Barry has been an Elmbridge Councillor for Long Ditton since May 2000. Since 2000 he has been totally involved with the Long Ditton community, and still is. He was Group Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Elmbridge Council from 2011-2013, when he was elected Deputy Mayor. In spring 2014 he was elected as Mayor for 2014/15.
He is currently a member of the Cabinet as Portfolio Holder for the Environment and is a member of the Licensing Committee, the Mayor of Elmbridge Trust Fund and the Elmbridge Local Committee.
Over time he has served on many Elmbridge Council Committees and working groups, including Overview & Scrutiny task and working groups covering a range of subjects including:- waste collection and disposal; council partnerships; council service performance; the dissemination of financial information; Overview & Scrutiny; the replacement Leisure Centre; customer service improvement; the Elmbridge Museum; land charge searches; the discharge of elderly people from hospital and others.
He has lived in Elmbridge for more than 23 years, living previously in Wimbledon. He is married to Gill a retired headteacher. They have two sons, one of whom is working in an educational charity which supports education in difficult localities, and the other in a company specialising in cyber security.
Barry was educated at Sir Walter St John’s Grammar School, Battersea and following the closure of the school has served as a Trustee of the residual body, providing educational grants to individuals, voluntary groups and project groups based in the former catchment area of the school.
Barry spent most of his working life in London starting at a merchant bank, Samuel Montagu, and subsequently joining a number of specialist investment management organisations including Invesco, NatWest, Midland Montagu and Gartmore. Before retiring, he become self-employed specialising in investment related financial investigations and risk appraisals.
Barry is also involved with a number of local organisations namely:- HomeStart Elmbridge; Long Ditton Village Hall; Long Ditton Youth Project and St Mary’s Church Community Hall. He is a governor at St Mary’s Long Ditton Junior School and was Chair of Governors for 7 years. Other interests include: current affairs; sport; reading; walking; music; humour; and theatre.
Whilst a member of the Cabinet, Barry and fellow Lib Dems in coalition with the residents group have:
- Started a social housing programme with properties in Cobham, Thames Ditton and Weybridge
- Introduced a flexible parking strategy to serve our towns – including free parking on Saturdays
- Created a new planning compliance team to ensure developers do not build without permission
- Built a balanced property portfolio in Elmbridge to generate income to support Council services
- Delivered the new regional quality sports hub in Walton
- Replaced the under-performing Conservative grass verge and green spaces contract
- Invested to enhance our public tennis courts in association with the Lawn Tennis Association
- Implemented a new refuse collection contract which is providing a better service whilst saving money.
- All this and delivering the lowest council tax rise (1.9%) in Surrey
When re-elected Barry will work with others towards:
- Protecting the Green Belt
- Building on our new programme of social housing, with an aim to provide social housing for 2,000 new homes across Elmbridge
- Working to ensure Long Ditton stays a vibrant and pleasant place
- Making the environment central to all borough policy initiatives
- Ensuring that Community Infrastructure Levy is used correctly and will only be spent on extra health, education, transport and social infrastructure for Elmbridge
1. Barry considers housing and environment to be the two main issues in in both Long Ditton and Elmbridge. Long Ditton is a wonderful place to live, but young people and those in vital services find it unaffordable. Solving this problem would contribute to the whole community’s wellbeing – young and old, those working and those at home. But new housing must be achieved without a compromise on environment.
2. If elected Barry will champion local people’s needs, whether they are families, children in education, elderly needing care, vulnerable people or youths. He will also work in the council to help build 2,000 units of social housing in Elmbridge. This should be done respecting the integrity of the green belt and the environment. He feels strongly that our young people contribute to a thriving community and should be able to afford to live here.