A Liberal Democrat activist has thrown his hat into the ring again as Wimbledon Park voters decide who to vote for in an upcoming council by-election.

Dave Busby has been selected to contest the Wimbledon Park byelection on May 3 after the resignation of Conservative councillor Tariq Lord Ahmad.

Mr Busby unsuccessfully stood for the same seat in May 2010 when he got 1548 votes, compared to more than 2000 votes each for the ward's three Conservative councillors - Coun Ahmad, Coun Oonagh Moulton and Coun Janice Howard.

The election will be held on the same day as voters across London go to the polls to elect the capital’s mayor and its representative at City Hall for Merton and Wandsworth.

Mr Busby said: "Having lived here for a number of years, I know the issues that really matter to local residents.

"Already Lib Dems have protected 20-minutes free parking in Arthur Road, and we’re fighting to protect direct Thameslink services to central London, safeguard Weir Road from unsuitable waste processing development and prevent cuts to our local police Safer Neighbourhood Team.

"I’m looking forward to continuing to champion these issues during the campaign and continuing to get out and listen to people on the doorstep so that I can act as an independent voice for residents."

No one political party holds a majority on Merton Council, which is controlled by the Labour party who are the largest party with 28 out of 60 seats.

The second biggest party with 27 seats is the Conservative group, who themselves controlled Merton as a minority administration between 2006 and 2010, while three seats are held by Merton Park ward independent councillors.

The Liberal Democrats are Merton’s smallest party with seats on the council, both of which are in West Barnes ward on the border with New Malden in the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.

The group’s leader, Councillor Iain Dysart, said: "David has been campaigning on Lib Dem issues for years and knows the area like the back of his hand.

"During these difficult times, when the Labour-run Council are cutting back many important services and trying to make cuts which will be bad for local business – like removing 20-minutes free parking – it is clear that we need another strong Liberal Democrat voice on the Council".

The Wimbledon Park ward, for which three councillors are elected every four years, has become a stronghold for Merton’s Conservatives in recent years.

The Conservative candidate is Linda Taylor, the chairman of Go South So Task Force which lobbies for south London to get more benefits from this year’s Olympic Games.

More recently, Ms Taylor has also campaigned against the closure of the Vineyard Hill GP surgery, in Vineyard Hill Road, which is set to lose a huge chunk of its funding from Sutton and Merton PCT.

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