Conservative councillor for Walton South, Christine Elmer leaves the Conservative Party and switches her allegiance to the Liberal Democrats

Having spent 11 years working for the Conservatives, Walton South councillor Christine Elmer, has joined the Liberal Democrats party today. She announced her departure on Twitter saying:

“I can no longer be a Conservative due to this Gov’s hard Brexit. I have today joined the Lib Dems” whilst sharing the link to the Liberal Democrats member sign-up page.

Against the Conservative Brexit, Christine Elmer said:

“I have been unhappy for some time with the political direction of the Conservative party. In recent days this situation had escalated by a series of events, including the announcement by the Prime Minister of a general election about the handling of the terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

As a fervent Remainer I find I can no longer support the government’s line on this, nor that of the current MP Dominic Raab. I now find it impossible to be a member of the Conservative party and have therefore decided to join the Liberal Democrats party.

I have served Walton South ward since 2006. In 2014 for the first time in 40 years of Elmbridge Council electoral history I was returned unopposed and in 2016 I received the highest number of votes in the all-out elections called for the ward. I therefore believe I have a personal mandate to continue in office. It is not my intention to cause a by-election.

I will do my best to continue to represent my constituents of Walton South and to look after their interests regardless of political interest. I feel I will be better able to do that as a member of a political party that I can support 100% both at a national level and locally. That party is the Liberal Democrats party.”

Richard Waller, Chairman of the Elmbridge Liberal Democrats extended her a warm welcome:

“The Elmbridge Liberal Democrats are delighted to welcome Christine Elmer to the party. She is recognised as being a highly competent Elmbridge councillor and in addition will reinforce our voice opposing a hard Brexit nationally.”

Andrew Davis, Liberal Democrat candidate for Esher & Walton in the General Election sees this as part of a growing trend:

“In Esher and Walton, we are seeing more and more people choosing to support the Liberal Democrats. Christine Elmer is one of many. Support for the Liberal Democrats is growing locally and nationally. The Conservatives lost their majority here in the 2016 borough council elections. And in the last six days, since the snap election was called, we’ve had 12,500 new members join the party.

Elmbridge is pro-Europe and 60% of us here voted Remain. Yet Dominic Raab, the local Conservative MP, is pushing for a hard Brexit. The majority here don’t want a hard Brexit. People here are making their voices heard and choosing Liberal Democrats for Esher and Walton.”

About Christine Elmer

Christine Elmer has lived in Elmbridge for over 50 years and has represented Walton South as a Conservative member since May 2006. She was Cabinet Member for Corporate Development from 2008-2010, and has held the post of cabinet member for Social Affairs since May 2010. From 2001-2007 she was a senior policy advisor at DEFRA.

She is married to Chris, a former Elmbridge councillor, who also left the Conservative Party last year to join the Liberal Democrats following the EU referendum. They have two children.

Andrew Davis announced as Lib Dem candidate to challenge Dominic Raab in Esher and Walton and prevent a hard Brexit

The Liberal Democrats have selected Andrew Davis as their candidate in the 2017 General Election.

“People in Esher & Walton should vote for the Liberal Democrats to prevent a hard Brexit and protect the local economy” the party’s local candidate, Andrew Davis has said today.

The Liberal Democrats are standing on a clear platform to prevent a hard Brexit by staying in the Single Market, and want to give the British people the final say on the Brexit deal.

Andrew Davis, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Esher & Walton commented:

“This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Esher & Walton to change the direction of our country and prevent a disastrous hard Brexit.

“People in Elmbridge voted decisively to remain in the EU, and certainly did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May and Dominic Raab plan to impose on us after being backed by Labour.

“For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance.

“The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.”

Elmbridge Liberal Democrats are holding a “Meet Andrew Davis” event on Wednesday 26th April 19:30-21:00 at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Church Road, Claygate KT10 0JP. You can show your interest on our facebook event.

Printed and promoted by Elmbridge Liberal Democrats at 18 Lockhart Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 2AX

Critical Surrey County Council election 4 May 2017

On Thursday 4th May, you have a chance to change the balance of power in Surrey County Council.

Vote for change – vote for your Liberal Democrat candidate

In Weybridge, vote for Vicki Macleod

In Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott, vote for Alastair Coomes

In Walton, vote for Chris Elmer

In The Dittons, vote for Gerard Doherty

In Cobham, vote for David Bellchamber

In East Molesey and Esher, vote for Paul Nagle

In Hersham, vote for Michael Smith

In West Molesey, vote for Alastair Sturgis

In Walton South and Oatlands, vote for Adriana Dredge

Conservatives are Failing Us

Surrey County Council has been under Conservative domination for the past 40 years. Surrey residents now face a £123m black hole in the county’s budget – that’s even after recent budget cuts.

The Conservatives hold 58 of 81 seats in Surrey. With such little opposition, they are not being held accountable for their actions.

Surrey County Council Responsibilities
Surrey County Council duties include responsibility for:

  • Providing school places
  • Getting our roads fixed
  • Looking after our elderly and vulnerable
  • Providing youth services and family support
  • Managing most of the money that residents pay in council tax

These services directly affect our lives. The Council’s own survey results show that only 39% of residents agree that the council provides good value for money.

With dissatisfaction at a record high – now is the time for change

Surrey isn’t working – make your voice heard

With non-existent financial planning, a huge budget deficit and ongoing cuts to services – it’s time for change. Vote for a better future for our families and all Surrey residents.

Vote for Vicki Macleod for Weybridge in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

Vicki Macleod – a voice for Weybridge

A long-term resident of Weybridge, Vicki cares deeply about our community and local quality of life. She has a history of involvement in the community – contributing to the activities of the Weybridge Centre as Chair of the Friends of Weybridge Centre charity, and serving as Governor to Heathside School.  She is now Vice-Chair of the Board of the ElmWey Learning Trust.

Vicki Listens to Local Residents

She understands many of the needs of our town, having lived in Weybridge for over 25 years.  She also listens to and acts on people’s local concerns.

Vicki is now asking residents:

“Which services provided by Surrey are letting us down?”

“What improvements do we want to see in our town?”

Vicki will work hard to make Weybridge an even better place to live.

More Effective Financial Management

Many people feel disconnected from Surrey County Council.  Those in the know see it as remote and inefficient, with a history of financial mismanagement.

Vicki apply her energy and commitment in working with other councillors to fight for more effective financial management and for budgets and projects that reflect local needs.

Her long-term aim is to see some of the services currently being run by Surrey County Council brought under Elmbridge’s control, most notably safety of roads and pavements – through better maintenance and through traffic calming.

Delivering More Together

Vicki believes that Weybridge will gain much more from having her as their Surrey County Councillor – as she will more easily work together with local Elmbridge Councillors, such as Andrew Davis and Peter Harman, and with the Elmbridge Liberal Democrat and Resident administration to achieve their vision for Weybridge.

Support Vicki Macleod for Weybridge

Vote for Vicki Macleod, your Liberal Democrat candidate, in the county council elections on May 4th and help put an end to Surrey’s mismanagement of the council tax we pay .

You can email Vicki at: vicki.macleod@weybridgelibdems.org.uk or call her on 07714 044 410.

Vote for Alastair Coomes for Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

Local teacher

Alastair lives in Claygate with his family. A trained teacher and special educational needs expert, he works locally, but also offers his expert services as a consultant to schools beyond Elmbridge.

Alastair’s Action List for Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott

  1. Better access to local school places & adequate funding
  2. Safer roads for pedestrians, cars and cyclists
  3. Protecting green belt from development
  4. Better care for the elderly, young and vulnerable
  5. Manage the budget better – with more transparency and openness

School places

Having been raised in Claygate and attended local schools, Alastair is very familiar with educational issues in Elmbridge and Surrey. With two teenagers himself, Alastair has first-hand experience of Surrey’s poor track record in providing adequate school places.

Surrey’s finances

While education is closest to Alastair’s heart, his decision to stand as a candidate for councillor is motivated by years of mismanagement of Surrey’s finances at the hands of the Tory administration. He wants to hold the administration to account and help manage the budget better.

Make your voice heard

Vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate, Alastair Coomes, in the county council elections on May 4th and help to stop the mismanagement of Surrey’s finances.

A vote for him is a vote for change and a better future for our families and all residents.

You can call Alastair on 07971 020804 or email him at AlastairForSurrey@gmail.com.

Vote for Chris Elmer for Walton in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

Long-term Walton Resident

Chris has lived in Walton for 25 years and understands the local issues – unlike the sitting Councillor who lives in Weybridge.

Experienced Public Servant

Chris has worked in public service for nearly 40 years before taking up a position in Elmbridge Council. In this role, Chris held many positions of responsibility such as:

  • Representing the Walton Ambleside and South wards for over 9 years
  • Chair of Licensing and Planning Committees
  • Vice Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee
  • Member of the Surrey County Council Local Committee

Extensive Experience

His extensive experience includes:

  • local planning issues
  • complaints to Surrey County Council about needed road repairs
  • helping local businesses secure additional parking at the Halfway shops Walton
  • local road safety issues
  • establishing a Community Speedwatch for Walton

Drake Park and WeylandsNoWay Campaigns

Chris worked with the community on the Drake Park and WeylandsNoWay campaigns against the proposed waste digester, questioning the Council about highways assessments and holding them to account over air quality and proximity of housing to the proposed digester.

Your current Councillor – a conflict of interests

Your current councillor represents both Borough and County Councils – creating a conflict of interests on the Drake Park and Weylands plans. She is also Deputy Mayor, and if she becomes the Mayor of Elmbridge in May as expected, will she have enough time to fulfil her responsibilities and represent your interests at council level?

Chris’ Top Priorities for Walton

  • Better accountability and control of Surrey finances
  • Provision of care for the elderly and vulnerable
  • Protection of green belt and open spaces
  • Adequate infrastructure to meet growing demands
  • Maintaining existing road networks to a safe standard

Support Chris Elmer for Walton

If elected, Chris will devote his time and efforts to wholly representing you at Surrey County Council. Vote for dedication and experience – vote for Chris Elmer on 4th May.

You can email Chris at: ChrisForWalton@gmail.com or call him on 07480 519443.

Vote for David Bellchamber for Cobham in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

David campaigned for the Liberals in his youth and has worked with them, the Liberal Democrats and with communities in Elmbridge for 30 years, the last 14 while living in Cobham. He has now retired as a lawyer after a career involving partnership in a City firm and then practising locally for many years.

One of David’s roles as a volunteer is to lead the planning team with Cobham Conservation & Heritage Trust. He opposes the loss of any Green Belt land in Elmbridge, considering that unnecessary with good planning. With Transition Cobham, David has been involved in the setting up of the Cobham Community Garden at the Leg O’Mutton Field and through that movement looks to improve the local environment, including by minimising waste, keeping footpaths open and clean for walkers and improving air quality.

David has long looked for a local government structure that has community councils beneath unitary authorities and the current mess on Surrey County Council supports the argument for them. It would cut down on duplication and expense and instil efficiency. With central government deciding the future of education more and more and Surrey‘s role diminishing, there is now a case for Elmbridge itself becoming the single authority as it has shown itself to be capable of good administration, proper budgeting and cross-border cooperation.

As well as putting good administration into Surrey County Council, David would look to provide

  • Protection of Green Belt land and open spaces
  • Adequate infrastructure before any development
  • Better care for the elderly and vulnerable
  • Safer roads for pedestrians, cars and cyclists

A vote for David on May 4th will send a message to Surrey Conservatives as to their failings.

Vote for Gerard Doherty for The Dittons in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

Gerard lives in Long Ditton with his family. He is a consultant in healthcare with expertise in the changing NHS and combined NHS/social care budgets.

Gerard’s action list for The Dittons

  1. Manage the budget better – holding the council to account
  2. Better care for the elderly, young and vulnerable
  3. Protecting green belt from development
  4. Safer roads for pedestrians, cars and cyclists
  5. Better access to local school places & adequate funding

Better care for the elderly, young and vulnerable

With particular expertise in health and social care Gerard is keen to ensure the council are held to account on their spending. He has a particular interest in the commissioning of services for young people and the elderly. The tory’s have a poor track record commissioning quality care for our eldery, with an increasing elderly population in Surrey he is keen to ensure the elderly and vulnerable receive appropriate care. He wants to hold the Tory stronghold to account ensuring services commissioned for vulnerable young people and the elderly are high quality and value for money.

Protecting green belt from development

Gerard is passionate about protecting the Stokes Field Green Belt area from the proposed development; not only is he concerned about the protection of the greenbelt but he is opposed to the development due to the lack of adequate infrastructure in the Dittons to support the proposed housing. He is eager for affordable housing to be developed in appropriate areas in Surrey without endangering the greenbelt.

Better access to local schools

Having teenage children Gerard is acutely aware of the pressures on local school places. He wants to ensure there are adequate local school places for our young people without the requirement for them to travel out of area to receive education.

Make your voice heard

Vote for the Liberal Democrat candidate, Gerard Doherty, in the county council elections on May 4th and help to stop the mismanagement of Surrey’s finances.
A vote for him is a vote for change and a better future for our families and all residents.

You can email Gerard at: gerard.doherty2@ntlworld.com

Vote for Michael Smith for Hersham in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

I have lived in Elmbridge with my wife Jane for the last 14 years and, having served as Chair of the local Liberal Democrat party for 5 years, have become very aware of the problems and issues facing local residents.

My background working as a director in international companies has made me increasingly frustrated at the poor service delivered by the Conservative administration on Surrey County Council. Whether it be the provision of school places, the maintenance of roads or on social care, the Conservatives are failing local people.

Even more worrying is the failure to budget effectively, with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy reporting only last December that “The Council’s financial plans are not robust and it is at risk of becoming financially unsustainable”

We need a change in County Hall and we need to review how we organise local government to be more responsive to local needs. For that I want to see unitary authorities and I, and the Liberal Democrats, wholeheartedly support the move to create a Community Council for Hersham.

Vote for Adriana Dredge for Walton South & Oatlands in the Surrey Elections May 4th 2017

Adriana has lived in Oatlands for over 20 years and has been an active member of the community.

In that time she has worked in higher education as a lecturer and course director; in addition to teaching and research, Adriana has helped many students and academic staff navigate through the challenges brought by the changes in the education system. Locally, she has worked as a volunteer “computer buddy” at the library, helping people who lack the basic digital skills acquire them in order to realise the benefits of the internet.

She has lived and worked in Europe, speaks several languages and believes in the potential for a strong, united Europe.

Adriana runs a marketing communications consultancy specialising in B2B and tech accounts, which helped mainly small businesses grow and succeed.

Adriana’s key issues are: education – funding for schools and access to school places, care for the elderly and the safety for all users of our roads.