Asif Shaheed talks to the BBC about how he defeated the warring Conservative Party in the Walton Peterborough ward election. Broadcast at 07:20 on Monday 10th May 2010 in the Paul Stainton Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Peterborough.
STAINTON: Let’s speak to one of the new boys. Asif Shaheed is the new Liberal Democrat councillor for Walton. Morning.
SHAHEED: Morning Paul. How are you sir?
STAINTON: I’m very good sir. Nice to speak to you.
SHAHEED: Thank you.
STAINTON: So you’ve been elected. You must be full of the joys of spring this morning.
SHAHEED: Very much so. The sun is shining. Life can’t be any better at the moment.
STAINTON: What’s it like to be a Liberal Democrat at the moment, the balance of power in your hands?
SHAHEED: (laughs) Well with regard to Walton I’m the most powerful man in Walton at the moment so I’m pleased with that.
STAINTON: Yeah, yeah (laughs)
SHAHEED: I’m sure on a national basis Nick Clegg will do what’s right by the party. Stick to our main principles and look for fairness for the nation really.
STAINTON: You must have been disappointed though, by the way people voted. You must have been expecting that nationally you would have had more of a say. I know you can have a say here, but if you’d got another ten, twelve seats, you’d have really been wresting the balance of power.
SHAHEED: Yes, very much so, but my main concern initially was getting in and representing Walton as a community, more than anything else, and for the next four years that’s what I aim to do, hopefully, and support any things they need in the area, better facilities for youth etcetera. Councillor Nick Sandford is my right-hand man now, (laughs) and he’ll support me all the way, hopefully.
STAINTON: What’s the first job on your in-tray then? What are you going to be addressing first of all in Walton?
SHAHEED: Initially it’s the youth facilities in the area really. It’s a very good community round here, Walton. I’ve lived here a fair few years now, and a lot of people who’ve moved out of the area do come back. But there’s not much for the youth round here. So I would hope to be able to instill some sort of club for them. Obviously there’s a long way to go for that. We do our residents survey as well. we’re in the process of doing that, asking the Walton residents what they wish for the area. So once we get feedback from that we’ll look into them all and see what’s the most popular idea for Walton.
STAINTON: Well we wish you all the best, and we look forward to speaking to you in the future. Asif Shaheed new Liberal Democrat councillor for Walton.