By-election for Waterbeach after Lib Dem retires
- Credit: Candidates
Labour moved swiftly to announce its candidate for a surprise by-election in Waterbeach caused by the resignation of a long-serving Lib Dem councillor.
Hazel Smith, one of the three Lib Dem councillors for Milton and Waterbeach, and the cabinet member for housing at South Cambs, has stood down.
“Seeing new council houses handed over to tenants was one of the most rewarding parts of the job,” said Cllr Smith.
A by election will be held on May 6, the same day as the county council, mayoralty and police commissioner elections will take place.
Labour has picked parish councillor Jane Williams to fight the vacant seat.
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“She is a champion for the existing Waterbeach village. Jane was central to creating a neighbourhood plan,” said a Labour Party spokesman.
“This helps ensure future developments respect villagers’ concerns; concerns that the Liberal Democrat district council have ignored.”
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Cllr Smith was first elected for Milton in 2004 and served as councillor for Milton and then Milton and Waterbeach for 17 years.
She said: “It has been a very fulfilling experience serving Milton and then more recently also Waterbeach and Landbeach over the last 17 years.
"I have said my fond farewells to the housing department; I'll follow their progress with interest.
“I know I'm leaving South Cambs in good hands. We have a very capable group of councillors who have now served together for three years.
“The candidate to succeed me, Paul Bearpark from Waterbeach, is a passionate campaigner and will work hard for our residents.”
Aidan Van de Weyer, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Hazel, in her time in charge of housing, has done some fantastic work. She has laid the groundwork to double the number of council houses that we are building.
“She has also put in place the scheme to welcome vulnerable refugees to the district and developed a new housing strategy focussing on genuine affordability across the full range of housing types.”
Parish councillor Williams said: “I care deeply about community life and our threatened fragile fenland environment.
“I believe in listening to local people and acting on what they want. As a district councillor I will give our community a much stronger say in key decisions.”
“For too long this area has been represented by councillors all from one party and from one village. It’s time to make a change.”