Are Richmond's Conservatives to face a left wing coalition?

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Stephen Knight: Looking to rebuild Stephen Knight: Looking to rebuild

The Liberal Democrats’ dismal performance in the borough elections has sparked a need for a left-wing coalition opposition to scrutinise the council, their leader in Richmond has said.

The Liberal Democrats lost nine seats to the Conservatives in last week’s election, but said the fragmented opposition made up of their party plus Labour and the Greens received the majority vote.

Councillor Stephen Knight, Lib Dem leader in Richmond, said: “Our group of 15 councillors will work hard to provide robust challenge and scrutiny to the administration over the next four years.

“The election results in Richmond demonstrate that far from being a solid Tory borough, there is still a majority of votes cast for the progressive parties: Lib Dem, Green and Labour.

“However, against the backdrop of the national coalition, it proved impossible to assembly this local majority behind the Liberal Democrat banner and the Conservatives have benefited.

“If we are to see a better outcome in four year’s time, then progressives must start working together to build a new united front in 2018.”

Councillor Geoffrey Samuel, deputy leader of Richmond Council, said this election saw a change in opposition voting.

He said: “The opposition has not gone away, but it has certainly become more fragmented.

“Their vote collapsed to some extent. Labour did less well than I expected and some of the Greens did remarkably well.”

He said the Tories vowed to freeze council tax until 2016, when it would be raised by as little as possible.

Comments (4)

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7:52pm Mon 2 Jun 14

Twickenham resident says...

Stephen Knight, your Party has completely lost its way. You have wasted the past four years locally as well as Nationally, so blame who you like but your aspirations to lead Richmond Council are dashed forever.

Time perhaps to find another day job?
Stephen Knight, your Party has completely lost its way. You have wasted the past four years locally as well as Nationally, so blame who you like but your aspirations to lead Richmond Council are dashed forever. Time perhaps to find another day job? Twickenham resident
  • Score: 16

11:43pm Mon 2 Jun 14

ReubenF says...

The Liberal Democrats locally benefitted from the elevated support received in 2010 following Nick Clegg's extraordinary and uncosted manifesto offerings (tuition fees etc) hence the relative closeness of the local election result in that year.

In 2014 the poor performance of the Lib Dems nationally was matched by the poor manifesto offerings of the local Lib Dems (drawn up by Stephen Knight) which put at its heart an unwarranted increase in Council tax.

The 2014 local election result was as a result of the genuine and visible positive steps this administration has made in improving the Borough. Stephen Knight should not blame Labour and Green supporters for not supporting damaged goods - he should look closer to home when considering why the Lib Dems lost.
The Liberal Democrats locally benefitted from the elevated support received in 2010 following Nick Clegg's extraordinary and uncosted manifesto offerings (tuition fees etc) hence the relative closeness of the local election result in that year. In 2014 the poor performance of the Lib Dems nationally was matched by the poor manifesto offerings of the local Lib Dems (drawn up by Stephen Knight) which put at its heart an unwarranted increase in Council tax. The 2014 local election result was as a result of the genuine and visible positive steps this administration has made in improving the Borough. Stephen Knight should not blame Labour and Green supporters for not supporting damaged goods - he should look closer to home when considering why the Lib Dems lost. ReubenF
  • Score: 12

7:35pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Twickenham resident says...

PS I can't tell you how delighted I was to hear that ex Councillors David Williams and Brian Miller have at long last been booted out of their cosy seats on the Ham side - and by two WOMEN!!! I don't think these two dinosaurs will ever get over that but the Council and especially the Planning Department in the case of Mr Miller, will be a much fairer and much more democratic process.
PS I can't tell you how delighted I was to hear that ex Councillors David Williams and Brian Miller have at long last been booted out of their cosy seats on the Ham side - and by two WOMEN!!! I don't think these two dinosaurs will ever get over that but the Council and especially the Planning Department in the case of Mr Miller, will be a much fairer and much more democratic process. Twickenham resident
  • Score: 13

1:53pm Thu 5 Jun 14

illynillyt says...

so now at last it is official: the LibDems are a left-wing party. This has been obvious to some for years, but it seems that the majority of Twickenham voters still think of them in terms of the old Liberal Party, who were the in-between middle of the road option for those who didn't fancy the right-wing Conservatives or the left-wing Labour Party. See how things have changed now. Do Twickenham residents really continue to wish to be represented by an out-and-out left-winger?
so now at last it is official: the LibDems are a left-wing party. This has been obvious to some for years, but it seems that the majority of Twickenham voters still think of them in terms of the old Liberal Party, who were the in-between middle of the road option for those who didn't fancy the right-wing Conservatives or the left-wing Labour Party. See how things have changed now. Do Twickenham residents really continue to wish to be represented by an out-and-out left-winger? illynillyt
  • Score: 4

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