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IN DEPTH: The Palmers - Two Lib Dems are better than one

PUBLISHED: 16:37 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 07 September 2010

BARNET'S most formidable Liberal Democrat couple who between them have more than 40 years experience in politics are this year calling on residents to make them the party of local government. Monroe and Susette Palmer, both councillors for

Susanna Wilkey

BARNET'S most formidable Liberal Democrat couple who between them have more than 40 years experience in politics are this year calling on residents to make them the party of local government.

Monroe and Susette Palmer, both councillors for Child's Hill, are keen to increase the number of Lib Dem councillors at the May elections and hope to edge out some Conservatives in wards across the borough.

They promise if people vote Lib Dem they will get a more caring council which will be run for the benefit of the residents.

Mr Palmer said: "We are aiming to get at least all nine councillors in three wards - Child's Hill, Mill Hill and High Barnet. We currently have six.

"The Liberal Democrats are popular within these wards so that is our main target although we will also be targeting other wards where we think we can win because people are unhappy with their Conservative councillors.

"We will have candidates in each of the 21 wards in Barnet and we are still in the process of selecting them.

"We believe the Liberal Democrats will make gains at the Conservatives' expense in Barnet. I am not predicting that Nick Clegg will become Prime Minister but I think he will be part of the decision making in a hung parliament.

"We are working to support Ed Fordham in Hampstead and Kilburn. We think he will beat Glenda Jackson and they will both beat Chris Philp.

"People in Barnet should vote Liberal Democrat for better management and a more caring council which will really listen to people. The Lib Dem agenda is caring about people and protecting freedoms and civil liberties."

Mrs Palmer added: "We will always try to make sure that everyone can develop to the best of their abilities. Everyone should be allowed to achieve their maximum whatever that may be and the Lib Dems would provide for that."

The Palmers, who have three children and six grandchildren, are fed up with the current Barnet administration that planned to get rid of the sheltered housing wardens and lost millions in Icelandic banks.

Mr Palmer added: "Getting rid of the wardens is an arbitrary and cruel measure and it should have been looked at more holistically.

"We do not think Barnet Council is being run for the benefit of the residents. Future Shape is going to cost £3million and a lot of that will be redundancies which will not help anyone.

"They have not thought the proposals through properly. Barnet has become a very unfeeling local authority."

Among the proposals the couple feel strongly about are introducing a no-drinking zone along Golders Green High Street, preventing too many places being granted late night alcohol licences and giving people 20 minutes grace to park on Barnet's high streets to pop into the shops.

Mr Palmer has been a councillor since 1986 and Mrs Palmer since 1994. He has stood as a parliamentary candidate several times in Hendon South as well as in Hastings and Rye, narrowly missing out on a seat.

He was also treasurer of the national party for seven years during the 80s and led the Barnet Lib Dems for 17 years until he stepped down last year and was replaced by Child's Hill colleague Jack Cohen.

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