Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rotherhithe By-election

I have really been hopeless at posting over the past couple of months! But the prospect of a by-election in Rotherhithe deserves a mention. Firstly, I should note that it has only been caused as a result of the untimely death of Cllr Anne Yates, a former Mayor of Southwark between 2004-2005. I liked Anne very much. She approached politics on the basis of what she thought was best for the community and the people she represented, and did not mind upsetting party political colleagues if it meant she was not towing the line! Sitting on the other side of the Chamber it could be fascinating speculating about how Anne might react to a particular vote. But it was this independence of spirit which brought her so much respect. A true community champion who will be missed. A great line from Gary Magold, her friend and fellow community campaigner who described her as "a flower of Scotland who bloomed in Bermondsey."

Labour has selected Kath Whittam to fight the by-election. Kath is the manager of the Surrey Docks Farm and has been involved in numerous campaigns up on the Rotherhithe peninsula over the years. She is a great candidate and will make a superb councillor if elected. Rotherhithe should be a safe LibDem seat, and the national picture does not help Labour at the moment, but I think it will be difficult for anyone to find a better candidate than Kath. I hope that the by-election will be fought on the issues facing Rotherhithe, which is at the centre of some of the biggest regeneration in Southwark with the development of Canada Water. The by-election will take place on October 9th.

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