REACHING OUT: Desmond Jaddoo
DESMOND JADDOO says he is determined to carry on reaching out to the local public despite losing the chance to become Birmingham’s first mayor.
The city was one of nine that voted ‘no’ to have an elected mayor on May 3.
Jaddoo, whose parents are Jamaican, said he was disappointed but said he would “seek dialogue with the city leadership in order to assist in making Birmingham the leading city of the UK”.
He says he is still passionate about helping to set up a youth forum in the city. Under this initiative, each of Birmingham's 40 council wards have a young representative. He said he hopes to discuss with the new Labour leaders at Birmingham City Council.
On Thursday (May 3) a mere 29 per cent of Brummies turned out at the polls to say they didn’t want an elected all powerful mayor to lead their city.
And what does Jaddoo, Birmingham’s only potential black candidate, put the apathy down to?
“It’s hard to pinpoint one reason,” says the former Birmingham City Council housing officer. “It may have been the bad weather, it may have been difficulty understanding the ballot paper or maybe people were just not interested.
“There is a real need for the black community in Birmingham to re-engage with the politics and the governance of their city. On my travels addressing many people, they spoke of a need for new faces to represent the views of the people, rather than the usual suspects overtaking the process and having no real understanding of people’s needs.”
Jaddoo, who was standing as an independent candidate, said he talked to more than 4,000 people during the campaign and soon learned about the real issues that affected people.
“There’s a need to tackle rising unemployment and especially youth unemployment,” he told The Voice . “There’s also a need to tackle gang culture and gun crime in addition to drug issues. We need to develop relationships between all of our diverse communities rather than simply paying lip service to it.”
He added: “I have a personal determination to continue my campaign for reconnecting the people of Birmingham with the governance of the city. Its young people desperately need a structured forum to work across all communities in order to restore the pride in this great city that demonstrates its cultural diversity in every day life.”