Liberal Democrat councillors in Southwark have won a national award for their work campaigning on tobacco investment and the Elephant & Castle leisure centre.

Nick Clegg presents the awardThe Southwark council group was named as one of the best Liberal Democrat groups in the country at an awards reception on Friday evening, hosted by the Local Government Association (LGA) Liberal Democrat Group. It was given the ‘Resident’s Champion’ award for showing that "being in opposition is no bar to getting things done".

Southwark’s Liberal Democrat councillors were specifically recognised for their campaign to stop Southwark Council investing in tobacco firms, which pressured council bosses into a change of stance on the issue.

The group was also praised for exposing the "botched consultation" to name the new leisure centre at the Elephant, when Labour Cabinet members were found to have overturned the results of a public poll on the name and instead chose the name themselves. The fiasco led to unfavourable headlines comparing decision making by Southwark Labour to that of North Korea.

The Resident’s Champion award was one of six handed out on the night to Liberal Democrat groups around the country at the party’s Spring Conference in York. Southwark’s award was presented to representatives of the local party by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (pictured).

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Group leader in Southwark Cllr Anood Al-Samerai said:

"Southwark Liberal Democrats have continued to work all year round on the side of local residents. It is always nice for that hard work to be recognised with an award, particularly as this was in response to our campaigning on some really good local issues."

"Having recently published our manifesto for the 2014 local elections, our task now is to get our message across to residents that a Liberal Democrat-run council will prioritise homes, kids, jobs and a council tax cut."

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