Downtown resident Dan Whitehead has been elected the new councillor for Surrey Docks after the Liberal Democrats stormed to victory in the by-election on 9 June.
After a hard-fought campaign, the Liberal Democrat team won scored 51% of the vote and a big swing from Labour since the last council elections in May 2014.
Many residents have expressed fears about plans by the Labour council to develop South Dock Marina, build a new leisure centre on a local wildlife site and the huge regeneration plans at Canada Water where the Council wants build several fifty-storey skyscrapers.
Dan’s winning campaign called on the Council and Mayor to improve the local infrastructure before giving the green light to these massive changes to the Rotherhithe peninsula. The Council wants to build at least 4,500 new homes around Canada Water.
Liberal Democrats will now be following up on Dan’s pledges to fight for:
- more buses, including a new shuttle bus service around the peninsula
- faster broadband access
- improved cycle and walking links to Canary Wharf with a new bridge
In the coming months the Labour council is also due to announce its decisions on the location of the new leisure centre and the Canada Water regeneration plans, as well as plans to build hundreds of new homes at South Dock Marina. Dan Whitehead will be fighting to ensure any development is done ‘with’ local residents, not ‘to’ them.
Newly-elected Liberal Democrat Councillor Dan Whitehead said:
“This is another great win for the Liberal Democrats in Surrey Docks and I am very grateful to residents for the chance to serve our community. I want to thank all those who supported me.
“I will now be getting stuck in and fighting the Council and the Mayor for more buses, better broadband and a new bridge to Canary Wharf.
“We also have a big battle ahead to make sure the Labour council doesn’t give in to developers on the new leisure centre, the South Docks Marina development and Canada Water regeneration. I will be fighting residents’ corner all the way.”
Southwark Liberal Democrat leader, Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, said:
"With a thirty-year track record of action, residents have once again trusted the Liberal Democrats in Surrey Docks ward and we will always fight their corner.
“To achieve 52% of the vote, while the other parties fell back, was an incredible result and full credit goes to our newest councillor, Dan Whitehead, for all his hard work.
“During the campaign, it was clear that residents are sick of the Labour-run council doing whatever developers want, instead of listening to the community.
“Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for development to be done 'with' residents and not 'to' them and for proper infrastructure in Rotherhithe - more buses, better broadband and a new bridge to Canary Wharf."