Lib Dems select Amna Ahmad to fight for Sutton, Cheam & Worcester Park

Amna Ahmad has been selected overwhelmingly as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Sutton and Cheam.

The Liberal Democrats are now ready to fight a general election, selecting candidates in areas with a proud liberal tradition, such as Sutton and Cheam.

This follows reports that the new prime minister might take the country to the polls early, before a possible recession and to take advantage of Labour in-fighting.

As the former London Assembly candidate for Sutton, Amna has a strong record of fighting for people; having campaigned for better trains, half price fares and more affordable housing for local residents.

Amna Ahmad said:

“I am really proud to have been selected. It would be a huge honour to represent this wonderful area.  I am well aware that Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park does have its challenges. As such, my three campaign priorities will be to improve train services, provide more school places for local families and protect local health services.  Nationally the country is in crisis. Both the Conservatives and Labour are focused entirely on in-fighting while the economy worsens, threatening jobs, public services and our efforts to build the houses Britain so badly needs. The Liberal Democrats are well placed to fight a general election whenever it is held and I am raring to build on our local tradition of delivering for local people. Since the referendum we have signed more than 17,500 new members nationally including a large number in Sutton.

Amna Ahmad continued with a strong case for growing the national support of the Lib Dems:

“The Conservatives have destroyed their reputation for economic competence, with investment plummeting, putting Sutton jobs at risk. Their vicious cuts to local government are putting a strain on our community services. Labour has given up even trying to speak to the British people, and is engaged in a vicious fight with itself. We, meanwhile, are selecting candidates in key seats. Only the Liberal Democrats are an open, optimistic and united party committed to spreading opportunity for the next generation and focus on re-building the British economy to protect jobs and services.” 

Former Sutton and Cheam MP, Paul Burstow said: “I am delighted that Amna Ahmad will be fighting for Sutton, Cheam and Worcester Park. We have a strong liberal tradition in the area and I am confident that Amna will continue this, and make sure the voices of local residents are heard, as our MP.”

Poets Estate – 10 Big Actions by the FOCUS Team

Some things we’ve done for you in the Poets’ Estate:-

1) Benhill Rec. We installed new play facilities, planted lavender beds and removed the old skateboard ramp.

2) Westmead Road/Carshalton Grove. We asked the Council to investigate and prevent future floods in this area.

3) Colston Avenue/Coleridge Avenue/Court Drive. We installed new yellow lines to reduce commuter parking.

4) Free Grit. We installed new grit bins in many locations in the Poets’ Estate/Westmead area of the Carshalton Central ward, including at the junction of Sutton Grove/Waterloo Road.

5) Street Trees. We have got planted 81 street trees in Carshalton Central ward many of them in the Poets’ Estate.

6) Mead Crescent. Road was resurfaced.

7) Shirley Avenue. Road and pavements were resurfaced.

8) Westmead Allotments. Better secure fencing installed.

9) Shorts Road/West Street Footpath. We asked the council to clear dog mess and asked police to monitor the area.

10) Wrythe Rec. We installed new play facilities in the rec. We asked that the railings are refurbished and work is underway.

And….We have also kept residents informed and supported residents in the various planning applications affecting our area. Examples are the Carshalton Athletic Football Club’s applications for 3G plastic surface for the football pitch and extended hours of lighting both of which were unanimously refused by Sutton Council’s planning / development control committee.

Sutton High Street: Lib Dem Bookstall on Saturday 15th March

Sutton Lib Dem FOCUS team are holding another open-air book sale in Sutton High Street near Waterstones book shop next Saturday, 15th March 2014, supported by some of or all three of your local Lib Dem ward councillors and others.  The stall will be operating between about 10am and 4.30pm obviously subject to variable British weather conditions.  The good-condition (or better) paper back books are usually priced at about 50p each, hardbacks may be a bit more. Also on sale will be reasonably priced CDs, DVDs, jigsaws, children’s books etc. We hope to see you there…!

Cllr. Alan Salter on the FOCUS bookstall

Cllr. Alan Salter on the FOCUS bookstall


A flagship borough: 25 years of a Liberal Democrat Sutton Council – Sutton’s Lib Dem History

Political geeks/addicts etc. may be interested in the history of Sutton Liberal Democrats – A Flagship Borough: 25 Years of a Liberal Democrat Sutton Council – so very welcome.

Here, in this 317 page book, are remembered and preserved the names and deeds of numerous vital volunteers from over the decades. Indeed Carshalton Central ward had a pivotal role in 1986 when the Lib Dems (or more strictly Lib/SDP Alliance) won their first seat in the ward for the first time, the other was Conservative at that time.

The overall result of the council was in that year Alliance 28 seats balanced by 21 Tories and 7 Labour. Since then the Labour party’s councillor presence in Sutton seems to have withered away – they only have one seat now.

Many people have contributed to the awesome electoral and political record of success that is Sutton Liberal Democrats: winning election after election as they have been at the cutting edge of both green policies and local campaign tactics.

Thanks to the book, many of them are now rightly honoured in print. Recorded too are the sorts of stories that entertain many a political reminiscence, such as the vomiting doll dressed as a superhero which a Conservative councillor brought to one meeting. (See page 77 to find the full story!)

The book takes a fairly conventional narrative approach from the 1970s through to the current day, emphasising recording events over analysis. That makes it a comprehensive work, if at times a little bit of a dry read as one issue after another is briskly recounted.

It also means that by the end of it the reader has some clues as to how Sutton has been so successful for so long, yet little in the way of direct analysis to tease out the lessons that could be applied elsewhere. Having a talented and successful team clearly helped. How much was that luck and how much was that due to measures which could be copied elsewhere?

Moreover, having taken over from a very low-spending Conservative regime, even the increases in spending introduced by the Liberal Democrats left overall spending levels low in many areas compared to other councils. Yet the Liberal Democrat council managed to win widespread public support the quality of its public services. High quality, popular services despite relatively low spending levels is a combination many Liberal Democrats would like to be able to copy in all sorts of places – including Whitehall! Again there is a hint of an answer – consult, consult, consult – though I suspect many readers will be left wanting to know more about quite how this combination was pulled off.

Those, however, are topics that can be picked up in training sessions and talks. What the book does, which neither of those can, is to preserve the memories of Sutton Liberal Democrats and many of the thousands of helpers who in their own ways were crucial to it – from running the printing machine through the night through to regularly delivering leaflets in the apparently most unpromising of territory. It makes it a great book to have produced and a very enjoyable one to read.

Copies of the book are available for £17.50, including post and packaging, from Pauline Penneck, 13 Worcester Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 6PQ. Cheques should be payable to ‘Sutton Liberal Democrats’