Birmingham by-election - Everything you need to know about May 30 vote

Birmingham Council House, HQ of the city council
-Credit: (Image: Jane Haynes/BirminghamLive)

Voters across the country have got around five weeks of general election drama, gaffes and twists to look forward to following Rishi Sunak’s shock announcement last Wednesday. Here in the West Midlands we’ve already had visits from the Prime Minister and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer; a veteran MP standing down and a candidate abandoning his bid for the Northfield seat.

The election itself, which will see hundreds of MPs’ seats in play across the country, will be held in just over a month on July 4. Before that however, thousands of voters in one particular Birmingham ward will also be able to take part in a separate, local by-election for the city council.

The Local Conservatives will be keen to keep this particular seat in Kingstanding while facing opposition from the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Workers Party and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. Here’s everything you need to know about this by-election, which is taking place this week.

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Why is there a by-election in Kingstanding?

Rick Payne quit his post as a councillor for Kingstanding following being suspended by the City Council’s Conservative group over allegations he tweeted "offensive content" from a social media account used anonymously. A by-election for one seat in the ward, an area to the north of the city, was called as a result of the resignation.

Who are the candidates?

The list of all the candidates running in the by-election can be found below.

  • Lucy Hayward - Liberal Democrats

  • Pete Higgins - Workers Party Birmingham

  • Patrick Christopher Lee - Green Party

  • Kris O’Sullivan - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

  • Naz Rasheed - Labour Party

  • Clifton Frederick Welch - Local Conservatives

When exactly is the by-election being held?

The by-election will be held this week on Thursday, May 30 between 7am and 10pm.

Where will the polling stations be?

There will be polling stations at Kingstanding Methodist Church, Kings Rise Academy, Twickenham Primary School, Warren Farm Primary School, Warren Farm Primary School, Hawthorn Junior and Infant School and Hut: Greenholm Road, opposite Greenholm Primary School.

Residents should to be able to find their polling station address printed on their polling card.

The wider context

This by-election will be the second held in Birmingham since the city council approved a wave of cuts to local services, as well as a 10 per cent rise in council tax, after the local authority found itself struggling with its finances. A separate by-election, held in the Bournbrook and Selly Park ward of Birmingham earlier this month, saw candidate Jamie Scott retain a vacant seat for the Labour Party.

The council’s concerning predicament is down to Birmingham-specific issues, such as an equal pay fiasco and the disastrous implementation of a new IT and finance system, as well as the rising demand for services and funding cuts. Council leader John Cotton previously criticised the Conservative government and argued councils across the country face a perfect storm of smaller budgets and higher costs.

Conservative politicians meanwhile have pointed the finger at the mistakes made by the Labour council administration, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisting earlier this month that the bankruptcy situation at the council was down to mismanagement. Other key issues being highlighted by candidates in this by-election include green spaces, the future of libraries in the area, anti-social behaviour, tackling rubbish in the streets and Warren Farm Urgent Treatment Centre.

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