Picture of Alison Bennett stood in

From taking a stand to making a difference

In 2019, Alison made history as the first non-Conservative district councillor for Hurstpierpoint in living memory. 
 
Despite the demands of local politics, Alison remains refreshingly grounded in routine family life in West Sussex. "I experience the same issues as everybody else," she admits. "I worry about the environment, get stuck in traffic. I walk my kids to the local school, shop in Burgess Hill, and take my family to the Triangle leisure centre."
 
When Alison graduated from Cambridge in 1999 with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, a career in politics was not anticipated. But as a young executive at British Airways, Alison proved an able problem solver in marketing, strategy, and business planning. 
 
Later, at E.on, Alison confronted social challenges, working on products aimed at supporting people in fuel poverty. “I learnt much that has been valuable as a local politician in understanding what matters to people and the pinch points in their lives.”
 
Her commitment to public service was sparked following Donald Trump’s election in 2016. “I was dismayed and felt helpless. I realised that while I couldn’t do anything about what happened on the other side of the Atlantic, I could have an impact in the village where my children were growing up. I was fed up of people saying that there was no point voting because the same party always won. I was determined to do something about it.”
 
Warned it couldn’t be done, Alison turned around the Mid Sussex Lib Dems’ fortunes. Having had no councillors in 2015, by 2019, she became leader of 13 Lib Dems on MSDC. Then in May 2023, the party succeeded in leapfrogging the Conservatives to becoming the largest on the Council. 
 
Her pragmatic and collaborative approach emphasizes building relationships across party lines. Alison underscores the importance of teamwork, stating, "One person alone can't achieve things in politics. You have to motivate people, build a team, and pull in the same direction." Her journey stands as a testament to the transformative power of tenacity and optimism in leadership.

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