Tim Shand departure sparks Ladywell election

Healy: I went out and got him a leash you know, one of those clothes line runners for the backyard. He's got plenty of room out there to dig. The kid's really blossomed. Now I can take him to ball games, movies--you know, happy stuff.
Mary: That sounds like fun.
Healy: Yeah, it's fun for them, but it's heaven for me. (Getting emotional) Those goofy bastards are just about the best thing I have in this crazy old world. Ooh, hey, I gotta run.
- There's Something About Mary

Tim Shand, Labour Councillor for Ladywell ward, has announced that he is to resign from Lewisham Council to work for Sonke Gender Justice Network based in Cape Town, South Africa.

At the time of his election in May, many questioned his commitment to the ward, given his low-profile campaign and the fact that he'd also stood as Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Guildford. Hopefully the election that his departure prompts will produce a Councillor who is fully focused on local issues, which is what Councillors are for. The fact that the only policy matter referenced in the Labour statement is an irrelevant bit of point scoring about the national government picture does not augur well.

A Lewisham Labour statement confirms:

Tim said, “It has been a heart-wrenching decision to stand down but to go and work in some of the poorest communities in the world on big problems like HIV and sexual violence is something that I could not refuse. I’ve got absolute faith that my fellow Councillors and the Mayor have what it takes to stand up to this government’s attack on our borough’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

Councillor Alan Hall, Chair, Lewisham Labour said, “We are sad to lose Tim but he has made a hard and honest decision to stand down due to his work commitments in the developing communities of South Africa.

We will fight this by election to win. It is a chance for the people of Ladywell to not only elect a new Councillor but to say no to this Tory-Liberal government’s programme of ideological cuts.”

The statement also says that:

The resignation was tendered on Friday 24th November [presumably, they mean September] to the Chief Executive of Lewisham Council.

Labour will be selecting a candidate for the by-election on 30/09/10.