LOCAL ELECTIONS 2014: Vicar’s wife delivers for Labour in Roehampton


My campaign started as a bit of joke, she admits


By Naomi Firsht and Li Hoang

Labour proved it has community spirit in Roehampton and Putney Heath with the election of vicar’s wife Sue McKinney, who won the most votes and ensured the ward switch from Tory to Labour.

Ms McKinney topped the ward poll with 1964 votes.

“I’m very chuffed,” she said. “Last year we only had one councillor – two Tory and one Labour – but Roehampton is Labour at heart.” 

What began as a bit of a giggle for Ms McKinney and husband Jim McKinney turned out to be one of the night’s most impressive gains.

“It started as a little bit of a joke. Rex Osborn suggested it. ‘Why don’t you do it, Sue?’ We laughed at first but then thought, well why not?” said Mr McKinney.

Ms McKinney said it was a bit of a surprise when she stood for election as Jim, Vicar of Roehampton for the past 18 years, is known for being the political one in the couple.

“He’s very political, I’m not necessary political but we really wanted to have a strong Labour team,” she said.

“I’m very very proud. She did a fantastic job. There were a lot of personal votes,” said Mr McKinney

Ms McKinney puts the Labour success in Roehampton down to the personal, community-minded approach to their campaign.

“Now that we know the people, they know us. Peter had done surgeries for four years every Saturday and will now do surgeries three times, thrice! There’s three of us, we’ll always have a presence in Roehampton for people to come and have people ask us things,” said Ms McKinney.

One of Ms McKinney’s major concerns is the Danebury Avenue regeneration project. The rebuilding plan will mean elderly residents of Oldbrook House will have to be relocated while work is ongoing.

 “If they have to move out while their flat gets flattened I want to make sure that they move with the support they need and are moved back when the new buildings are built with support,” Ms McKinney said.

“I need to keep a close eye on the developments.”

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