Dear James.


We note your support for the Halesowen food bank, as featured in the Halesowen News (Foodbank thanks to kind shoppers. Thursday 3rd, January 2013). Whilst we share your enthusiasm for volunteering and community action, surely you can't be unaware of the irony of your own personal position.


Your support for the policies of this Government is directly responsible for the current proliferation of food banks, set up to alleviate the economic desperation felt by local victims of the Coalition's divisive policies.

We hope that you continue to support the local community and voluntary organisations struggling to help the front line victims of the policies you promote. The best way to achieve this would be to reconsider your own whole- hearted backing for measures which are promoting inequality and inflicting poverty and misery on thousands of ordinary people. As you are no doubt aware, the current cabinet boasts over 20 ministers who are millionaires and many – including the Prime Minister – will directly benefit from the 5% income tax cut for the very wealthy that comes into effect in April.

We hope you agree that to retain a consistent ethical and logical position you should publicly condemn this colossal tax cut, brought in at the same time as many working people within your constituency struggle to cope with reductions to their Tax Credits and the regressive effects of a 20% VAT rate, which hits the poorest disproportionately harder.

You will further, of course, appreciate the redundancy of your own leader’s assertion that “We are all in it together”. It appears – once again – that some are more “in it” than others.

We would also appreciate your confirmation of whether you, like so many of your own colleagues and political sponsors, will be a personal beneficiary of this tax cut.

Yours sincerely.

Councillors Donella Russell, Hilary Bills, Ann Shackleton, John Tipper, Julie Webb, Sue Eaves, Barbara Price, Chris Tranter, Malcolm Bridges, Kerri Carmichael and Bob Price