Two Liberal Democrats win European awards

Its awards season at the moment and last week the focus shifted to Europe where the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe held its annual LeaDeR (Liberal Democrat Regional and Local Politicians) Awards. Two British Liberal Democrats were successful.

David TuttThe first was Cllr David Tutt, Lib Dem group leader of East Sussex County Council and leader of Eastbourne Borough Council who had been nominated for the Achievements in Government prize by MEP Catherine Bearder. He won for:

…his visible leadership in having put core liberal values of innovation, forward-thinking and opportunity into action in transforming what was officially the worst Council in the south-east of England into one widely recognised as among the very best in the country.

Catherine explained why she nominated David:

David has worked tirelessly in Eastbourne to ensure the town continues to go from strength to strength and when I heard about the awards I was delighted to put David’s name forward as I know the huge impact his work is having on the Eastbourne community.

 David is now a winner, just as he’s made Eastbourne a winner.

When David took over the leadership of the council it was recognised by the National Audit Office as being in a state of serious financial instability, now a third of Councils across England have visited Eastbourne to see the improvement programme in action.

David said:

I am delighted to have received this award for Achievement in Government.  It reflects the work that the Liberal Democrat administration have done to transform the Council from being to judged the worst in the South East to one which is frequently visited by other Local Authorities who are seeking to copy our work.

The changes have improved the service which Eastbourne provides to the local community whilst absorbing cuts in Government expenditure and freezing Council Tax for 4 years.

In addition, the Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Lord Graham Tope for:

his dedicated work with liberal democrats throughout decades, during which he campaigned for a community that takes pride in participatory democracy and has direct communication with the leadership of the Council

Congratulations to both David and Graham.

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2 Comments

  • I think a lifetime achievement award deserves a bit more than two and a half lines.

    Graham Tope is an all round good bloke.

    In 1972, at the age of 29, he became Liberal M.P. for Sutton & Cheam, winning a sensational by-election with a record breaking 33% swing from the Tories. This was in the days when we won parliamentary by-elections against all the odds rather than giving up and losing deposit after deposit.

    He narrowly lost the seat in February 1974 but was regained for the Liberal Democrats in 1997 by Paul Burstow M.P. and has been held ever since.

    In May 1974 Graham was amongst the first Liberals ever to be elected to Sutton London Borough Council, on which he lead the Liberal (later Liberal Democrat) Group for 25 years from 1974 to 1999.
    In 1986 the Liberal/SDP Alliance won control of Sutton Council and Graham became Leader of the Council for the next 13 years.
    He was also Liberal Democrat Leader on the Association of London Government (now London Councils) representing all 32 London Boroughs and the City of London.

    The Liberal Democrats have run Sutton Council continuously since 1986, the longest period of Liberal Democrat control on a principal authority anywhere in the country. In the last Council elections in 2010, Sutton elected 43 Liberal Democrat councillors and 11 Conservatives (the last 3 Labour councillors lost their seats in 2006).

    He was created a Life Peer in 1994.

    After stepping down as Council Leader in 1999, Graham became Executive Councillor for Community Safety, Leisure, Libraries, Arts & Heritage until May 2012.

    Graham was re-elected as a councillor in Sutton on every possible occasion over forty years.

    In 2000 Graham was elected to the London Assembly, part of the then newly created Greater London Authority, on which he lead the Liberal Democrat Group until 2006.
    He was appointed to the then new Metropolitan Police Authority in 2000 and chaired its Finance Committee until 2008.
    He did not seek re-election to the London Assembly in 2008.

    Since its formation in 1994, Graham has been one of the UK’s 24 members on the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the “voice” of regional and local government in the EU decision making process. He lead the European Liberal & Democrat Reform (ELDR) group on CoR from 1998 to 2002 and chaired its Constitutional Affairs Committee from 2002 to 2004, when he became its First Vice Chair. He has been one of the UK’s three members of its Bureau since 1998.

    Graham is the only person in the UK to serve at local, regional, national and European levels at the same time!

    All that and he is still an all round good bloke.

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