Liberal Democrats have picked Downtown resident Dan Whitehead as their candidate in the Surrey Docks by-election on 9 June.
The election is being held to replace long-standing Liberal Democrat councillor Lisa Rajan who has stood down after serving the local community for fourteen years after her husband’s job moved to Manchester.
Over the past year the local Liberal Democrat team has been out talking to residents and three clear issues have come up. These will be Dan Whitehead’s priorities:
- Buses - Liberal Democrats have been fighting to improve transport links and have launched a petition for a shuttle bus service around Rotherhithe peninsula.
- Bridge - Liberal Democrats have led the campaign for a new walking/cycling bridge to link Rotherhithe and the Isle of Dogs.
- Broadband - Slow broadband speeds have been a problem for years. The local Liberal Democrat team is keeping up the fight started by former MP Simon Hughes for better broadband speeds on the Rotherhithe peninsula.
Liberal Democrat councillors in Surrey Docks have also been fighting the corner of local residents with the Labour-run council and with their developers British Land. They responded to the recent consultation on the future of Canada Water arguing that the local infrastructure, including public transport and broadband, need to be improved before any big projects get the go ahead.
Many Surrey Docks residents are unhappy with the Labour-run council’s recent decision on the location of the new leisure centre on a wildlife site at Canada Water, and the prospect of 50-storey buildings mirroring Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers.
Dan Whitehead lives in Downtown at the heart of Surrey Docks ward. He was brought up in a working-class family in North-West England and works as a solicitor. Dan is passionate about improving opportunity for all residents and is known as a dedicated individual who will fight for local people ahead of party politics.
Former local Liberal Democrat MP, Simon Hughes, said:
“Working with Lisa Rajan for the last fourteen years fighting for everyone in Surrey Docks has been a real privilege.
“I am sure I speak for everyone when I wish Lisa and her family well and am delighted that Dan Whitehead has been selected by local Liberal Democrat members to succeed Lisa. I know he will be an excellent addition to the team.”
Liberal Democrat candidate for the Surrey Docks by-election Dan Whitehead commented:
“I will be fighting this campaign on the issues that residents tell us are their top three priorities locally: more buses, a new bridge and faster broadband.
“Many residents are also deeply worried about the Labour council’s regeneration plans for Canada Water and how they are in the pockets of their developer friends.
“Until we tackle the basics, such as transport congestion and broadband, the Labour council must stand up to developers and not just roll over to heir grand schemes.”
Commenting on her decision to stand down as a councillor, Lisa Rajan said:
“I’m really sad to be standing down and want to thank Surrey Docks residents for the honour of representing them these past fourteen years.
“The election here on Thursday 9th June will be a clear choice between Dan Whitehead, who will fight for local people, or a Labour candidate who will do what they’re told by Labour’s town hall chiefs.
“I hope residents will continue to back the Liberal Democrats as the best choice to fight their corner in Surrey Docks.”