Tag Archives: sutton council

Rather better day at Black Rock… and Vale of White Horse, Brentwood, Sutton…

We keep being told that, where we work, we can win. And it’s still true, no matter how gloomy the opinion polls are, as this week’s by-election results demonstrate.

The Liberal Democrats have gained two seats from the Conservatives in a stunning by-election win in Oxford West & Abingdon constituency. Elizabeth Miles and Val Shaw won on a 17% swing from the Tories in Sunningwell & Wootton ward, and their double victory reduced the Conservative majority on the Vale of White Horse District Council to just three.

Speaking after …

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , and | 12 Comments

A flagship borough: 25 years of a Liberal Democrat Sutton Council

Look round the room at the next Liberal Democrat event you attend and ask yourself how many people in the room will have their names recorded in places that future political historians can find. A few, certainly, especially if they have been elected to public office.

For most, however, their contribution to a political party slips away through the cracks of the historical record, disappearing as the direct personal memories people have of them fade and then end with death.

Posted in Books, Local government and London | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Sutton leader Sean Brennan retiring as leader next month

Sutton Liberal Democrats have one of most impressive records of success anywhere in the UK – not only at winning and keeping control of Sutton Council (25th anniversary celebrated last year), not only at winning Parliamentary elections (two MPs in the borough, both Liberal Democrat) but also at pioneering many excellent environmental policies. Oh, and darn fine organisers of raffles too.

For the last decade Sean Brennan has been Leader of the Council, but this week he has announced that he will be standing down:

Coun Brennan, a former teacher first elected as a Sutton ward councillor in 1986

Posted in Local government | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Graham Tope: a life in politics

To help mark the celebration of Sutton Liberal Democrats running the local council for 25 (yes, 25) continuous years, a family history project between former council leader (Lord) Graham Tope and his son has been turned into a book of political and personal reminiscences.

The book’s subtitle “Conversations between father and son” captures its structure: an email exchange over several years as son Andrew sought to find out more from his father, with Graham sending long replies back tapped in on his Blackberry. That gives the questions and answers an immediate and personal touch, even if sometimes at the expense …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Tamed and reshaped – Clegg on the NHS White Paper

Speaking last night at an excellent anniversary dinner to mark 25 years (yes, 25 years) of Liberal Democrat control on Sutton Council, Nick Clegg said the party has been successful in taming and reshaping the NHS reform plans.

The run of political and electoral success achieved by Liberal Democrats in Sutton is, as Clegg pointed out, a standing answer to anyone who doubts that you can achieve and then hold political power whilst continuing campaigning and staying true to your liberal roots. One of the key people in that success was Ruth Shaw, who Nick Clegg personally presented with the 2010 …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Businesses get off lightly in the snow

There’s now a consistent murmur in the media’s coverage of the snow spell about how people clear snow from outside their homes in other countries, how it might be a good thing for people to do the same here (example) and how it might not quite bring down The End Of The World (Legal Department) on your head if you clear snow from outside your own home and someone falls over.

Two things have been notably missing from the coverage though. First, any example of a successful legal action in such a case. There is plenty of “Oooh, well perhaps …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Should Banksy graffiti be removed? Sutton lets the public decide

A brief update to my blog post last month about how Hackney Council had removed one of Banksy’s most famous pieces of art / graffiti (delete as you wish). Liberal Democrat run Sutton Council is taking a much more interesting and enlightened approach to a Banksy in its patch:

The fate of a mural by graffiti artist Banksy hangs in the balance as the public have been asked to decide whether it should be preserved.

The vote in London borough Sutton has seen initial support for the artist…

Despite usually operating a zero-tolerance stance on graffiti, the council has made an

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
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