Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP welcomes ex-Conservative Councillor to the Lib Dems

2.42.14pm GMT Wed 22nd Feb 2006

Stephen Williams MP welcomes ex-Conservative Councillor Mike Popham to the Lib Dems (photography: Tim Pollard)

MP for Bristol West, Stephen Williams, has welcomed to the Liberal Democrats Mike Popham, an ex-Conservative Councillor who served on Woking Borough Council in Surrey for 6 years.

Mr Popham has been selected as the prospective Liberal Democrat Councillor for Westbury-on-Trym ward in the 4th May City Council elections. Mr Popham, who was the Conservative candidate for Clifton East last year, said he joined the Liberal Democrats because of the party's long-held commitment to local community issues, the environment, social justice and responsible economic decision-making. He added "A genuine party to its core, I support wholeheartedly our Lib Dem Council's efforts to balance the City's budget, reform schools and social services, ease traffic congestion, and work for a safer, cleaner City."

Stephen Williams said "I am delighted to welcome Mike to the Liberal Democrats. I first met him while we were both on the campaign trail last May and at that time we were in rival parties. I am sure his experience as a Conservative Councillor will be invaluable to the Liberal Democrats. The fact that he has chosen to join the Lib Dems at this time and put himself forward for the City Council shows that we are still able to attract principled former Conservatives, despite the overtures of David Cameron."

Mr Popham is employed by a company that specializes in corporate performance. He has 3 Government SMART awards and an MBA in Public Sector Performance. With a genuine interest in strong financial probity, Mike wants clarity in local decision making with efficient service provision, so that unnecessary expenditure may be given back to the hard pressed tax payer for saving, debt repayment and to feed Bristol's businesses. Joining the Royal Air Force from Bristol in 1972 he served for 20 years, rising through the ranks to become a squadron leader in the communications and engineering branch.

The local elections in Westbury-on-Trym are predicted to be a close fight between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. The Lib Dems need only 4 more council seats to take majority control of Bristol City Council.

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