Our Candidates for 2019
Claygate – Alex Coomes (incumbent)
Cobham & Downside – David Bellchamber
Hinchley Wood & Weston Green – Liz Ambekar
Long Ditton – Neil Houston (incumbent)
Molesey East – Susan Fergy
Molesey West – Alastair Sturgis
Oatlands & Burwood Park – Adriana Dredge
Oxshott & Stoke D’Abernon – Dorothy Ford
Thames Ditton – Jez Langham
Walton North – Nicholas Gosling
Walton South – Margaret Hawkes
Weybridge Riverside – Ashley Tilling
About our councillors
The nine Elmbridge Liberal Democrat Councillors 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 Shweta Kapadia (Long Ditton ward – elected since 2000)
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 Andrew Davis (Weybridge Riverside ward – elected since 2012)
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 Mary Marshall (Claygate ward – elected since 2013)
Mary Marshall is 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.”
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 Christine Elmer (Walton South ward – elected since 2006)
Christine currently serves on the following council committees: Planning Committee, North Area Planning Sub-Committee, Centres for the Community Task and Finish Group, Energy and Sustainability Working Group, Chairman Heathrow Task Group 2016-17.
Christine has lived in Elmbridge for over 50 years in Claygate, Cobham, Stoke D’Abernon, Molesey and Walton. She is married to Chris who was Councillor Walton Ambleside ward from 2007 – 10 & for Walton South ward from 2011 – 16. Christine has two children Luke and Sarah and two grandchildren Rory age 14 and Isla age 11, and a cat called Sophie.
Christine has represented Walton South ward from May 2006 to present and was elected unopposed in 2014. In 2016 in the all-out election she topped the ward polling.
At Elmbridge Council Christine served as the Cabinet Member for Corporate Development from May 2008-10 and as the Cabinet Member for Social Affairs from May 2010 -16
Schools – Lovelace Infants School, Chessington; St. Andrews Infant & Primary Schools, Cobham; Surbiton High School for Girls.
Work Executor and Trustee Department, Lloyd’s Bank; Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Animal Health, Veterinary Medicines and Environment Directorates; Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
Christine has served or is serving as Elmbridge’s representative in these organisations: Governor Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust (2012 to present), Management Board, Mediation North Surrey (current), Relate West Surrey (current), Trustee Management Board, Home Support Elmbridge, Trustee Walton Charity 2006 – 14, Epsom & Ewell Health Liaison Panel 2010 -16, Epsom & St Helier University Hospital NHS Trust (2010 -16), Lead Member for Children (Every Child Matters) (2007-10), South East Employers (2008-10), Surrey Local Resilience Member’s Group (2008-10, Surrey Local Government Association, Progress Through Partnership, Deputy Member (2008-10), Executive Member – South East Employers (2009-10).
Cllr Barry Fairbank (Long Ditton ward – elected since 2000)
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.
Cllr Neil Houston (Long Ditton ward – elected since 2014)
Neil was elected a councillor for Elmbridge in 2014.
He has lived in Surbiton and Long Ditton for over 30 years and before being elected in Long Ditton he was a councillor for Kingston. He was the chair of the Health overview committee and part of the better services better value team that worked across 5 different councils looking at all the areas health services. He was also member of both the finance and planning committees. He is currently a full time father looking after his two young daughters who are both at primary school and spends a lot of his time running them around to their various clubs.
Previously he had worked for the BBC for over 25 years where he worked across many different departments finishing up as a line manager in the Drama department. Whilst there he says he was lucky enough to have worked on much of the BBCs output including many of their most popular dramas.
As well as his council duties he is Currently a governor at Hinchley Wood Primary School and chair of their Behaviour and Safety committee. In the Elmbridge council he sits on the East Area planning committee, the performance and finance committee and is also a member of the overview and scrutiny committee.
In his spare time he likes being with his family and friends, enjoys going to the theatre and cinema. He enjoys watching most sport and likes playing golf all be it quite badly.
Vicki Macleod (Weybridge Riverside – elected since 2018)
She is a Founder Member of the ElmWey Learning Trust, and was a Governor at Heathside School from 2010 to 2016 when the Trust was established. She has a strong interest in the wellbeing of pupils in the Trust’s schools and of vulnerable members of our community. She continues to be involved with local charities for the elderly as a Trustee of the Weybridge Old Folks Club.
If elected as councillor for Weybridge Riverside, Vicki will bring her considerable knowledge of Weybridge and professional skills, developed in a number of management and business roles, to this work.
“I will do my utmost to ensure that, in these times of austerity, Elmbridge Borough acts in the best interests of all who live in Elmbridge, as well as seeking to bring much needed improvements to Weybridge.”
1. Vicki Macleod is a long-term resident of Weybridge, having moved here to work with Surrey Special Schools in 1991. She is well known locally and is embedded in the community through her work with charities for the elderly and with Heathside School. Vicki brings energy, interest and commitment to all she is involved in.
2. Vicki fully will work for more affordable and council housing, careful stewardship of the environment and to ensure our towns are great places to live. She supports the restoration and improvement of health provision in Weybridge and a future-proof ap-proach to traffic and parking in Weybridge.
Mike Rollings (Claygate ward – elected since 2018)
Mike finds Claygate and its atmosphere a perfect antidote to the busyness of a big city. And that is what he wants to protect and enhance.
If elected as a councillor Mike will work in close collaboration with Mary Marshall and Alex Coomes, Claygate’s two other councillors.
These will be Mike’s priorities as one of Claygate’s three Elmbridge Borough councillors:
- Campaign for more well-located secondary school places for our children
- Support sensible planning, but oppose out-of-character or out-of-proportion applications
- Put pressure on Surrey to fix the dangerous potholes and ensure quality road repairs
- Work to maintain the vibrancy of The Parade, our retailers and businesses
- Protect our precious Green Belt which makes Claygate a great place to live
- Encourage community sports, community activism, culture and neighbourly conduct
- Assist seniors, youths, families and vulnerable people with appropriate services
- Enable increased recycling, reduce cost of waste disposal and control fly-tipping
Mike’s campaign theme ‘Our Kind of Claygate’ reflects his commitment to a high quality of life in the village.
1. Claygate faces several issues: dangerous potholes, the scourge of fly-tipping, missing school places, non-affordable housing, threat to our retailers, vital services for the elderly, youths and families. Above all the need to protect the Green Belt and the village from over-development.
2. I will work with Claygate’s two other Lib Dem councillors, Mary and Alex, to tackle the above issues. Press Surrey for more school places and maintaining roads and pave-ments. Work on Elmbridge’s plan to build affordable homes, fight to protect the Green Belt, support local shops and businesses, engage with young and old, and maintain Claygate’s unique character.