Esher & Walton General Election Hustings Confirmed

Hustings provide a great opportunity for local residents to meet, hear from and put questions to candidates standing in the election.

We’re pleased to share the following hustings in Esher & Walton that have been confirmed for the General Election:

Wednesday 31st May – East Molesey

Location: East Molesey Methodist Church, Manor Road, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9JU
Time: 7:30pm to 9pm

Thursday 1st June – Thames Ditton

Location: Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Hampton Court Way, KT7 0LP
Time: 8pm

Monday 5th June – Hinchley Wood

Location: St Christopher’s Church, Claygate Lane, Hinchley Wood, Esher, KT0 0AQ
Time: 7:30pm

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

Maintaining your assets

The borough maintains 97 car parks across Elmbridge.  They ranging from our town centres through to our commons.

In becoming portfolio holder for transport in May 2016 Cllr Andrew Davis asked for a current valuation and maintenance programme for all the car parks.  Unfortunately, apart from Drewitt’s Court this had not been undertaken for many years.  Perhaps the previous Conservative administration thought the car parks could mend themselves.

A condition survey was undertaken in 2016 to identify the state of the borough’s car parks and the financial commitments for repairs over the next five years. The full cost to bring the car park up to standard is £13m.

The borough’s obligations relating to Drewitts Court in order to comply with the terms of the existing leases, require that a structural evaluation of the ramp be undertaken immediately and that the repairs be carried out as quickly as possible. It is likely that the full cost will be £1,500,000.

To catch up with the amount of maintenance required for the other car parks the borough plans to spend up to £6m over the next three years.

However, with the high need for social housing, the pressure to build over car parks is high. Not all car parks are suitable but those that are should not given comprehensive repairs until their housing status is known.

Naturally, the order of work and indeed what work will be done will be undertaken with full consultation with local councillors.  A full management programme will be produced for each car park for while they are being reconstructed.  Dewetts Court will take much longer so will have a special plan.  It is likely to begin in January so us not to clash with the Christmas season.

Elmbridge Youth Service

Youth Club smallSurrey is halving the funding for Claygate and Weybridge youth centres.  Given the cut is so severe, Surrey has given the youth centre management committees time to raise funds from other sources before withdrawing its own funding – although it will not wait for ever (or even a year).  If you are in a position to offer support then please get in touch.

How did this happen?

It began with the Conservative state administration reducing its contribution to
local government revenues.  This is particularly painful because local government in England (unlike in most countries) is heavily restricted in how it may raise its own funds.  Even the tax that it is allowed to raise is heavily controlled by the state.  For example, income tax, national insurance and VAT increase year on year with inflation but council tax decreases.  The state even proscribes local governments’ ability to keep council tax in line with inflation; a situation that would not be tolerated in America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy or Spain.

Surrey has chosen to cut its youth services across the county by 11% in nominal terms.  It could have cut the service in all districts by the same amount.  Fortunately, the youth service took the view that it was time to examine need across the county afresh.

The primary directive is to ensure neets (young people not in education, employment or training) get into sustainable work and then to reduce neets to zero.  To disburse funds across the county according to need, the neets have to be located and various other indicators of deprivation have to be assembled.  The county used eleven indictors and determined that Elmbridge would have its funding increased by 6% – despite the general county cut of 11%.

Surrey took this analysis down to town level within Elmbridge itself to match the service provision with need.  This has meant that some towns, for example, Claygate and Weybridge had their service reduced and others, for example, Cobham had theirs increased.  Ditton and Oxshott have no provision from Surrey.

Adverts on Roundabouts

Advert-01Are you keen on having advertisements on our roundabouts in Elmbridge because you you see no harm in them? Or are you dead against them because they impoverish our beautiful borough? A number of proposals have already been withdrawn.  You can see what is proposed by clicking on a roundabout near you.

Sainsburys, Portsmouth Road, Cobham2015/1898
Claygate Lane/Kingston By-Pass, Ditton2015/1905
Lynwood Road/Woodfield Road, Ditton2015/1900
Embercourt Road/Hampton Court Way, Ditton2015/1903
Burwood Road/Severn Hills Road, Hersham2015/1894
Queen’s Road/West Grove, Hersham2015/1892
Hurst Road/Sadler’s Ride, Molesey2015/1901
Ashley Road/Stompond Lane, Walton, 2015/1908
Brooklands Road/Parvis Road, Weybridge,  2015/1907
Brooklands Road/Wellington  Way, Weybridge,  2015/1906
Monument Hill /Monument Road, Weybridge2015/1899

Bus Service Changes

Bus in Weybridge-01Following the Conservative Surrey administration decision to cut the bus budget, a revised bus timetable has been introduced and will begin on 29 August.

436 Weybridge-Byfleet-Woking

  • Timetable change will reduce frequency from half hourly to generally hourly,
  • Sunday shuttle service between Weybridge Station and Mercedes Benz World will be withdrawn.

451 Weybridge-Addlestone-Chertsey-Staines

  • This service will be withdrawn

459 Kingston-Esher-Hersham-Weybridge-Addlestone-Woodham-Woking

  • This service will be withdrawn

514 Kingston-Ditton-Molesey-Hersham

  • This service will be extended hourly from Hersham to Walton Station, Queens Road and Weybridge. Beyond Weybridge, some journeys will continue direct to Addlestone and some will go to Addlestone via Byfleet and Weybridge Tesco.

Lib Dem Win in Long Ditton

The returning officer for Elmbridge has just announced that the winner of the Long Ditton by-election is

Liberal Democrats    770    51%
Conservative              611    40%
Green                           79      5%
UKIP                             61      4%
Total                         1521

The turnout was 32% with a Lib Dem overall majority.

The number of councillors for each party in Elmbridge is as follows:

Conservative                 33
Residents’ party            17
Liberal Democrat party   7
Hinchley Wood party      2
Others                             1
UKIP                                0
Labour  party                   0
Green party                     0

The Conservatives run the administration with a majority of six councillors.

Lib Dems Buck Trend

Elmbridge Lib Dems have bucked the national trend with very strong holds in the two Elmbridge Borough Council wards where Lib Dem councillors were up for re-election  -Shweta Kapadia in Long Ditton and Mary Marshall in Claygate.

Both Lib Dem councillors increased their lead over their second-placed contenders.

The Lib Dem wards had the highest turnout in the borough at 46%.

More locally, Sue Bohane maintained herself as the challenger to the Conservatives in Weybridge South.

Elmbridge remains a Conservative administration.

Claygate
Electorate:                      5,444
Total Votes Cast:           2,491
Turnout:                        45.76%

COLLIGNON, Bernard Michael    UKIP                                 239    10%
MARSHALL, Mary                       Liberal Democrats       1276    52%    Elected
SUGDEN, Mark                            Conservative                    956     39%

Long Ditton
Electorate:                     4,658
Total Votes Cast:           2,131
Turnout:                       45.75%

CUNNINGHAM, Susannah          UKIP                                259    12%
FOX, Martin                                 Conservative                   602    28%
HUGHES, Roger                         Labour                             158      7%
KAPADIA, Shweta                     Liberal Democrats      1105     52%  Elected

Weybridge South
Electorate:                   3,360
Total Votes Cast:        1,169
Turnout:                       34.79%

BOHANE, Susan                      Liberal Democrats        231     20%
CUNNINGHAM, Redvers Paul   UKIP                                178     15%
JONES, Elinor Mair                   Labour                              102       9%
KNIGHT, Richard Albert            Conservative                    646     56%       Elected