In 2009, when I quit the Labour party following the misleading of parliament over the Iraq war, the support for the French Riot police brutally closing Sangatte Refugee camp and the expenses scandal that had exposed our then Labour MP as having made extravagent claims at the public expense, Wayne contacted me to ask whether I'd consider joining the Lib Dems and replacing him as the candidate. I was quite surprised. I suggested that I would make a lousy candidate. Wayne asked if I'd be worse than the Tory alternative. He acted as our election agent in 2010 and was a massive support to me. Sadly we lost and we ended up with three Tory MP's, but with Wayne's guidance, it was a great experience.
Wayne was a real local councillor. His opposition to certain well known local rich developers took a personal toll on him. During the period in 1994-2002 where the Lib Dems were in coalition with Labour, Wayne used this opportunity to get many things done. He was a champion of localism and was instrumental in getting local area forums set up, where residents could challenge the council on any topic in regular public meetings. He championed sensible local initiatives such as the street skips, that saw the council regularly placing skips around the borough for residents to dump large items. This resulted in a huge drop in fly tipping. Wayne also supported the councils improvements to road safety locally. Under the administration there was a large reduction in people being injured due to car accidents. Road humps and other traffic calming measures were instituted. Sadly, the Conservatives ripped these out as soon as they could and Barnet has seen rising problems since.
|Wayne at theMill Hill Lib Dems curry at the Day of the Raj in 2010|
Wayne was also good fun. During the campaign of 2010, we had regular curries, often at The Day of The Raj. Wayne's house was the nerve centre of our operations and Wayne and his wife Pauline always made us welcome. I was sorry to see Wayne move to Northampton, as he was a genuinely decent guy and always good for a chat. It appears that he may have had a heart problem and passed away peacefully in his sleep. I am sure all long standing Mill Hill residents will mourn our departed friend.