Andy Hughes: A lone crusader in a dangerous world

Homer: I came to fight city hall. I want to shake things up, Patterson. Stir up some controversy, rattle a few cages.
- The Simpsons

The Conservatives' electoral machine is virtually non-existent in Lewisham. Tory candidate for the upcoming Brockley by-election, Andy Hughes is the only one of the contenders who got in touch directly and wrote his own announcement. Meanwhile, the local Tory Facebook page has only 25 followers. It does not bode well for his ambition to shake things up down at City Hall. However, he writes:

My name is Andy Hughes. I’m 34 and have lived in Lewisham for the past three years, having previously lived in and around London Bridge (where I still work). South East London has been my home for over a decade.

I decided to put myself forward as a candidate in this by-election to give the residents of Brockley a real alternative to yet another Labour councillor on a Labour dominated council. I intend to focus on local transport issues - putting pressure on Southern and South Eastern to improve rail services for frustrated residents, as well as push for the Bakerloo Line extension to become a reality.

I plan to help local businesses from inside the council, looking to cut red tape where possible. I also really want to support local education, to give the borough’s youngsters the best start in life.

As well as these local objectives, I want to provide a dissenting voice on the council, to ask difficult questions and hold both the Mayor and Cabinet to account. According to Lewisham Council’s website, there are fifty-three Labour councillors, and only one councillor from another party (who, according to the attendance records, has failed to attend all four Oversight and Scrutiny meetings this year).

This means that, since January this year, Labour were left to police themselves, with no one to challenge the actions of the Major or Cabinet of Lewisham. I don’t believe that is a healthy state of affairs for Brockley or Lewisham as a whole, and I would aim to provide some much needed scrutiny to the council chamber.

- The Brockley ward election takes place on October 13th.