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History making in South Cambridgeshire

June 20, 2018 5:04 PM
By Sarah Cheung Johnson

Here's a picture of myself with a whole host of South Cambs LibDems celebrating a historic victory. We not only took South Cambs District Council out of the hands of the Tories, we won 30 of the 45 seats and are now in control of the District. In the process, I have become the first ever ethnically Chinese Councillor in Cambridgeshire.

Firstly the election victory itself across the constituency and how we did it is being covered in a series of pieces by our Membership Data Officer, Mary Regnier-Wilson link here:

South Cambridgeshire election May 2018

Within my own ward, one that had only ever been Conservative and which had voted UKIP into second place in 2013, we started the hard work of delivering leaflets, knocking on doors, recruiting volunteers, supporters and activists to form a team to fight the 2017 County elections. I came a very respectable 2nd, 146 votes off the incumbent Tory. This year due to boundary changes, the ward changed from a single-member one to a two-member one and the incumbent Tory Councillor had already announced he was standing down. We worked very hard with a core campaign team working hard across 2 villages and the beginnings of a large new town, Northstowe which will is growing into the biggest new town developed in decades. I not only won my seat but we also won the second seat as well so now have 2 female councillors representing our division.

Winning is head-turning stuff but winning control of the Council means a huge change for everyone, both ourselves as we have new councillors taking on Portfolio positions but also the entire Council staff and the opposition Tories - now reduced to just 11 members.

For us locally, we were heartened by the number of congratulations we received and were thrown straight into the deep end tackling an issue with a contentious issue on a local road, preparing for an upcoming residents forum and getting up to speed with both local issues and also Committee roles we were taking on as part of taking control of the Council.

It has been especially pleasing to have my result welcomed by the Cambridge Chinese Community and I have had particular support from Chair Sun Wei and look forward to working with them going forwards, I'm very keen on increasing participation in and from our Chinese ethnic communities in local politics.

For all the issues coming from all angles though I have thoroughly enjoyed the past month or so and am really looking forward to getting stuck in, helping local residents and representing our community the best we can over the next four years.

If you have even fleetingly considered being a Councillor, speak to someone in your local party (or feel free to email me at scjlibdem@gmail.com), the LibDems are always happy to hear from activists and prepared to help you 'pick a ward and win it'. Next year will provide that opportunity for many local elections across the UK - get stuck in - it's oddly fun!