for most of the last 50 years, including the last 12 years. But voters have shocked every political party by not only turning away from 12 years of Labour representation but choosing to elect a Conservative with a swing of 14%, resulting in a 514 majority with 51% of the vote.
According to national polls that wasn’t supposed to happen.
Labour’s plan to build 350 houses on Council owned land they took out of the greenbelt (twice) which also forms part of a vital, much loved green space amenity known as Coundon Wedge.
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Moreover, the remaining greenbelt land in Coundon Wedge is widely believed to be under threat. Labour’s actions proved they cannot be trusted with the future of this vital local amenity.
The need to #SaveCoundonWedge became imminent and a strong local voice against it was needed. That voice was, and is, me and my Conservative colleagues who have been fighting for the need to use genuine brownfield sites for housing, not green undeveloped farmland from the greenbelt deceitfully designated as “brownfield” by the Labour Council.
But it wasn’t just about Saving Coundon Wedge. It was also about a Council wasting public money:
£500,000 donated to trade unions every year.
£5million wasted on a bin strike and two by-elections since May due to known serious illness amongst Labour candidates who were fielded only this summer.
It was about crime, road safety, potholes and nonsensical schemes to reduce air pollution by increasing road capacity and destroying mature trees to result in a primary school on an island surrounded by heavy goods vehicles!
It was about Labour being so complacent in Coventry that they selected their candidate late and planned to campaign for just a couple of weeks - weeks they were denied due to Her Majesty’s sudden passing.
It was also about people waiting to hear who our new Prime Minister was and if national Government could be trusted to help during an energy and cost of living crisis brought on by international challenges.
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It is also a story of teamwork with relentless hard work by volunteers motivated to give voters the sensible change they want - sound local governance.
A strong local voice for voters’ concerns was needed and they voted for one in me and my colleagues. Others want that same voice in Coventry and Conservatives will deliver it for them again in May… no matter what YouGov says!
Because ordinary people want common sense policies. They want to be heard. And they want someone who will deliver on their priorities.
Quite right too!
Written by Cllr Jackie Gardiner, Conservative Councillor for Sherbourne, Coventry