Members Update - Autumn 2017

A look back at the General Election

June's election saw a hard-fought campaign by Sutton Liberal Democrats in both Carshalton and Wallington and Sutton and Cheam. Our two candidates were supported by hundreds of volunteers from across the borough and further afield.


Congratulations must go to Tom Brake who was returned as MP for Carshalton and Wallington after a very close campaign. And although Amna Ahmad was not elected, she did an excellent job as our candidate and continues to be our spokesperson for Sutton & Cheam.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the election campaign!

Garden Party

It was good to see so many of those who had volunteered at the Thank You Garden Party in June.

Over 150 people exchanged experiences of the campaign and heard about the future for both national and local government from Tom and Cllr Ruth Dombey.

Tony and Cynthia Brett Young

The garden party also provided us with an opportunity to say farewell to Tony and Cynthia Brett Young who have moved to be near their family in Birmingham.

Tony - with support from Cynthia - has served the party in numerous ways for over 30 years. He was one of the cohort of campaigners who devised the strategy that saw us take control of the council in 1986
He then played a leading role on the council, and later as a party officer, and also put together the book which records this - 'Sutton, A Flagship Borough' (a few copies still available!).

To mark this, Lord Tope presented them with the Olwen Phillimore award for voluntary service to the local party.

Do you have what it takes to be a Councillor?

With the 2018 local elections approaching rapidly, Sutton Liberal Democrats are looking for new and enthusiastic supporters to stand as candidates.


Liberal Democrat councillors are campaigners and community champions, activists and advocates, and imaginative problem solvers. They will always ask not why, but why not?

Being a councillor can be extremely rewarding as you help shape and affect change in our community.
Campaigning and casework, community leadership and communication are the rewarding experiences for successful Liberal Democrat candidates.

If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with Ruth Dombey at [email protected]

A look back at the General Election - Tom Brake MP

As you can probably guess, as the Lib Dem Brexit Spokesman, Brexit has almost monopolised my diary.
Party Conference in Bournemouth was no exception, with two debates on the subject, fringe meetings and multiple briefings for diplomats and party members.


The first debate was straightforward – about the damaging impact of Brexit on public services like the NHS.

In the second debate, speakers argued for a change to existing party policy to enable Parliament, after a General Election, to stop Brexit, without the need for a vote on the facts which we are calling a Referendum on the Deal.

I opposed this (as did Tim Farron and Ming Campbell) as I believe the only way we can change direction on Brexit, is if the people vote for it in a referendum. I am pleased our arguments convinced a very large majority of delegates!

The one big thing Brexit hasn’t squeezed out is the campaign to secure up to £400 million to rebuild part of St Helier Hospital. This remains my top priority.

We have relaunched the campaign and you can find out more about it at

I will update you on both issues in future newsletters as both issues are likely to be with us for years to come!

Putting our ideas into action - Amna Ahmad

It has been a busy few months since the election with our ward teams out canvassing residents regularly and conference in Bournemouth.


Conference was a great opportunity to hear from our new Party Leader Vince Cable, meet fellow members from around the country and catch up with many Sutton helpers and members. 

Conference is primarily about debating and making policy for, issues which affect our community, and I was pleased to hear excellent discussions about better support for local government and youth employment, alongside the wider conversation about Brexit. 

I was also glad to see so many new members at conference, as it is also a good way for younger members to input to policy.
I look forward to campaigning with you in the coming months to make sure many of the liberal, open ideas and ethos discussed at conference can become reality via a continuing Liberal Democrat-run Sutton Council.

Pizza and Policy Night - Ben Andrew

In September, local Lib Dems gathered for our bi-annual Policy Night to discuss some motions before Conference.


The first motion was about whether the Government should be able to read our private conversations to fight terrorism.
As you would expect among Liberals, there was concern about whether this was an abuse of our right to privacy, although some people argued that changing technology makes these sorts of intrusions inevitable.

We then discussed how to protect people in the "gig economy" - people who are somewhere between traditional employment and self-employment.

We finished up by discussing a motion put forward by our local MP Tom Brake, which was about the Balfour Declaration, and what our approach should be in dealing with the Israel/Palestine conflict.

The discussion stayed good-humoured and polite, and I was struck by the level of knowledge and expertise in the room.
We sat on sofas in a relaxed semi-circle - eating pizza - which seems like the best way to discuss anything. Thanks again to the Bonners for hosting this event!


We were sorry to hear of a number of deaths over the summer period.

Roy Bentley, Pamela Cooper, Lal Hussain and Lesley O’Connell were all longstanding members and former Councillors – and John Woolfrey, a mainstay of Wallington North ward and of the bookstall. Our thoughts are with their family and friends.


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