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Liberals desert Barnhill

The Brent Liberal Democrats have failed to field a candidate for the Barnhill by-election on May 3rd 2012. Just two years ago at the local Brent Council elections in May 2010, the Lib Dems put up three candidates in Barnhill and they attracted a respectable 987, 903 and 799 votes for the three candidates there.

A number of questions arise on the mystery decision. Perhaps the Lib Dems are stepping aside to help out their Tory Coalition partners.

In addition, it has emerged that the Independent candidate, standing in the Barnhill by-election, stood for the Tories at the 2002 Brent Council elections in Queensbury Ward and according to this website, looks like he was involved with the Tories on a national scale as a Committee Member of the British Asian Conservative Link.

Labour’s candidate for the Brent Council by-election in Barnhill is Michael Pavey. Michael has considerable experience working in the employment sector in Brent, getting people into work.

Barnhill By-election on May 3rd 2012, but there should be one in Dudden Hill too

Following my blogpost here LINK – Judith Beckman has today officially resigned as a Councillor serving the London Borough of Brent in Barnhill Ward.

A by-election vote will be held on May 3rd 2012 to minimise the cost of an election to the Brent taxpayer. Judith moved to Plymouth in January and decided she would stand down in May so that Brent would not have to foot the avoidable extra cost of having a by-election on an odd date. With a major election already happening in May to elect the Mayor of London it makes perfect sense to have the election on this date.

I now think it is time for Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues, who has been living in Brighton since 8th December 2011 to resign so that a by-election can be held in Dudden Hill on May 3rd 2012

 

By-election officially called for Dollis Hill Ward in Brent on March 22nd – Vote Parvez Ahmed

A by-election has officially been called for Dollis Hill Ward in the London Borough of Brent following the death of Liberal Democrat Councillor Alec Castle. It will take place on Thursday March 22nd 2012.

Labour’s candidate for the Dollis Hill Ward by-election is Parvez Ahmed. Parvez lives in Dollis Hill Ward, has years of experience as a community activist and would make an excellent Council colleague at Brent Council.

In May 2010, the Liberal Democrats took all three Council seats in this Ward. Using the 2010 results, Labour needs a swing of 1.4% from the Liberal Democrats to Labour to win the seat.

 

Dudden Hill Lib Dem Councillor moves to Brighton, but it’s business as usual for Dudden Hill Labour

The Willesden and Brent Times has reported that one of my co-Dudden Hill Councillors, David Clues is living in Brighton.

A statement from Cllr Clues can be found here (LINK). If he is genuinely moving in transition and moving to and from Dudden Hill and Brighton, making appointments to see residents and available to contact through phone email and post and can make it work, then fair play to him.

After coming a miserable fourth in the Kenton by-election (behind even an independent candidate) and seeing their vote collapse in the marginal Wembley Central by-election less than a month ago, I’d be surprised if the Brent Liberal Democrats called a by-election. Instead they will be sweating away if it gets close to six months and Dudden Hill Lib Dem Councillor, David Clues has not attended a Council meeting, which is the minimum requirement for him to keep his seat.

Residents have been raising this to me for a while but I was personally uncertain of his whereabouts. I’ve just gone about my own business in representing my people in the way that I best see fit and not bothered to worry about the Brent Liberal Democrats and I will continue to do so. Calling a by-election is in the hands of Lib Dem hierarchy and Cllr Clues, so Aslam and I will go about our own business.

In October 2011, a Dudden Hill resident approached me and said “Looks like we’ll have a by-election in the area soon”. “No I said”. He was shocked when I told him, as long as he turns up to a Council meeting every six months, he can keep his seat.

Dudden Hill residents on Twitter said:

“This is ridiculous. Where are his loyalties?”

“This is disgusting. What, if anything, can be done to oust him?”

“I think it’s shocking to be honest”

Another tweeted:

“He’s pocketing 7K which he will of course pay back… #Git”

I recently spoke to an ex-Councillor who once represented the Neasden area who said that David is a ‘left’ thinker and will probably in the inside be dismayed at what the Liberals are doing in Government. I predict that after he ceases to be a Brent Councillor (that is if he doesn’t run for election again in 2014), he will not be renewing his Liberal Democrat membership in Brighton.

Kenton by-election result

Unfortunately Labour was unable to gain a seat from the Conservatives in Kenton ward yesterday following the death of Councillor Arthur Steel which triggered the by-election. Conservative candidate Suresh Kansagra won by 156 votes.

The final results were as follows:

  1. Suresh Kansagra (Conservative) – 1,063 votes
  2. Ellie May Southwood (Labour) – 907 votes
  3. Robert Dunwell (Independent) – 185 votes
  4. Alan Mathison (Green Party) – 75 votes

(turnout – 25.96%)

The seat would have been a real coup for Brent Labour as it has been Conservative since its existence. It remains the only ward in Brent which has three Conservative Councillors. It was a fair fought election and Ellie was a splendid candidate and managed to increase the Labour vote in Kenton Ward by 2.8%. Meanwhile the Lib Dem vote collapsed from 14.4% in May to 7.4% yesterday and were even shamefully beaten by the Independent candidate Robert Dunwell.

Change from May 2010 elections

Party May 2010 Result Feb 2011 by-election Result Change from May election (%)
Conservative 46.3 % 43.9 % – 2.4 %
Labour 34.7 % 37.5 % + 2.8 %
Lib Dem 14.4 % 7.4 % – 7 %
Green 4.6 % 3.1 % – 1.5 %
Independent 0 % 7.6 % + 7.6 %

I’d like to congratulate Suresh on his victory and I look forward to working with him at the Council.