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

Surrey By-Election

Leatherhead North 2016
Since the referendum there has been an upswing in support for the pro-European Liberal Democrat Party.  Membership in Elmbridge is soaring and in Mole Valley the Liberal Democrats have one a dramatic victory with very high swing of 23%.  All other parties lost support.

Unlike Britain as a whole, Elmbridge was for Remain as was Surrey and South-East England.

Warning on public health cuts in Surrey

healthcareFigures released by the national department of health show the Conservative national government is planning to cut £2.2m from the public health budget across Surrey.

This will have a direct impact on efforts to improve health at local level because the public health budget relieves pressure on English NHS hospitals and clinics by helping people to solve their own health problems before they become serious.

For example, the budget helps finance work to promote exercise, give up smoking and tackle drug addiction.

Cllr Hazel Watson, Surrey’s Leader of the Liberal Democrats opposition, said: “These planned cuts of £2.2m to Surrey’s public health budget are the wrong cuts, made in the wrong way.  The public health budget is an important support system for our NHS and these planned cuts represent a false economy which will only end up costing the government and the NHS more than is saved.

Lib Dems urge Surrey to protect children

Childrens servicesFollowing an Ofsted inspection this June, which rated Surrey’s Children’s Service as “inadequate”, Surrey’s Conservative administration has published its plan on Children’s Improvement 2015.

“Inspectors concluded that there were widespread and serious failures that potentially leave children at risk of harm,” said ClIr Hazel Watson, Surrey’s Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition. “The Conservative administration has a huge challenge to turn around Surrey’s children’s services.”

Better recruitment and training

The Improvement Plan is a substantial report suggesting a host of actions, including better recruitment and retention of social workers, improved training for children’s services staff, more thorough management oversight and more efficient procedures. The publication of the report is the county’s pathway to the recovery of children’s services.

Liberal Democrats in Surrey will work with the Conservative administration and other political groups to ensure that the improvement plan’s actions are fully implemented.  The special focus will be on recruiting and retaining social workers who are experienced and can provide the best possible service for Surrey’s children. The current vacancy rate is approximately 20 per cent in essential social work teams in Surrey,”