Local Liberal Democrats are backing Geoff Cooper in the St Helier Ward by-election on 20 July.
The by-election was called after the resignation of a Labour councillor who is under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority due to "suspicion of dishonesty".
Across the country the Lib Dems went forward, increasing their number of MPs to 12. In South West London the Lib Dems returned 3 MPs, including Vince Cable who is expected to take up the role of party leader over the Summer.
Lib Dems also narrowly lost out on returning by-election winner Sarah Olney to parliament in Richmond Park, with just 45 votes in it.
Locally, in Wimbledon the Lib Dems, Carl Quilliam increased the total number of votes and the overall percentage, securing double the Lib Dems’ national vote share and achieving one of the best results for the party in London.
In Mitcham & Morden, the total number of votes and the vote share were up, with Claire Mathys, the party's candidate moving up to 3rd.
Let's Talk Merton is our monthly informal political discussion, which takes place on the 2nd Monday of the month.
In April, the theme was a greener Merton. See below for the full review of the meeting.
Open letter - 3 June 2017 (and the response from 14 June)
To: Mr David Bradley, CEO,
South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust
CC: Merton CCG's Clinical Chair, Dr Andrew Murray
Dear Mr Bradley,
It was with disappointment that we read of the recent proposal to limit NHS referrals for children on the autistic spectrum. We understand from reports that only those children who present with other mental health disorders would be able to receive an NHS diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), if the proposal moves forward.
Lib Dems campaign to scrap dementia tax which would hit 98% of homes in Merton
98% of homes in Merton could be eligible for sale to meet Theresa May’s so-called 'dementia tax', research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
Responding to Theresa May's announcement today on social care, in which she said "nothing has changed," Lib Dem parliamentary candidates Carl Quilliam and Claire Mathys have urged Merton residents, irrespective of their party affiliation, to join a campaign to stop the Conservative social care plans which would saddle those with long-term illnesses with crippling care costs after their death.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a penny on income tax to boost funding for the NHS and social care by £6bn a year, as well as a £72,000 cap to protect people from crippling care costs. In contrast, the Tories have lived up to Theresa May's own description of themselves, as the "nasty party", by cynically refusing to reveal the level of any cap they might introduce until after the election.
Today we launched the fully-costed Lib Dem election Manifesto - here it is!
The one thing? We think this is a manifesto that puts freedom and opportunity at its heart.
We think the highlights are:
- Extra investment for apprenticeships
- £7bn more for education - key to boosting opportunities in life
- A plan to help more people own their own homes through rent-to-buy.
But don't take our word for it, have a look yourself here.
We know that Labour and Conservative plans just don't stack up because they're leading us to a hard Brexit. Nothing is more important to our children’s future than Brexit.
A bad Brexit deal, with Britain outside the Single Market, will damage that future for our children. We must support the trade, jobs and taxes that keep our health and social care systems running.
We'd love to hear what you think about our manifesto, drop us a line at email@example.com. And if you can help us fight for this, please sign up to the campaign here.
The Liberal Democrats have announced they will invest £28,919,151 more in schools and colleges in Merton over the next parliament.
The funding would reverse cuts to front-line school and college budgets, protect per pupil funding in real terms and ensure no school loses out from changes to funding arrangements.
£1.2 million of the funding would be spent on protecting the Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats to support schools in helping children from the least well-off families.
Stop press: we've just released our General Election Manifesto. It is about a brighter future for Britain - and the power is in your hands. View it now: www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto
Carl Quilliam (Lib Dem candidate for Wimbledon)
Carl lives in Wimbledon with his partner Giorgia. He is a former civil servant and moved to London in 2011, where he has worked in several roles in local government and the third sector. As a civil servant, Carl promoted investment for major infrastructure projects such as offshore wind and high speed broadband. Carl has also worked directly for councillors in London supporting campaigns on local housing, education and transport.
Carl currently works for one of London’s largest housing associations and supports efforts to build more affordable homes and protect investment in social care services.
As the Liberal Democrat candidate for Wimbledon, he will work and campaign to ensure everyone can get on in life, that’s why his priorities are to:
Fight for a strong economy – stopping a bad Brexit deal that will damage jobs and investment locally. We must stay in the Single Market and the people, not politicians, should have a say on the final deal with the EU, including an option to remain.
Defend investment in our health and care services – Carl will continue his campaign to bring back Merton’s only 7-day a week GP “walk in” centre, and will support a adding 1p on income tax to deliver £6 billion a year to our health and care services.
Fight for more investment in our schools – Lib Dem plans will invest an extra £29m in schools across Merton and will protect and expand free school meals.
Claire Mathys (Lib Dem candidate for Mitcham & Morden)
Claire grew up in Sutton, and her professional and campaigning experience means she will be a strong voice for Mitcham and Morden.
She is a qualified accountant and co-founder of a community-building charity. She currently works as housing and environment adviser for the Liberal Democrats in Parliament.
Claire is particularly concerned about the lack of affordable housing in our area and the problems faced by renters. She played a key role in the Parliamentary campaign to end letting fees for tenants, which was successful, and she is now fighting for other renting rights, including longer tenancies.
Claire believes that Britain is better off in the EU, which is why she campaigned to stay in the EU during the referendum. Since then she has fought against a bad Brexit deal by campaigning for the rights of EU nationals to remain in the UK and for continued membership of the Single Market to support the trade, jobs and taxes that keep our health and social care systems running.
Claire has a personal interest in helping more women, young people and people from under-represented groups have a voice in politics and will be using the opportunity of standing for Parliament to involve as many as possible in the political process.
At least 20 young people in Wimbledon, and double that number in Mitcham & Morden, will be affected by the Conservative Government’s decision to strip 18-21 year olds of housing benefit, research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has shown.
In total 18,000 young people across the country expected to be affected. The Liberal Democrats have committed to reverse the cuts, which came into force at the beginning of April.
As anyone walking through Wimbledon will testify, Merton is already suffering from increasing levels of homelessness, with official figures showing that the number of rough sleepers in the borough almost doubled in 2016. Charities have warned that stripping 18-21 year-olds of housing benefits could push more young people onto the streets while research has shown it is likely to cost taxpayers more than it saves.
Wimbledon's Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Carl Quilliam commented:
"The heartless decision to strip under-21s of housing benefit risks pushing young people in Wimbledon onto the streets.
Labour has no Wimbledon candidate with just a few weeks until the General Election.
Labour has yet to find anyone willing to stand in Wimbledon with the General Election just weeks away. The news has been revealed by the Liberal Democrats, who say that it shows Labour has “given up”, even in seats like Wimbledon, where it has previously had an MP.
There are over 340 constituencies Labour has still not selected for in England, including 28 in London.
In contrast the Liberal Democrats have selected 92% of their candidates in England.
Liberal Democrat candidate Carl Quilliam said:
“It seems that Labour have simply given up on places like Wimbledon.
“This election is now clearly a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the hard Brexit Conservatives.
“Labour claimed to be prepared for a General Election, but many of their approved candidates are simply refusing to run under Jeremy Corbyn's banner. Labour's candidate in Wimbledon for the last two elections told The Guardian newspaper: "It is obvious from my experience that the policies espoused by Jeremy Corbyn only appeal to a small minority of the electorate." I agree with him!
“By backing the Tories on Brexit, making the UK poorer, Labour are letting us down on the NHS, local services and education.
“Every Government needs to be held to account and the Liberal Democrats are the real voice of opposition - nationally and here in Merton.
“If you want to ensure our country has a real opposition, the Liberal Democrats are the only choice in Wimbledon."