Tag Archives: ruth dombey

Cllr Ruth Dombey writes: In memory of David MacDonald

Where to begin?

A young man of 28 – with his whole life ahead of him – has had that life cruelly and unexpectedly snatched away. It’s hard to find the right words.

Dave MacDonald was truly special. As the emails and Facebook comments pour in from across the country, we all remember his kindness, his generosity and his boundless enthusiasm.

He was a tireless campaigner and set himself the highest standards.The trouble is he then expected the same from everyone else – and would never take no for an answer. I had barely had time to make myself a cup of tea during the recent Grove byelection Polling Day, take two gulps and he was pushing me out the door again.

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

Tributes to Sutton’s Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Colin Hall

We’ve heard the sad news that Cllr Colin Hall, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of Sutton Borough Council, died last week after a short illness. He was only 53.

Tributes have been paid to him on the Sutton Liberal Democrat website. Go below the cut to read a beautifully crafted and heartfelt obituary by his old friend Ed Fordham.

Council leader Ruth Dombey said:

Colin was a wonderful colleague and a good friend. He was passionate about the borough and dedicated to his work as a councillor.

His particular interest was the environment and how to make Sutton a more sustainable place to live. He was highly respected across London for his knowledge and experience and tributes are flowing in from people who admired his work.

He was kind and generous and always ready to help and guide others.  Colin’s wife and three children are overwhelmed by depth and warmth of the huge number of tributes they have received.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Tom Brake MP said:

It was very clear that he was totally committed to Sutton and he had a particular commitment and interest in environmental issues. His passing will be a great loss to Sutton and my thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Are Lib Dems normal?

SuttonWe missed this story when it broke earlier in the month, but were alerted to it when it surfaced in the Sunday Times (£ – and to be honest I’m not prepared to pay £6 per week just to be able to read this article in full) yesterday.

It seems Lib Dem run Sutton is the most normal place in the UK. That view was expressed by Neil Couling when he was giving evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. He explained that the new benefits IT system, which had been plagued by problems, was being tried out in the London Borough of Sutton.

Asked why Sutton had been chosen he said:

It’s the most normal place in Britain. It’s population is average for the United Kingdom as a whole. It’s a wonderful place and I adore it.

… Although he did admit that he had never visited it.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

What Liberal Democrat Councillors do – highlights of #ourday

Today has seen the annual celebration of local government on Twitter organised by the Local Government Association in England and Wales. Using the tag #ourday council employees and councillors have been tweeting about the work that they do. The ALDC website has some more information:

LGA Lib Dem Group Leader Gerald Vernon Jackson is encouraging Lib Dem councillors who have twitter accounts to support the LGA in raising the profile of local councils in England and Wales and the hard work you do locally as Liberal Democrat Councillors in your wards. It’s also a good opportunity for you to use social media to let communities know the extent and breadth of the work councils undertake.

This year #OurDay, the day when we ask people working in local government to tweet about what they’re doing to serve their community, is taking place on 26 November. Last year’s #OurDay saw over 3,500 people participating on twitter, sending more than 11,000 tweets.

Here’s a wee sample of some of the tweets from Liberal Democrat councillors which range from the political to practical to ultra cute.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

How leaflets used to look: Sutton, 1972 – no bar chart but a darn good skull

Welcome to another leaflet from the archives, this time courtesy of Sutton Council leader Ruth Dombey who has kindly provided a copy of the first Focus leaflet put out in Sutton back in 1972. It kicked off the winning Parliamentary by-election campaign for Graham Tope and was put together by Liverpool’s Trevor “Jones the Vote” who pioneered many of the campaign tactics now taken for granted.

Some of the issues may feel rather familiar and given its pioneering nature I think we can forgive the missing apostrophes and question marks… Interesting too both the level of personal detail about Graham and the inclusion of a story about what the Liberal Party believed in.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 2 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

Local liberal heroes: Ruth Dombey

Earlier in the year, I penned a series of posts profiling forgotten liberal heroes (to which a couple of other people also kindly contributed), looking at some of those who achieved great things for liberalism in their time but have been unjustly forgotten – such as Margaret Wintringham, the very first female Liberal MP.

There is also another group of people who I think are often unjustly obscure – those local campaigners who are often at the heart of their local community and local party, delivering liberalism and helping others, but as their stage is a local one they are often

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarIan Shaw 22nd Jan - 10:04pm
    Yes Jo keep going, politics needs you, the Lib Dems need you and people need you. You were a big part of me leaving the...
  • User AvatarJohn Peters 22nd Jan - 9:50pm
    Are policy papers meant to be publicly accessible? If not, why not? I tried following the https://www.libdems.org.uk/policy_papers link but it requires a login to the...
  • User AvatarPeter 22nd Jan - 9:45pm
    Goodbye, everyone.
  • User AvatarRossMcL 22nd Jan - 9:35pm
    John Roffey - you are perfectly entitled to leave the party, as you have done. But you need to accept that being outside the party...
  • User AvatarRossMcL 22nd Jan - 9:22pm
    Well said. Too many trolls around and I for one fully support LDV clamping down on them. PS Am I the only one who saw...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 22nd Jan - 9:09pm
    @ Julian Tisi "But hold to your view that it was all the fault of the coalition if you wish." I don't wish, Julian, I...