About our councillors
The ten 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 Mary Marshall
Claygate ward – elected 2013
Mary Marshall is the Leader of the Elmbridge Liberal Democrat Group and Deputy Leader of Elmbridge Borough Council. Mary is the portfolio holder for the Environment and sits on numerous Elmbridge committees and outside bodies including:
Cabinet, Constitutional Review, Gypsy, Roma & Traveller Group, Joint Waste Collection, Planning, Elmbridge Local Commitee, Equality & Diversity, Shareholder Committee (Housing), Surrey Environment Partnership, Elmbridge Sports Council, Home Support Elmbridge Board.
Mary and her family have lived in Holroyd Road, Claygate, for 30+ years. Mary is a genuine grassroots representative for the residents of Claygate and a dedicated neighbourhood campaigner. Mary is committed to maintaining Claygate’s character – which she knows and understands intimately. Having been born in Elmbridge (East Molesey), raised her three children in Claygate, walked and cycled many miles around the area she knows it is important to protect this unique village.
“I’ve now lived over 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, caring and 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 30 years. Avondale Gymnastics Club is a charitable community organisation for children, open seven days a week. In an average week Mary sees more than 400 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 many years I know the community here and their issues. I want to help them – whether it’s protecting our Green Belt, improving road safety, activities for children, good policing or transport issues. Young and old alike need support, empathy and a voice for their issues.”
Cllr Shweta Kapadia
Long Ditton ward – elected 2000
Shweta has been a Councillor for Long Ditton since 2000.
Shweta is Chairman of the Council’s Planning Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Local Plan Group. She is the Borough’s Design and Historic Environment Champion. In her 20 years on Elmbridge Borough Council she Chaired East Area Planning Sub Committee for 14 years and has served on various committees and working groups.
In 2018-19 Shweta was Mayor of Elmbridge. She raised £53,000 for her chosen Mayoral Charity, Elmbridge Rentstart which helps and supports homeless people in Elmbridge.
Shweta is a Trustee of the R C Sherriff Trust, which advances the Arts in Elmbridge. Other external organizations she has been on the Boards of, include Elmbridge Housing Trust (now PA Housing), Arts Council England, South East and Surrey Historic Buildings Trust
She has also served on the management committee of Elmbridge Multi-Faith Forum and was briefly a school governor.
Shweta has lived in Long Ditton for over 30 years. She was educated in India where she qualified as an architect. In India, her work included designing steel rolling mills as well as ancillary buildings for the steel industry, a desalination plant and a township as well as feasibility studies for large projects. In the UK, she worked with architects’ practices on designs and interiors for hotels, restaurants and pubs, a boarding school and a tea ceremony house.
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 Alex Coomes
Claygate ward – elected 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 2006
Christine is the Portfolio Holder for Community and Corporate Development (2019-21) and currently serves on the following council committees: Cabinet, Planning Committee, North Area Planning Sub-Committee, Local Spending Board for Walton-on-Thames and is a member of the Council’s Community Safety Partnership. Christine is the Council representative and appointed to these outside bodies:
- Kingston Hospital NHS Trust Council of Governors
- South East Employers (SEE)
- Surrey Police and Crime Panel
- Mediation North Surrey
- Relate West Surrey
- Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee
- Local Authorities Aircraft Noise Council (LAANC)
- CHEER (Concern and Help for East Elmbridge Retired)
Christine is Trustee of HomeSupport Elmbridge, was a member of the Centres for the Community Task and Finish Group, Energy and Sustainability Working Group, and 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 Elmer, Councillor Walton Ambleside ward 2007-10 & Walton South ward 2011-16. Christine has two children and 2 grandchildren.
Christine has represented Walton South ward from May 2006 and was elected unopposed in 2014. In 2016 in the all-out election she topped the ward polling. Christine served as the Cabinet Member for Corporate Development from May 2008-10 and 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.
Further background information on the Elmbridge Borough Council website: http://mygov.elmbridge.gov.uk/mgMiniSite.aspx?UID=112
Cllr Barry Fairbank
Long Ditton ward – elected 2000
Barry has been a councillor for Long Ditton since May 2000 having moved from Wimbledon in 1992. He has been totally involved with the Long Ditton community since 1992, 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.
Over time he has served on many Elmbridge Council bodies, 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.
Barry is currently Chair of the Older People’s Advisory Body: member of the Licensing Committee; member of the East Area Planning Sub-committee; member of the Community Infrastructure Levy Spending Board for the Dittons and member of the Elmbridge Local Committee.
He has lived in Elmbridge for more than 28 years, living previously in Wimbledon. He is married to Gill a retired headteacher, who is currently Chair of Elmbridge Liberal Democrats. They have two grown up sons.
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 Co 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 a member of the Chartared Institute for Securities and Investment (MCISI).
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; He is a governor at St Mary’s Long Ditton Junior School and was Chair of Governors for five years.
Cllr Neil Houston
Long Ditton ward – elected 2014
Neil was elected a councillor for Elmbridge in 2014 and re-elected in 2019.
He has lived in Surbiton and Long Ditton for 35 years and, before being elected in Long Ditton, was a councillor for Kingston council. Whilst at Kingston he was the Chair of the Health Overview Committee and part of the ‘better services better value’ team that worked across five different councils looking at all areas of health services and provision. He has continued aspects of this work at Elmbridge, becoming Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, reviewing all aspects of the council’s services and spending. The committee also talks to outside service providers as well as holding the council to account for any decisions it takes.
Neil is also currently the Vice Chair of the East Area Planning Subcommittee, a member of the Local Spending Board for The Dittons and is involved in many other council committees and groups. He has a strong sense of community and a background in finance and likes to use both these skills to get a better deal for his residents. He is currently a full time father looking after his two daughters, one who attends the local secondary and the other the local primary school. He currently spends a lot of his time running them around to their various clubs and meetings with their friends!
Previously Neil worked for the BBC for over 25 years, working across many different departments, but ending up as a line producer in the drama department. Whilst there he was lucky enough to have worked on much of the BBC’s drama output including many of its most popular dramas, one of his favourites being “Our Friends in The North”.
Neil enjoys helping in the community and feels very lucky to live in an area with a great local community spirit. In his spare time he likes being with his family and friends, loves going to the theatre and cinema as well as watching most sport. He also likes playing golf, unfortunately quite badly!
Claygate ward – elected 2018
Mike Rollings had been involved in a low key way delivering Focus and was moved to take a more active role with the LibDems campaigning against Brexit and joining the party. As a consequence he was invited to stand in the local elections and was elected as a Claygate Ward Councillor in May 2018. He currently chairs the Elmbridge Licensing Committee and is a member of the Oversight and Scrutiny Committee, with a keen interest in financial matters.
By way of background he was brought up in Claygate and retains a great affection for its people and village community. Locally he is the Elmbridge nominated Trustee on the Claygate Recreation Ground Trust.
His business life has revolved around company restructurings and insolvencies.
Cllr Andrew Davis
Weybridge Riverside ward – elected 2012
Andrew has lived in Weybridge for thirty years: first in Park Lawn Road, then Oakdale Road and finally Holstein Ave.
Thirty 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.
Weybridge Riverside ward – elected 2018
Vicki is a long term resident of Weybridge with a strong history of action in the community.
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.
Weybridge Riverside – elected 2019
I am proud to be representing Weybridge Riverside as your new councillor. I will work with my two colleagues, Andrew and Vicki, to look at ways of improving our town centre, protecting and enhancing our green spaces and maintaining the character of Weybridge by striving to ensure that we build the right type of homes.
In order to prevent further climate damage, I feel strongly that we must all take responsibility by reducing our own carbon footprint as much as possible: I therefore cycle to work and around Weybridge and I have installed a solar heating panel on my roof.
As a councillor, I believe that the council should be taking a lead and I am pleased that our Lib Dem/RA administration has recently passed a Climate Emergency resolution to make the council carbon neutral by 2030.
My association with Weybridge began in the early 80s when I joined Weybridge Rowing Club: I have been Club Captain, committee chairman and now a vice-president and trustee. Moving to Weybridge with my family in 2003 to teach locally has meant that I have been able to enjoy training and competing (now in the ‘Masters’ category) whilst also coaching, umpiring and helping on the organising committees of local rowing events, currently as Chairman of Walton & Weybridge Regatta.
I went to Tiffin School in Kingston-upon-Thames from where I gained a scholarship to join the Royal Navy as an Engineering Officer. I enjoyed a varied and interesting career serving on a destroyer and two frigates. Leaving the RN at a career breakpoint, I have since worked as a senior project manager at AWE but spent most of the following years as a science teacher: I first became a Head of Physics in 1999 and have subsequently held senior management positions. I enjoy singing in a local choir (the Ian Englemann Singers), listening to music and hiking.