Ex-teacher vows to put education first after winning by-election

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By Walsall Advertiser | Thursday, November 22, 2012, 09:20

BLOXWICH West's newest Labour councillor, Patti Lane, has vowed to make education her priority after winning last Thursday's closely fought by-election.

The retired primary school teacher, who won the seat after popular Councillor Sue Fletcher-Hall stepped down from the role for personal reasons, received 1,049 votes – 266 more than her closest rival, Conservative candidate Abigail Pitt.

The mother-of-three said her victory in the by-election, which saw only a 21.17 per cent turnout, was a "rejection" of the Tory/Lib Dems coalition currently in control of Walsall Council.

"The people of Bloxwich West have clearly rejected the disproportionate cuts the government, and its supporters in Walsall Council, are forcing on local authorities.

"As a former teacher I will make education and care of our local children a priority.

"But campaigning on the doorstep it was clear that people are concerned that cuts in police numbers and council services, like park wardens, will see an increase in anti-social behaviour and crime.

"Another issue of concern is the terrible state of the roads and pavements in areas like Mossley, which have been neglected and under funded for some time."

Cllr Lane added: "I want to thank all those people who voted for me, and a great campaigning team, for their support and over the coming weeks and months

"I am looking forward to holding regular surgeries and visiting community groups to see how I and the Labour Party can improve people's lives in the ward."

UKIP candidate Elizabeth Hazell received 195 votes while Lib Dem candidate Christine Cockayne picked up 61 votes.



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