Sutton's first Liberal councillor Ruth Shaw gets OBE in Queen's New Year's Honours

Sutton Guardian: Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gave Mrs Shaw a certificate for services to the Liberal Democrats in 2011 Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gave Mrs Shaw a certificate for services to the Liberal Democrats in 2011

The borough's first Liberal councillor has been given an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours.

Back in the 1950s, when she founded the first Sutton Young Liberals Group, Ruth Shaw was told liberalism had not future but in 1961 she was elected to the council. By 1986 the Liberal Democrats became the council's ruling party and have been ever since.

Now Mrs Shaw, 87, has been honoured with an OBE for her services to politics.

She said: "I didn't see this coming at all. I was absolutely astonished and obviously very pleased. To get this recognition is wonderful although I don't even feel like I've done all that munch - although I must have been doing something right."

Mrs Shaw was elected to the old north west ward at the seventh time of asking in 1961. She did several stints on the council, both before and after it became a London borough, totalling 24 years and counts her greatest achievement in politics as being a Liberal Democrat councillor when the party took control of Sutton Council in 1986.

She added: "I just believed liberalism was the right way to go. In the 50s people on the doorstep told me it had no future but I couldn't see it that way. Now the Liberal Democrats have been in power here for more than 25 years."

Mrs Shaw also represented Sutton on the Greater London Council and was named an honorary Alderman by Sutton Council in 2011. She lives in North Cheam with her husband of 60 years Arnold and has two children and eight grandchildren.

During her time on the council she was responsible for the implementation of the S bus service to make harder-to-reach areas of the borough more accessible.

Comments (4)

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12:43pm Tue 31 Dec 13

GreenBrown says...

"Back in the 1950s, when she founded the first Sutton Young Liberals Group, Ruth Shaw was told liberalism had no future"

If only that had turned out to be true. 60 years on and that way of thinking has infected everything. Pioneering that is nothing to be proud of.
"Back in the 1950s, when she founded the first Sutton Young Liberals Group, Ruth Shaw was told liberalism had no future" If only that had turned out to be true. 60 years on and that way of thinking has infected everything. Pioneering that is nothing to be proud of. GreenBrown

3:51pm Tue 31 Dec 13

CPN says...

How sad that a local lady receives an honour and the only response is negative!

Congratulations, Mrs. Shaw!.. And the S bus routes are great - how did people do without them?
How sad that a local lady receives an honour and the only response is negative! Congratulations, Mrs. Shaw!.. And the S bus routes are great - how did people do without them? CPN

5:58pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Michael Pantlin says...

The Honours System needs reform to make it transparent. Reasons should be given to people who put a lot of time and effort into gathering and providing evidence and support in submitting and nomination applicarion
Merely to acknowledge receipt of comleted nomination forms and say if you have not heard by a certain date then the nomination has not been accepted and not to reapply in the future as the decision will be the same is unhelpful and causes animosity toward the system when people are seen to be honoured who are thought to be less worthy that the one rejected.
The Honours System needs reform to make it transparent. Reasons should be given to people who put a lot of time and effort into gathering and providing evidence and support in submitting and nomination applicarion Merely to acknowledge receipt of comleted nomination forms and say if you have not heard by a certain date then the nomination has not been accepted and not to reapply in the future as the decision will be the same is unhelpful and causes animosity toward the system when people are seen to be honoured who are thought to be less worthy that the one rejected. Michael Pantlin

12:13am Thu 2 Jan 14

GreenBrown says...

"How sad that a local lady receives an honour and the only response is negative!"

No, what is sad is how this country has declined in so many ways since the 1950s and people who promote liberalism have played a big part in that decline. Besides, the whole honours system is corrupt and meaningless nowadays anyway. Once we got to Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Elton John the game was up.
"How sad that a local lady receives an honour and the only response is negative!" No, what is sad is how this country has declined in so many ways since the 1950s and people who promote liberalism have played a big part in that decline. Besides, the whole honours system is corrupt and meaningless nowadays anyway. Once we got to Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Elton John the game was up. GreenBrown

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