The Lewisham Conservative party has announced its candidate for the borough’s Mayoral elections next year.
Ross Archer, the chairman of the Deptford Conservatives, will be among those standing in May 2018.
Archer has been highly critical of the Lewisham/ Renewal/ New Bermondsey deal, and is also campaigning for better allocation of funds for schools and primary school places (although his pronouncements so far have notably glossed over the chronic problems with some of our secondary schools).
Here is his bio:
Ross has been Chairman of Lewisham Deptford Conservatives since March 2016 having previously been Chairman of Lewisham West & Penge Conservatives between 2012 and 2013. Ross has twice stood for election in Lewisham contesting Sydenham ward in 2010 and Grove Park ward in 2014. Ross has lived in Lewisham most of his life and has been a school governor in the borough. He works for a not for profit organisation in London and has previously worked in the Housing and Transport sectors.
(From the Lewisham Conservatives website).
He was a governor at Adamsrill Primary School, and an assistant scout leader with 15th Sydenham Scout Group.
Realistically, winning isn’t on the agenda. Last time (2014) the Conservative Party candidate Simon Nundy gained slightly more than 11 per cent of the vote (Steve Bullock was elected outright without requiring a second round with more than 50 per cent of votes).
As it stands, it is largely a question of how much Archer will lose to the Labour Party candidate, who is at present unknown with incumbent Sir Steve Bullock standing down after more than 15 years in the job.
Three current Labour councillors have thrown their hats into the ring so far, according to the South London press. They are:
Paul Bell, a socialist Telegraph Hill councillor with staunch trade union credentials, who had the decency to abstain in the hugely unpopular planning approval for Leegate regeneration. See more information on his website.
Alan Hall, who has gained widespread plaudits for holding the council to account (and perhaps alienating support in his own party at the same time), particularly over the controversial New Bermondsey, as chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee. See full details at alanhall.org.uk.
And Damien Egan, who perhaps the smart money is on of the three so far. Social media friendly, and with an eye for a photo call, he is the cabinet member for housing.
There may be other candidates, the South London Press reports, with women and ethnic minority politicians in particular being encouraged to step forward.
It is not clear when the Labour Party will make its final selection.