Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting SB NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Final countdown on for Wollaston by-election
3:52pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in News
THE final countdown is on for the Wollaston and Stourbridge Town by-election with a seat on Dudley Council up for grabs.
UKIP candidate Barbara Deeley is playing patriotism politics for her euro-sceptic party, which believes Britain should break away from the European Union.
Mrs Deeley, whose late husband Bob founded Stourbridge UKIP, says his memory is a big influence on her campaign.
She said: "He inspired me and told me he had given the best years of his life for our country and now Labour, Conservative and the Lib Dems have thrown it all away.
"We may be from Wollaston and Stourbridge but we are also British. Let's not forget that.
"I want to improve our local services. Many people believe party politics should not be a consideration in local elections but we have now reached a situation where the main parties are so similar they appear not to listen to anyone and it is affecting us all at local level."
Lib Dem candidate Chris Bramall however dismissed UKIP policies as "lunatic".
He said: "Their leadership thinks it knows better than scientists on climate change, and Europe is good for Britain."
Mr Bramall gives the construction of a large Tesco store in Stourbridge a luke warm welcome, saying the range of good the store sells should be limited to groceries to protect business in the town centre.
He is also critical of the current consultation by Dudley Council on the financial future of the authority.
Mr Bramall said: "I find the consultation document depressing, all they talk about is cuts and say nothing about economies.
"Are they telling me Dudley Council is so efficient they can't make any more savings?"
Green Party candidate Ben Sweeney is aiming to build on his party's success in the 2012 Dudley Council elections, when Cllr Will Duckworth became the only non Labour or Tory member of the authority.
Norton resident Ben, aged 22, said: "We are definitely a growing force in the borough, if we take another seat we will be considered as a group on the council, that will make a quite a difference."
He supports a 20mph speed limit for the Old Quarter of Stourbridge and the arrival of Tesco in Stourbridge.
He said: "I wouldn't oppose anything that will bring jobs to the area", but added he is also concerned the superstore will take trade from smaller town centre businesses.
The British National Party (BNP) also have a candidate, Ken Griffiths, standing in the election, which will take place on Thursday January 31, with the count to follow on election night.
As the time of going to press the BNP had not responded to a request for an interview.
Other candidates are: Barbara Sykes (Labour), Matt Rogers (Conservative) and Russell Eden (Independent).