Thanks to everyone who took part in my Facebook Q&A this evening. Click on the graphic below to read the questions and answers:
My letter published in The Haslemere Herald announcing that I am standing as an Independent candidate in the Surrey County Council by-election on 2nd May 2019.
‘Anger at absentee councillors’ was a shocking headline on your front page last month. I believe it is totally unacceptable when councillors, who are paid out of our taxes, do not engage to serve the community that elected them.
It really matters because Surrey County Council is responsible for so much that affects our daily lives. At this critical time when budgets are being slashed and key services are under threat, Haslemere needs councillors who are willing to show up and stand up for their community free from party politics – councillors who will actively lobby for Haslemere’s fair share of those scarce resources because their only priority is putting Haslemere first.
In 2013 I took the decision to stand as Haslemere’s first Independent County Councillor. Many people thought this was a waste of time because every single Haslemere councillor at town, borough and county levels was a Conservative. My determination came from my experience in the successful campaign to stop Surrey’s plan to put parking meters throughout our town, hurting local businesses, schools and churches. I had been shocked by the lack of openness and transparency at meetings where (one) party politics dominated.
Winning the election was a ground-breaking moment, and a great honour. I threw myself into the role with energy, and a deep commitment to serve the community with passion, transparency and engagement. I worked hard, listened and built trust. I hope readers of The Herald might take the time to read about my activities here: www.haslemerefirst.com/achievements.
As my youngest daughter prepared for secondary school, I decided to fill a seat on the town council rather than continuing at the county level. But it was disheartening to watch as my successor’s absence meant that the relationships and momentum I had built for the town were being wasted. Haslemere deserves better.
I have therefore decided to stand for election once again as an Independent candidate for Haslemere.
My priorities if elected again as your Surrey County Councillor will be:
· to ensure Haslemere has an independent voice at county level to best represent its interests – I believe in putting community before politics
· to promote openness and transparency within local government – I believe in the power of accountability
· to fight for a fair allocation of funding for Haslemere in times of austerity – I believe in standing up for the needs of our community
Above all, I promise to put Haslemere first!
Haslemere’s Independent candidate for Surrey County Council
Maria Mateo will be standing as an independent candidate for the Haslemere South ward in the upcoming Haslemere Town Council by-election on 8th June.
More about Maria Mateo here …
My name is Maria Mateo and I moved to Haslemere in 2007 with my young family. I have 3 boys. Before I moved to Haslemere, I worked in The City as a solicitor.
I started volunteering for Citizens Advice in Haslemere in 2009. I’ve also been a driver for the Orchard Club and I’ve been involved with the charity, Haslemere First Respondents. I’ve also been involved with a number of the sports clubs through my children – rugby, football, cricket. I was very actively in the campaign against the parking metres in Haslemere.
I think it is important to listen to the residents and express their views in the town council because some residents don’t feel they’re listened to. I think it is also important to report to the residents and be open and transparent about everything that is going on in the town council.