Lib Dems fight to keep Boris Johnson's Tories out of Belsize

Camden Liberal Democrats have selected their candidates in Belsize, a key battleground ward where they currently have two councillors and are the only party that can beat the Conservatives, as they seek to grow their ranks at the Town Hall in May.

After taking two seats off the Conservatives in 2018, Camden Liberal Democrats are aiming to take all three seats in the ward this time and oust the Tories from Belsize. Local party members have reselected Cllr Tom Simon, who has beaten the Conservatives three times to become elected as a Belsize councillor. Experienced Belsize campaigners Judy Dixey and Matthew Kirk have also been selected. They have both spoken to residents in the area and taken up their issues alongside Cllrs Tom Simon and Luisa Porritt since 2018.

At the last local election, one seat in Belsize was so close between the Lib Dems and the Tories it came down to only nine votes. Labour came only a distant third in Belsize in 2018. Boundary changes since mean it will be an even closer fight between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

Belsize Liberal Democrats will focus their campaign on their record of action on issues that matter to residents. These include: fighting for Abacus Belsize Primary School to gain a permanent home; working hard to improve waste collection in the area—given the Labour Council’s neglect of northwest Camden; and challenging the developers of the O2 Centre and the 100 Avenue Road site.

Cllr Tom Simon said: “Everyone knows elections in Belsize are always close between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. While the rest of us did the right thing, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives were caught partying their way through the pandemic. This May, voters in Belsize have an opportunity to send the Tories a message.”

“Alongside my fellow Belsize Liberal Democrat candidates, I’m fighting this election on our record of action. We were the only party to support Abacus Belsize Primary School getting the permanent home it deserves for children in our area, while the Conservatives and Labour opposed it.

“We have held the developers of 100 Avenue Road and the O2 Centre to account, and demanded improvements to the Council’s housing repairs service. We’ve used local funds to install new cycle hangars and electric vehicle charging points in the ward, as well as to support Belsize Community Library. Working with residents, we have put much time into firefighting problems with the Council’s under-performing waste contract with Veolia.

“This May, residents in our area can elect local champions to join me in the Town Hall and be a strong voice for Belsize.”

Cllr Tom Simon grew up in Camden and is a current Councillor for Belsize. He was elected to serve the ward again in 2018, having previously been a Councillor for Belsize in 2009-14, when he helped open the post office in Budgens and Abacus Belsize Primary School, where he is Vice Chair of Governors. He lives on Fellows Road with his wife and little boy.

Judy Dixey has lived in Camden for more than 30 years. She was a director of a charity working with disabled people, before becoming a qualified Camden Tour Guide in 2016. She is currently preparing a guided Belsize walk. Until recently, she was a regular Camden Covid-19 vaccination volunteer including at the local Roy Shaw Centre. Judy has been campaigning in Belsize alongside the current Lib Dem councillors since 2018.

Matthew Kirk is a barrister practising in criminal law and Chair of Camden Liberal Democrats. He stood in Camden as one of the local party’s parliamentary candidates in the 2019 General Election. Matthew is Vice Chair of Governors at a Camden school and his daughter attends a Camden primary school. He has been campaigning alongside the current Lib Dem councillors for Belsize since 2018.

The Liberal Democrats will be standing candidates in all wards across Camden, to provide an alternative to residents in all corners of the borough who are tired of being let down by Labour locally and the Conservative Government in Westminster.

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