About the councillors
The seven Elmbridge Liberal Democrat Councillors are part of the administration of the borough. The Liberal Democrats are in coalition with the various town parties of Ditton, Esher, Hersham, Molesey and Walton. They work to achieve a greener, cleaner, fairer and safer community, while ensuring value for money from our council tax. Information on the Councillors is below. Their contact details are in the ‘Contact Us‘ section.
Cllr Alex Coomes (Claygate ward – elected since 2012)
Alex is chairman of Elmbridge borough’s audit and standards committee. Alex has lived in Claygate since he was four months old and is a parish councillor. He enjoys the benefits of living in Claygate and wants to help it remain a lovely village and to work for the residents on borough matters.
He has worked hard on the Claygate parish planning Committee considering the views of residents on planning applications, the merits of any application and how these opinions should be transmitted to Elmbridge. He has been active in making comments to on the Elmbridge plan.
Alex was a very active supporter of the campaign against the imposition of metered car parking charges by Surrey County. Alex works hard for the benefit of Claygate, but still finds time for his allotment.
Cllr Kim Cross (Claygate ward – elected since 2015)
Kim Cross has worked full-time for his own companies since 1976. Initially owning a real estate company in Vancouver, Canada (to which he had emigrated from Britain in 1971), he grew the company to be one of the largest firms on the North Shore and then expanded within the industry and bought another real estate company in Calgary, Alberta, in 1980.
During his time in Calgary, Kim saw what appeared to him a real opportunity within the oil and gas industry, and he started a gas brokerage company. That business grew so fast that he sold the real estate companies and concentrated fully on the gas brokerage firm – ultimately selling it to Enron in 1990.
Upon his return to Britain in 1991, Kim started an advertising company selling his interest in that company in 2002. He has since been involved in small property developments and also written a thriller called The Suicide Bomber. Enduring the frustration of trying to get any publishers or literary agents to read it he started Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd. a self-publishing company in 2005 which he still runs today.
Kim and his wife Lesley have lived in Claygate since 2004 and really enjoy the strong sense of community there is in the village. Kim wants to help maintain and improve upon this spirit wherever possible through his work as an Elmbridge borough councillor.
Cllr Andrew Davis (Weybridge Riverside ward – elected since 2012)
Deputy Leader of Elmbridge Borough Group and cabinet member for highways and transport. Leader of the Elmbridge Liberal Democrats, he currently serves on the Planning Committee, South Area Planning Committee, Electoral Review Working Group, Constitutional Review Working Group, and the Property Appraisal Group.
Andrew has lived in Weybridge for thirty years: first in Park Lawn Road, then Oakdale Road and finally Holstein Ave.
Twenty-five years ago he set up a national campaigning organisation, the ETA, to promote environmental transport. It is funded by providing its supporters with cycle insurance and car breakdown cover. From its national headquarters in Weybridge, the ETA established Green Transport Week in 1992, Green Car Buyers Guide in 1993, Walk to School Week in 1995, Car Free Day in 1997, and the 20′s Plenty in 1999.
Andrew was a very active member of the Weybridge Society committee for 14 years. He has campaigned to maintain a vibrant town centre, with a variety of shops, and facilities; a safe town with 20 mph speed limits in residential roads and safe routes to school; and to have local school places for every child in Weybridge.
Cllr Barry Fairbank (Long Ditton ward – elected since 2000)
He is a member of the cabinet as portfolio holder for the environment, the Appointments Committee, The Older People’s Advisory Body, The Performance and Finance Standing Panel, The Health Working Group.
Over time he has served on many 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 15 years, living previously in Wimbledon. He is married to Gill a headteacher, with two sons, one of whom is working as a political researcher and the other studying at university. He 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.
He 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; St Mary’s Church Community Hall; Long Ditton Children’s Centre. He is also a Governor at 2 schools: Long Ditton St Mary’s Junior where he is Chairman and Cranmere Primary in Weston Green.
Barry is a member of the campaign group : Save Our Surrey Community Hospitals. Other interests include: current affairs; sport; reading; walking; music; humour; and theatre.
Cllr Neil Houston (Long Ditton ward – elected since 2015)
Neil has lived in Long Ditton for many years.
Cllr Shweta Kapadia (Long Ditton ward – elected since 2000)
She is a Chairman of Elmbridge’s Planning Committee. She is Chairman of the East Area Planning Sub-Committee – a post she has held for 10 years. She is the borough’s Design and Historic Environment Champion. She is on the borough’s Waterside Drive Member Reference Group and on the Local Plan Group that is working on Elmbridge Planning Policy to 2026
Other current appointment: Trustee, R C Sherriff Trust
She has served on the management committee of the Elmbridge Multi-Faith Forum and has been a school governor.
Shweta has lived in Long Ditton for over 25 years. She was educated in India where she qualified as an architect, and has worked in the profession for many years. She is also a reflexologist and has done voluntary work in a reflexology clinic.
Her hobbies/interests include painting on China and Porcelain for which she has received several awards playing bridge, Western and Indian Classical music, and Art.
Cllr Mary Marshall (Claygate ward – elected since 2013)
Mary Marshall is Elmbridge cabinet portfolio holder for community affairs. She is also on the Affordable and Social Housing working group. She and her family have lived in Holroyd Road, Claygate, for 24 years. She is a genuine grassroots representative for residents of the village and a dedicated neighbourhood campaigner. Mary is committed to maintaining Claygate’s unique character – which she knows and understands intimately, having raised children here and walked and cycled many miles around the village.
“I’ve now lived almost half of my life in Claygate and this is where I feel at home. Our village still has that real ‘village feel’ – it’s friendly and caring where most people know each other. You can truly relax here and enjoy the benefits of the countryside as well as the superb advantage of being so near the centre of London.”
Mary has run a gymnastics club in Surbiton for more than 20 years. Avondale Gymnastics Club is a charitable community organisation for children, open seven days a week. In an average week Mary sees more than 300 children of all ages visit the club and benefit from its well-equipped facilities and Mary’s team of qualified coaches.
Running a community organisation on a very tight budget has prepared Mary for the role of Elmbridge Councillor: “As a taxpayer I am keen that my taxes are being carefully spent for the maximum benefit of the community. That is what I do every day at work – ensuring that the fees parents pay are used wisely to maintain an up-to-date gymnasium that is warm and safe. Our Gym Mark approval is confirmation that I am doing the right thing.”
“Having lived in the village so long I know many people here and their issues. I want to help them – whether it’s protecting our Green Belt, improving road safety, activities for youngsters, good policing or transport issues. Young and old alike need support and a voice for their issues.”