It is with sadness that we report that Robert Shean McConnell, a former Lambeth Liberal Democrat councillor has passed away.
He was elected to Knight's Hill in a by-election on 21 March 1996, taking the seat from the Conservatives and beating Labour into second
place by 41 votes. He held the seat, serving with Jeremy Baker and Gerry Evans until 2006. The three seats were then won by Labour.
Known by some as Robert, by others as Shean, before retirement he had a distinguished career in town planning in the UK and Canada. On
Lambeth Council he was a stalwart of the Community Police Consultative Group, sat on the Residential Care Committee and was a
member of the Norwood Town Centre Forum. A long time resident in Stockwell Park Road, he was a keen and expert gardener. Unknown to
many, he was also a Baronet, but never used the title.
His funeral in Southwark Cathedral on 4 August was attended by six of his former Lambeth LibDem Councillor colleagues and Ingeborg Bottrall
whose late husband Anthony, a councillor in Stockwell, had been on the Council with Shean.
Our condolences to his family and friends.
June 22 was Windrush Day, which was marked by many across Lambeth and the UK, to celebrate the arrival of West Indian/Caribbean people to Britain after WW2, at the invitation of the government. Windrush Day, whilst to some degree a celebration of an important part of Lambeth's people and heritage is also rather negative, given the long struggle many Windrush migrants or their children have had these last few years due to government nationality and migration rules. The hostile environment makes life very difficult for affected people in the country, to access services, gain employment, or rent accommodation. Many people have also been deported, to places they may have a distant connection to but not one they have lived in. Despite politicians, parties, the government and the wider public generally being in agreement that this is not ok and affected people should be compensated, their struggles drag on.
This wide ranging failure to resolve and make right does not fill us with confidence that the next Windrush, for EU Nationals who have missed out on Settled Status will be any better dealt with, given the same people are in charge who delivered the first Windrush.
Congratulations to Sarah Green, our newly elected Chesham and Amersham MP! Sarah is the first ever non Conservative MP for the constituency at the end of the Metropolitan Line! Sarah handsomely beat the Conservative candidate, with 57.5% of the vote to their 35.5%! Labour and the Greens losing their deposit.
We thank all who helped elect Sarah, especially our Lambeth Liberal Democrats who were able to regularly visit. This just goes to prove the Liberal Democrats are the best placed party to beat the Conservatives in their southern heartlands!
The Blue Wall is crumbling!
Twenty-one years of campaigning by Caroline Pidgeon AM and other Liberal Democrat campaigners has finally paid off with Kennington Tube being rezoned into Zone 1/2 border, rather than Zone 1 for Congestion Charge and Zone 2 for Tube fare. Caroline, local councillors, various Lib Dem mayoral candidates and our London MEPs have consistently put the proposal forward since the year 2000. Which goes to show that being persistent pays off, as does electing Lib Dem candidates at all levels.
It may not seem like a massive issue compared to Covid or Brexit, but it will make a big difference to local people who commute from Kennington, whether they be in Lambeth or Southwark. It is really good to have a positive, good news story for the area, in what has been a troubled time.
Well done to all involved, including our sister party in Southwark.
Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy, Caroline Pidgeon and Sarah Ludford, and others.
We are very pleased to see Lambeth and London will now have two amazing Liberal Democrat London Assembly Members, Caroline Pidgeon and Hina Bokhari! Too long have either the Conservative or Labour mayors of London felt they could ignore Lambeth and sign off on unwanted new towers (hotels or commercial) or knocking down our estates rather than repairing them. We will have a much stronger London Assembly team to hold to account Labour’s mayor now!
We worked very hard this campaign period as did our candidates! We delivered many tens of thousands of leaflets, phone banked and canvassed across Streatham, Vauxhall and Dulwich & West Norwood. We’re pleased that we received tens of thousands of votes across the GLA elections, building on our second places in Vauxhall and Streatham in the 2019 General Election and our first place in the 2019 European election. Our Assembly candidates, including Florence Cyrot for Lambeth and Southwark Constituency, worked very hard over a two year campaign to secure our position. Thank you also to Luisa Porrit, our mayoral candidate, who ran a great campaign in challenging circumstances.
Thank you all for supporting us and bring on 2022's Lambeth Borough Elections!