Automatic Payment Parking comes to Weybridge

Work begins in September for a ticketless payment system for Churchfields car park. There will be several options but most locals will probably choose to simply drive in – drive out and pay on account.

No longer will you have to guess you length of your stay.  If you bump into a friend whilst shopping you can can have a coffee or lunch without going to fill the meter.  No need for coins either.

Convenience

Unlike many car parks elsewhere you will not even have to pay on exit via a pay-station. You simply drive out.

Of course, non-locals will have to use a pay station – unless they choose to register their vehicle on account.

Costs

Although the new car park should be a great benefit to users it will cost the borough a loss in revenue of around £30,000 a year.  This is currently what is collected from parking fines.  With barriered pay on exit parking penalties will reduce almost to nothing.

Some might say that the borough should have increased the parking charges to cover the cost of the proposals.  However, the Liberal Democrat led Elmbridge administration decided to recommend the full council agree this proposal without changing the charges in any way.

The main reason is that people might develop different parking habits from before and we felt it would be prudent to see what changes, if any, might be required.

Charge by the minute not the hour

So charges will remain at current levels.  After a few months we will be able to assess the new usage pattern and new, more flexible, charging arrangements could be introduced – possible pay only for the minutes used rather than the mainly current hourly system.  As ever, there will be consultations before any payment charge proposal are introduced.

We have reasonable confidence that once the barriers are installed the level of parking charge evasion will decrease to almost zero and therefore the revenue will increase by between 10% to 30%.  We’ll see.  As we get closer to the launch date we will be sending out more detailed information.

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.

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.