THE newly elected leader of Bromsgrove District Council has promised to work ‘harmoniously’ with other political parties to make living in the town more affordable.
In an exclusive interview with the Standard, Conservative Coun Karen May also pledged to ‘rebalance’ Bromsgrove after being voted in at Wednesday’s annual council meeting.
Coun May said: “At the moment 24 per cent of the town’s population are over the age of 64 and we have the highest number of 30 to 39 year-olds moving out of the area.
“It’s happening because young people can’t afford to buy homes here and that’s a real shame, and must change.
“During my four-year term I want see a big difference in the number of people leaving Bromsgrove.”
Coun May admitted she wanted to work with all parties to ensure Bromsgrove, a place where she has lived her entire life, reached its full potential.
“At the end of the day, every single one of those 31 councillors in the chamber was democratically elected by our residents to represent them.
“And the best way for us to do that is to move forward and engage with one another rather than trying to ‘put on a show’ for the members of the public who attend our meetings.
“This is how we will boost our economy together and make Bromsgrove a place worth living.”
Coun May did not grow up dreaming of becoming a politician, nor did she always want to be leader of the council.
She fell into it after taking Severn Trent Water to court over flooding in her local village of Bournheath where she still lives.
She claims the water supplier told the village it would not get a new sewage system but after ‘refusing to take no for an answer’, a £1.5million system was installed.
“People started asking me to stand as a district councillor – I felt in awe and truly honoured. I thought yes I’ll do that. I want to do what I can for people and the town I grew up in.”
Coun May effectively switched roles with Coun Geoff Denaro who is now deputy leader.
He said Coun May was ‘invaluable’ to the council, praising her ‘large appetite for big workload’.
“She has the enthusiasm necessary for the role.
“Bromsgrove has a bright future,” he added.