Candidates For Wimbledon Park By-Election

Vote follows resignation of Tariq Lord Ahmad

The main parties have named their candidates for the Wimbledon Park borough council by-election.

The Liberal Democrats have selected Wimbledon Park resident Dave Busby as their candidate for May 3 vote – the same day as voters across London go to the polls to elect a new mayor and London Assembly members.

Mr Busby has been at the forefront of successful Lib Dem efforts to restore 20 minutes of free parking at the shopping parade in Arthur Road, and the campaign to retain a direct Thameslink rail service between Wimbledon and the City and central London.

He said: "I'm delighted to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Wimbledon Park. Having lived here for a number of years, I know the issues that really matter to local residents.

"Already Lib Dems have protected 20-minutes free parking in Arthur Road, and we're fighting to protect direct Thameslink services to central London, safeguard Weir Road from unsuitable waste processing development and prevent cuts to our local police Safer Neighbourhood Team.

"I'm looking forward to continuing to champion these issues during the campaign and continuing to get out and listen to people on the doorstep so that I can act as an independent voice for residents".

The Conservative candidate is Wimbledon resident Linda Taylor, chairman of 'Go South Go', a 2012 Olympic Task group, ensuring that south London does not miss community and business opportunities brought by the Olympics. She has been awarded an OBE for public and voluntary service to young people.

She said: "There is a great sense of community in Wimbledon Park, which I know residents really value and it's something I'll fight to preserve. I have five key pledges that will help us keep Wimbledon Park special:

1.    Saving our local GP surgery
2.    Seeking a better deal for District Line users
3.    Calling for a new local primary school
4.    Expanding the 20 minutes free parking
5.    Lowering Council Tax."

Labour have announced that their candidate will be Louise Deegan, who works in the Wimbledon area in Higher Education and is a governor at Ricards Lodge School. She also listed five pledges - as follows:

"1. Health: We must protect the NHS and local GPs funding. Because of the Coalition Government's savage health cutbacks, GP as commissioners will receive 20% less funding per registered patient than is currently spent (from £32 to £25). Louise Deegan is the only local candidate who opposes what the Conservative-led Coalition is doing to the NHS. Vineyard Hill Surgery, which over 5,000 local people use, is believed by its GPs to be under threat of closure. I will do everything I can to ensure that it remains open.
2. Education: I will work to ensure sufficient primary school places in excellent local primary schools, prioritised for local children, including expansion of Wimbledon Park Primary School.
3. Crime: I will work with the Police to ensure that Wimbledon Park has a fully staffed team to protect local families and communities from crime and anti-social behaviour. There are simply not enough police on the beat in Wimbledon Park. So much for Boris increasing visible policing on our streets! Because of cuts, Wimbledon Park has had to share a Police Sergeant with Village ward and has been 2 Police Community Support Officers down.
4. Help build a new community facility on old Wimbledon Park Hall site.
I support strongly a new centre run by a local residents' charity on the ground floor of the site in Arthur Road, and will work with the Residents' Association to make this happen as soon as possible.
5. Travel: I will put pressure on Transport for London to make Wimbledon Park Underground station more accessible for commuters with young children or mobility issues."

The election follows the resignation of Conservative Councillor Tariq Lord Ahmad, who said he felt unable to fully commit to his council responsibilites following his appointment to the House of Lords.

April 3, 2012