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The Liberal Democrats in Ipswich work hard to address the concerns of residents and deliver fairness for all. We currently have 2 elected borough councillors who cover St Margaret's ward, one of whom is also elected to Suffolk County Council. To find the contact details for your Liberal Democrat councillor please click here.

Thanks for your interest in the Liberal Democrats. A brief biography of some of our local activists can be found below:


Cathy French

Being 'liberally minded' is probably the only real constant in my life! I started helping the Liberals before I could vote - but didn't end up joining the party until more than 20 years later when I had a family.

In the years between I had worked in shops, pubs, fields, factories and even a betting office, before I started a career as a teacher. I taught the brightest of children and also those who really struggled to understand. That was also when I learnt that help and support has to be balanced - too little and people just fail, too much and they don't achieve what they could, and they also fail!

The Lib Dems seemed to me to be the only party which accepted that there wasn't an exact 'right' answer, but that it was a matter of finding the balance that fitted most people the best. They also accepted party members not always agreeing about every policy but still being ready to work together for the common good - which may be why we were prepared to go into Coalition despite knowing that this would damage us in elections from then on.

Colin Boyd Colin

I am a Liberal to my core. I firmly believe in freedom of thought and expression, and I'm becoming increasingly concerned by the level of intolerance in society, espeically post-Brexit vote. Those who want to fight to keep some of the benefits of EU membership should not be castrated or labelled undemocratic. However, I'm also mindful that firm Brexit supporters often have legitimate concerns, and it is equally unacceptable to call them Xenophobes. There is a massive divide in Britain and we must find a way to unite. Politics in becomming increasingly nasty, and I've not always engaged in sensible debate about issues myself. However, I've now realised that there is already too much hate, war, and dogmatism; I understand why some people avoid politics altogether.

Ultimately, the Liberal Democrats have policies that represent intelligent, scientific, and evidence based approaches rather than populist policies which pander to the media; this is what distinguishes the party from most of the alternatives. Furthermore, in recent history the Labour party took us to an illegal war and left the economy in a complete mess, while the Conservatives have impossed cuts affecting the most disadvantaged. The Liberal Democrats are not mistake free, and I'm diappointed we did not deliver on the tuition fee pledge. However, I realise this was during a coalition, yet Labour and Conservative activists use this as an easy excuse to target us despite their inexcusable failings! For me, the Liberal Democrats are the only party worthy of my support, and I am proud to be a member at this time. There is a place for moderate politics, for liberal values, and for all the important things the party represents.

Moira Kleissner Moira Kleissner

As someone who is a strong believer in democracy, from the bottom up, the Liberal Democrats are the party that fit my personal philosophy best. It's not a matter of strategic voting to keep a political party out or in government, as far as I'm concerned, but of voting for a party that is consistent in its policies and practice.

I believe in fair treatment of all, no matter what religious beliefs are held, ability/disability of body or mind, where you are from ethnically, or orientation. Liberal Democrats stand for fairness across the board.

The following ideas are very important to me, coming from a working class background - Fairness for all in education, paying taxes and the pathway to make the most of your life no matter who you are, looking after our planet and listening to people; these embody ideals that are all compatible with Liberal Democratic philosophy, values and policies regardless of the society you are from, where you come from geographically, what school you went to, or what religious/non-religious views you have.

Malcolm Mitchell


My late Wife and I joined the Liberal Party in 1974. Jean had been a Liberal supporter all her life, following in her Father's footsteps, similarly I had been a Labour supporter, following my parents' inclinations. At that time we were living in Devon in an area where the Labour Party were in a very poor third place at election time.

When, in 1983, the Liberal Party and Social Democrats merged to become the Liberal Democrats, we became Founder Members of the new party. We believed that our philosophical outlook on life was close to the fundamental reason for the existence of the Liberal Democrats:-

to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, seeking to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Charlotte Asher


I am a fairly new member of the Liberal Democrats - joining in January 2016. I came to this position because their policies make sense to me. I am a local sixth former, born and bred in Suffolk and I hope that the future for our county is as bright as possible, reflecting the diverse and vibrant country that we live in.

I decided to become a member concluding that the Liberal Democrats were the only party able to represent the youth of today in a fair, equal and united way. Such as, most recently, leading up to and post the EU referendum. The Liberal Democrats think about issues in a way that allows converging views to meet and find common ground.

As a liberal, I would like us to use the opportunities that exist to bring people together, without being extreme or damning other people's opinions, that isn't exclusive or aggressive but is positive, strengthening and realistic.


Trevor Powell

I joined what was then the Liberal Party in 1983 having decided it was necessary to campaign for a realistic alternative to Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives and a fairer voting system. I subsequently got involved in local politics where I lived in Essex and served for eight years as a Liberal Democrat District Councillor from 1991 to 1999.

I have remained a party member ever since then and even had a period campaigning for Charles Kennedy when I lived in his constituency. Now I am back in East Anglia I am keen to see the local party grow and am delighted to see the growth in membership since the 2015 General Election.

I am a great believer in policies being based on evidence rather than ideology. In my view the Liberal Democrats are the best party at offering this and have a proud record of helping elect some of the most hard working MP's and councillors in the Country.

Martin Hore Martin

I want to live in a country where less advantaged citizens are treated fairly and where opportunity is open to all. The Liberal Democrats, free of the vested interests that bind the other main parties, are best placed to pursue both a stronger economy and a fairer society. And Liberal Democrats have a record of doing just that in government.

I want my vote to count, wherever I live. And I want to be able to cast a vote for my most preferred candidate without fear that this will let in my least preferred candidate. The Liberal Democrats are the only major party committed to reform of our first past the post voting system.

I believe that if a decision can be taken locally it should be taken locally, not in Westminster or in Brussels. Liberal Democrats have a proud record of service on local councils, looking after the interests of local communities. But I am convinced that Britain is stronger in Europe. Big decisions - on climate change, management of scarce resources and control of multinational companies - need to be taken together with our European partners. The Liberal Democrats are the only major party unequivocally in favour of Britain remaining in Europe.


Conrad Robert-Smith Packwood

I'm 51 years of age, have cerebral palsy, rheumatoid arthritis and without my digital hearing aids I am deaf in both ears. I have bright red hair (out of a bottle) and I wobble when I walk, so much so that people who don't know me have been known to think I am drunk! If only! (Though I do like a glass or two of cider!)

Since I moved out of my parents' home over 25 years ago, I have enjoyed my independent life and have shared my own home with a variety of pets including several cats and a snake!
I still see my mum and my older sister most days but sadly my dad died in 2016 and my other sister and her family live in Australia so we chat via social media when her busy life allows.
I have always been interested in politics and for many years supported the Labour Party but in 2015, I had become disillusioned with the Labour Party and its poor performance in two General Elections. I found I certainly could not support Jeremy Corbyn as the new party leader so I joined the Liberal Democrat Party and this has been a marvelous experience for me so far.

So, now in my third year with the Lib Dems, I hope my contribution to the local branch has been as beneficial to the group as their acceptance of me, as a severely disabled man, has been to me. I have helped the Ipswich Lib Dems set up a Facebook group and this has led me to do the same for the Liberal Democrats Disability Association. I have been the administrator for both sites and I'm very proud of myself, helping them with my technological know-how.
In November 2017, I was elected onto the Ipswich Lib Dem executive committee as a diversity officer. I will do my very best to increase awareness of the Liberal Democrat Party to all minority groups in society and hopefully get a few more to join in with changing the way politics is seen by those so often neglected by mainstream society and its politicians. We have to get people to want to join in with political life and they won't do so unless they feel their opinion counts. I want to encourage debate and political exploration that has so far been lacking. In fact, I want to be the David Attenborough of the Liberal Democrats and hope that my Life On Earth will in some small way make a difference to our society in the same way his life has done so for the planet.

Maureen Haaker

Maureen Haaker

I am a new member not only to the Liberal Democrats, but also to the UK. Originally from Chicago, IL, I have always been politically active - while studying for my BA in Political Science, I volunteered in Obama's presidential campaign, protested WHINSEC ("School of the Americas") in Atlanta, GA, and took part my university's peace and justice programme. I moved here in 2011 while doing my postgraduate studies in Sociology at University of Essex, and now work at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich teaching in the School of Psychology and Education.
I joined the Liberal Democrats in response to the vote on Brexit and the subsequent chaos that followed. I'd like to a see a fairer, more equal society which recognises and responds to global affairs. From day one, Liberal Democrats have fought to ensure the UK continues to play a vital role in European and world politics, so I joined to support this goal. However, what I found after joining was a wonderful group of people who have become both friends and fellow activists. I've been invited to charity dinners, birthday parties, and party meetings where there is lots of fun, laughter, and good political debates. Other Lib Dems always ask how my work and research are going, and there is endless support and knowledge within the group.
To me, the Liberal Democrats has become like a group of friends you can debate politics without fear of stepping on toes. I look forward to the next lot of canvassing and leafleting, and hope to welcome new members in the way I was welcomed into the party.