Surrey County Council Elections – Who’s Who in Walton on Thames!?
Surrey County Council Elections
Who’s Who in Walton on Thames!?
Is it that time again already?
It only seems like it was last year that we were all being asked to make our way to the ballot boxes to pencil in an ‘X’ against a name to represent your interests in Walton.
Wait you all cry, it was last year, and the year before! And now we have two in two months!
This time, on May the 4th, it’s the turn of Surrey County Council and, as always, we have invited those nominated to supply a short personal statement and link to their manifesto.
Below you can find, in the order we have received their personal statement, the Walton candidates:
Chris Elmer – Liberal Democrats
I have lived in Walton for 25 years unlike your sitting Councillor who lives in Weybridge.
After working for nearly 40 years in public service I took early retirement in 2007 and was elected to Elmbridge Council. I have a proven history of getting things done representing Walton Ambleside and South wards between 2007 and 2016.
At Elmbridge I chaired Licensing and Planning Committees and was Vice Chair of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee and a member of the Surrey County Council Local Committee.
Working with the community on the Drake Park and WeylandsNoWay campaigns against the proposed waste digester I raised questions at Surrey County Council about Highways assessments and held them to account over air quality and proximity of housing to the proposed digester.
I also worked on local road safety issues and with Surrey Police established a Community Speedwatch for Walton.
Casework has included local planning issues, complaints to Surrey County Council about needed road repairs and working with local businesses to secure additional parking at the Halfway shops Walton.
The current Councillor represents both Borough and County Councils and it has been suggested that this could potentially create a conflict of interests on Drake Park and Weylands plans.
She is also the current Deputy Mayor and if she becomes the Mayor of Elmbridge in May as expected will doubtless have less time to devote to your interests.
If elected I will be able to devote my time and efforts to wholly representing you at Surrey County Council.
I will fight for:
- 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
David Ions – UKIP
David Ions is the UKIP candidate for the Walton ward in the forthcoming Surrey County Council election on May 4th.
David is 47, has lived in Walton on Thames and Weybridge all his life and is a project manager in telecommunications.
Standing for election to ensure common sense policies to benefit the local community.
SAVE THE GREENBELT
The Green Belt in Elmbridge is under severe threat, with the Borough Council consulting on covering vast swathes of it with thousands of homes. This is a council controlled by the
LibDems and Residents, pursuing a national Conservative government initiative. UKIP has always been against building on our Green Belt.
REPAIR OUR PAVEMENTS AND ROADS
Our pavements and roads are in a terrible state, making them hazardous for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. In 2016 a cyclist was killed when his wheel hit a pothole. There are many reports of serious injuries. The Tories are failing us. It is time to give UKIP the chance to fix our pavements and roads.
RESTORE FUNDING FOR THE ELDERLY
Age UK has had to close one of its branches following a decision by Surrey County Council to cease providing funding. It is wrong to remove vital funding and services from the elderly to save money. UKIP will fight to ensure that the elderly and other vulnerable people in our community get the support they need.
STOP SPIRALLING COUNCIL TAX RISES
CIPFA reports that Surrey’s financial position as “extremely worrying”. It said: “The council’s financial plans are not robust and it is at risk of becoming financially unsustainable”. After decades in control of Surrey the Tories have run its finances and services into the ground. It’s time for change.
KEEP THE STREET LIGHTS ON
Tory-controlled Surrey County Council has just invested £120million installing new street lights across Surrey, but is now switching half of them off at night to save just £210,000 a year. Dark streets are dangerous. It is wrong to put lives at risk to save money. UKIP will fight to keep the street lights switched on
REDUCE SENIOR COUNCILLORS PAY
One thing the Tories have not cut is what they pay themselves. Surrey’s total expenditure on councillors’ allowances and expenses went up 29.5 per cent between 2012/13 and 2014/15. Their leader is now the third highest paid in the country. UKIP will fight to cut councillors’ pay and spend the money on services.
Rachael Lake – Local Conservatives
Elected as your Surrey County Councillor in 2013 – having formerly served from 1997 to 2005 – I have been able over the last four years to achieve a lot more for Walton serving as both a Borough and County Councillor.
I moved to Elmbridge over 35 years ago and am married with two grown up children, who both live and work locally.
Many issues, like the Weylands campaign, fall under both councils and being able to represent you at both levels strengthens our position. I’ve been a school governor at Rydens and Walton Oak schools and presently serve as a trustee of a Walton charity. I also serve as Surrey’s Armed Forces Champion and liaise with local government and businesses to assist serving personnel, veterans and their families with civilian life.
There are many pressures affecting Walton including adults and children’s services, ensuring there are enough school places and strategic planning issues. I am proud to have been one of the original movers in developing the flagship Walton Library.
Difficult decisions lie ahead for local government across the UK and I will continue to fight for the best value and the best deal for residents both for the young and the not so young.
There is no doubt in my mind that your councillors should be energetic, efficient and even-handed whatever the issue and not duck those matters that are important to you. I look for your support to enable me to continue to work for Walton by listening, learning and leading to achieve a greater resident and business experience for the benefit of all.
In 2013 I inherited a huge backlog of Walton roads that were in desperate need of attention such as Russell Road, Manor Road and Esher Avenue. I’ve worked hard to bring these and many other roads up to a reasonable standard. I’ve also been able to get many pavements resurfaced. I will continue the fight to improve Walton’s roads!
Surrey County Council is currently undertaking an on-street parking review in Walton. For some months, I have been representing residents’ views from across the town.
Please do contact me with any suggestions you may have.
Richard Leonard – Labour Party
Hi, I am Richard Leonard. I am proud to have been selected to stand as the Labour Party candidate for Walton. I have lived in Elmbridge for 40 years. I have served as a councillor in a London Borough and have been a Parent Governor of two local schools in Elmbridge. I came within a few dozen votes of ousting one of the Tory councillors in Walton North at the Elmbridge Borough elections in May of last year.
With your help, we can go one step further this year.
The Tory majority on Surrey County council, which they see as their rightful territory, have meekly imposed the cuts insisted upon by their colleagues in National Government, totally ignoring the needs of local people. They have, for example, increased the charges for meals on wheels, making survival even more difficult for the most vulnerable in our society i.e. the elderly and the frail. Whilst the self-proclaimed caring coalition on Elmbridge Borough council, the Liberal Democrats and the various resident’s societies, including the Walton Society, declined the moral high ground by increasing their take home expenses by a monstrous 12.4%.
Why should you vote for either of these uncaring groups of self-centred, self-absorbed politicians, who, once elected, will ignore the wishes of local people and continue their relentless support of their austerity consumed masters in Whitehall? Only the Labour Party can be trusted with effective policies for social care, Housing, Roads and Transport and the education of Walton children. We are proud of our record in these essential services and we will strive to ensure an increase in those services in Walton.
The current leadership of Surrey County Council has managed to bring humiliation and embarrassment to our county by scurrying, cap in hand, to his friends in the National Government, begging them to help bail out Surrey County Council from having to increase rates by a huge 15% to enable them to fulfil their obligation to maintain care provision for the elderly and needy of our county. A situation denied by the Tories of Surrey until they were presented with recorded evidence of their duplicity. The very same leadership was given an endorsement by their own party, which speaks volumes for their ethics. Does Surrey really deserve such poor leadership, whatever happened to transparency in local politics? Only the Labour Party can be trusted with your future.
Visit www.whlp.org.uk for more information.
Richard Leonard The Labour Party Candidate for Walton
Back to the What’s in Walton Homepage
Have you joined the Walton-on-Thames Community group on Facebook?
Application for demolition and development of the ‘Birds Eye’ building
Walton on Thames