Tag Archives: sutton

Delivering a Rainbow Crossing in Sutton

Since I was elected in 2018, as one of 33 Lib Dems on Sutton Council, I’ve been working with our local LGBTQ Forum to advocate for and promote the LGBTQ Community across our borough.

I’m extremely pleased of the close working we’ve been doing as local community champions on the Council to draw attention to and support minorities in our borough, from supporting our faith communities in the aftermath of the horrific attack in Christchurch and working with local Black Lives Matter groups to address racial inequality in Sutton to supporting organisations like the Sutton LGBTQ Forum.

Parts of this work have included attending their events, promoting their activities and most visibly, working with them to install two Pride crossings in the borough, with the first being installed in June 2020.

One, most recently installed in May 2021 is the UK’s first ever permanent trans pride crossing, unveiled to mark IDAHOBIT this year.

In both cases, the projects undoubtedly benefited from the fact Sutton has one of the longest-running Lib Dem council administrations in the UK: it didn’t take much convincing to get colleagues on board! I’m very grateful for the support the ideas have received from Cllr Manuel Abellan in his capacity as Chair of our Environment & Sustainable Transport Committee, and Cllr Steve Cook as the Arts lead for the Council. Together we brought officers – both from cultural services and Highways – and the community together to work on technical details to get these projects implemented. As ever, to get the ball rolling the first step was simply to ask!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

What are you doing to celebrate International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day will be on Friday 8th March. Please share your plans to celebrate it in the comments below.

Here in Southwest London the local parties in the boroughs of Kingston, Sutton, Merton and Richmond have developed several projects, both political and non-political.

First, we are jointly running a conference with Liberal Democrat Women titled “WOMEN: Shaping the future, making a difference!“. A number of influential women have been invited to share their stories with us including Floella Benjamin, Sam Smethers (Fawcett Society), Siobhan Benita (candidate for London Mayor) and Lorely Burt.

There will be workshops led by practitioners on Women in Business, Tech, Political Activism, Community Activism, Creative Industries and Public Life. Christine Cheng will reprieve her TEDx talk on strategies for encouraging women to participate, and Sal Brinton will give a summary speech at the end of the day which should send us out energised and enthused.

The conference is open to anyone, of any gender, sympathetic to the Liberal Democrats.

In addition, councillors in the boroughs have worked with their Councils to develop some public events.

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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
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