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Battle begins for YOUR vote in General Election

The General Election campaign has begun and this week Cathrina Hulse and Annette Belcher take a look at the Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for Solihull and Meriden

Meriden MP Caroline Spelman has retained her seat.

The incumbent candidate for Meriden is CAROLINE SPELMAN who has represented the constituency since 1997.

Mrs Spelman is married to Mark and they have three children, Eleanor, David and Jonny.

She has been involved in several campaigns including working to obtain the best possible compensation and mitigation measures for residents affected by the HS2 from London to Birmingham.

Caroline is also backing residents affected by Birmingham Airport’s introduction of new flight paths – more than 2,000 residents living near the airport signed a petition, saying their lives were being made a misery by the aircraft noise.

Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Tom McNeil
Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Tom McNeil

TOM MCNEIL is Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate.

He is a charity & social enterprise lawyer, a Barnardo’s mentor, school governor for an autistic school and a voluntary police officer.

Tom attended the University of Cambridge and is particularly passionate about education.

He said: “Improving the life chances of large numbers of people through state investment will pay for itself – less costs associated with crime, poor health and benefits; and greater economic capacity.”

Tom has also hit out at the latest round of rail fare increases.

Mick Gee will run for the Meriden seat as a UKIP candidate.
Mick Gee will run for the Meriden seat as a UKIP candidate.

Representing UKIP in Meriden is MICK GEE .

Born and educated in Worksop, he is a veteran with the Royal Corps of Signals and Bomb Disposal Regiment having served in countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq.

Since military retirement in 2008 Mick has lived on the North West side of Coventry and has two grown up sons.

He has worked in the motorcycle industry and now for Jaguar Land Rover in Wolverhampton.

Mick is committed to fighting against HS2, the proposed development of 70 houses on Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve and the ‘bedroom tax’.

Ade Adeyemo
Ade Adeyemo

ADE ADEYEMO is standing as the Lib Dems candidate.

A local resident, Ade and his family have lived in the borough for over 18 years.

He said: “My children all grew up here and I feel that we must work very hard to keep it a place we are all proud to call ‘home’.”

Ade is a chartered civil engineer and risk management professional.

He is also a keen rugby fan – he used to play at centre for Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club (the Bees).

Ade is involved with the Lib Dems campaign to improve mental health services locally as well as a campaign for fairer tax.

Green party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Alison Gavin
Green party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Alison Gavin

ALISON GAVIN is the Green Party’s candidate for Meriden.

She has lived in the constituency for eight years, in both Bentley Heath and Chelmsley Wood.

She has taught at Oaklands School in Smith’s Wood.

Solihull Green Party was formed in 2005 and currently holds 10 seats on Solihull Borough Council. Their campaign themes include putting the public at the heart of the NHS, ensuring every young person that wants to can access quality education and ensuring everyone has a secure, affordable place to live. Alison said: “We need to restructure our public services, so that they work for the common good of all people, not the interests of big corporations where profit is their number one motive.”


It will be all eyes on Solihull this General Election as candidates for this part of the borough fight for one of the most marginal seats across the West Midlands.

Lorely Burt and Julian Knight
Solihull MP candidates Lorely Burt and Julian Knight who exchanged angry words in supermarket

LORELY BURT, for Liberal Democrats, has been the serving MP for Solihull until the dissolution of Parliament this week.

Lorely overturned a Conservative majority of 9,407 to become the first ever Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull in 2005.

During her time in office, she has helped fight many campaigns, including bringing double crewed ambulances back to Solihull and retaining dementia services in the borough.

JULIAN KNIGHT, standing for the Conservatives, is a former journalist who lives in Olton.

He has taken an active role in many community campaigns, including helping to ‘save’ Solihull’s walk-in centre and fighting for fairer funding for Solihull schools.

“My life has been about struggling to overcome adversity. It means I understand the sacrifices individuals and families have to make to get on in this world,” he said.

Nigel Knowles Labour Wyre Forest
Nigel Knowles Labour Wyre Forest

NIGEL KNOWLES, for Labour, was education officer for the General Federation of Trade Unions for 10 years.

He travelled throughout the UK organising education courses for trade unionists in wage bargaining, health and safety, equality, history, economics and employment law.

Since 1979 Nigel has contested eight parliamentary seats for Labour at General Elections including twice in Wyre Forest. Information provided courtesy of the mhp election website.

Phil Henrick
Phil Henrick

PHIL HENRICK, the parliamentary candidate for UKIP, has lived in Solihull for 20 years.

His pledge includes ensuring the NHS ‘remains free at the point of delivery and need’ and to abolish hospital parking charges.

“Our hospital, and the full range of services it needs to provide for Solihull, is key to all residents,” he said.

Coun Howard Allen has switched allegiance to Solihull's Green Party
Coun Howard Allen has switched allegiance to Solihull's Green Party

HOWARD ALLEN, standing for the Green Party, is a long standing borough councillor for Shirley West.

A former liberal democrat councillor, Howard defected to the Green Party and has long fought for the regeneration and preservation of Shirley town.

He has been an outspoken critic of Shirley’s controversial Parkgate scheme, fighting to put members of the community first.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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