Tag Archives: Independent

Councillor Update

This is my first councillor update since being elected to Surrey County Council and re-elected to Haslemere Town Council.

6th May 2019 – received update from South Western Railway regarding electric charging points at Haslemere Station. The update states South Western Railway will be installing eight electric vehicle charging points in Haslemere station car park. Read more here and here.

7th May 2019 – travelled by train and bike to County Hall in Kingston for meetings and to sign Surrey County Council declaration papers.

7th May 2019 – received a Surrey County Council invitation to join a member reference group to support the development of a refreshed Surrey Climate Change strategy. I will sign up to join this group.

10th May 2019 – meeting with SCC highways officer to discuss way of future working together.

11th May 2019 – took part in Haslemere’s Critical Mass Bike Ride. Read my write up here.

11th May 2019 – attended Gourmet Geezers charity dinner. All proceeds for the Gourmet Geezers cookbook (on sale in Haslemere Bookshop) will go to The Hunter Centre.

13th May 2019 – attended Surrey County Council Residents’ Association/Independent group meeting County Hall in Kingston.

13th May 2019 – attended Haslemere Town Council induction meeting.

14th May 2019 – promoted information online about Members’ Community Allocation Funding to support local community groups. More here.

14th May 2019 – shared information online about road surface dressing works in Lion Lane, Haslemere. More here.

14th May 2019 – met briefly with Haslemere First Scouts and local WBC councillors in Critchmere and Shottermill ward to understand the history of this scout group’s dealings with the previous WBC administration in respect to their tenure at The Youth Campus.

14th May 2019 – attended steering committee meeting for Haslemere Vision, discussing the future of Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan.

14th May 2019 – shared a note about the process of Mayor Making here.

15th May 2019 – attended South Western Railway Community Rail in the City at Waterloo station to promote Haslemere’s businesses and beautiful surrounding countryside.

16th May 2019 – attended Haslemere Town Council’s full council meeting. Papers here.

17th May 2019 – attended Haslemere South Residents’ Association meeting and drinks at The Georgian Hotel.

19th May 2019 – a great Little Lumpy event – over 600 riders raising funds for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. It was fun cheering the riders as they crossed the line. Well done Ken Griffiths and his amazing team of volunteers – including all the cake makers.  I have promised to ride next year, I invite all my fellow councillors to join me!

Pictured with Robert Groves, professional hand cyclist

21st May 2019 – attended my first Surrey County Council Full Council meeting since being elected. Papers here.

Greeting peaceful Climate Change activists outside County Hall before Full Council

28th May 2019 – shared information about Tennyson’s Lane road closure for Thames Water works. More here.

29th May 2019 – met residents and Thames Water on site to discuss the Tennyson’s Lane road closure and major diversion.  Major works are being carried out to the main trunk water pipe that supplies a large part of Haslemere. I liaised with the Highways team to agree an improved road management program that will reduce the time Tennyson’s Lane is closed. Thames Water letter here.

29th May 2019 – received notification that the Surrey Hills to South Downs Community Rail Partnership has been officially recognised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships.  The original Haslemere Community Rail Partnership, successfully established in 2015, is expanding to include, as a first step Milford and Witley stations.

30th May 2019 – met with Highways officers on site at the road junction by St Stephen’s Church that is in very bad condition.  It was on the winter maintenance list last year, but works were not carried out.  I am pressing for a full resurfacing of this busy junction as a matter of urgency.

Notification of Future Events/Meetings

1st June 2019 – planting session for Wey Hill In Bloom. Volunteers are asked to meet at 10am outside Haslewey.

20th June 2019 – Launch of the Surrey Climate Commission. Event information here.

28th June 2019 – Waverley Local Area Committee Meeting,
Waverley Council Chamber, The Burys, Godalming GU7 1HR.

12th July 2019 – Surrey’s Rural Economy Conference 2019,
Cranleigh School Cranleigh Surrey GU6 8QQ

Thank you

This is the result of the Haslemere by-election for Surrey County Council, 2019:

  • Nikki Barton, Independent – 2,665 votes – ELECTED
  • Malcolm Carter, Conservative – 1,159 votes
  • Adrian Paul La Porta, Labour – 263 votes

This is the announcement:


Below is an interview with Rebecca Curley of the Surrey Advertiser.

Interview with Rebecca Curley after winning the seat

These are the results of the Haslemere Town Council seats for the Haslemere South ward:

  • Nikki Barton, Independent – 972 votes – ELECTED
  • Gareth David, Conservative Party Candidate – 466 votes
  • Simon Paul McMillan Dear, Conservative Party Candidate – 587 votes – ELECTED
  • David William Dullaway, Conservative Party Candidate – 480 votes – ELECTED
  • Kirsten Lisa Ellis, Independent – 505 votes – ELECTED
  • Jennifer Mary Radford, Liberal Democrats – 468 votes
  • Tom Van Den Broek, Conservative Party Candidate – 384 votes
Announcement of results for Haslemere South ward of Haslemere Town Council, 2019

Independent Street Stalls in Haslemere Today

I could not have chosen a more blustery day to have pop up campaign street stalls but, it was great to have so many positive conversations.

The elections are being held on 2nd May 2019. Please vote for Nikki Barton, a voice for Haslemere.

Some pictures from Wey Hill this morning:

And, in the High Street this afternoon. The wind really got up so the table was abandoned but, the conversation was good with a positive response for an Independent candidate for Haslemere.

Claire Matthes came and said hello.
She is a Green Party candidate for Shottermill for Haslemere Town Council

Surrey County Council’s poor performance

It is a challenging time to be standing for election as a Surrey County Councillor. The council itself has significant challenges. In the past few years, note:

  • Failure to deliver some of the most basic services (Failed Ofsted inspection of Children’s Services, Failed HMI inspection of Fire and Rescue, cuts to local highway budget)
  • Poor Financial Management (CIPFA Report)
  • Cuts to Services
  • High spending on high level permanent and interim staff and the rejection of an RA/Independent proposal for the open monitoring of the high salary costs
  • Additional allowances for Conservative councillors

There has never been a greater need for Independent councillors who are able to scrutinise and challenge decisions free from party politics.   

The council is composed of 81 elected Councillors, and in all but one election since 1965 the Conservative Partyy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrey_County_Council has held the majority- there are currently 59 Conservatives, 9 Independent/Residents Assoc, 9 Lib Dems, 1 Labour, 1 Green. And, 1 vacant seat.

I am contesting the vacant seat.

More detailed reading below:

December 2018 CIPFA Criticism

Residents will no doubt be aware of the poor state of Surrey County Council’s finances.  It is of course partly the result the Government’s reduction of the grant funding allocated to the County Council, but an independent Report by the well-respected Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), and commissioned by SCC itself, has severely criticised the County Council for its financial management and budget planning. https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-county-council-faces-unbridgeable-15161504 

January 2019 SCC Fire & Rescue service declared Inadequate

Following on from the 2018 Ofsted Report which severely criticised SCC’s Children’s Services as failing, an Inspection by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has reported that SCC’s Fire and Rescue service is “Inadequate” at efficiently keeping people safe, and is failing to make the best use of its resources.  This is further worrying evidence of a council failing in the delivery of some of the basic services which it is legally required to provide. https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/surrey-fire-rescue-rated-inadequate-15575032

February 2019 Spending on High Level Temporary Staff

At a time of cuts to services it is interesting to note that over the past year SCC has spent almost £2.5 million on temporary and interim staff, mostly on high level salaries.  In one case SCC paid a recruitment company over £294k “to source and manage an interim Adult Social Care director” for a year.

Council Meeting March 2019

Conservatives voted down an RA/Independent recommendation to “amend the Terms of Reference of the People, Performance and Development Committee to provide for the monitoring of the costs of senior management salaries, interim appointments and redundancies” thus rejecting openness and transparency in regard to senior management pay.

Budget 2019 Included

  • Closure of Children’s Centres
  • Additional charges for household waste – construction wood and roofing felt, despite concerns over am increase in fly tipping
  • The free travel concession for disabled pass holders will no longer start at 9.00am but will in future start at 9.30am on weekdays, all day at weekends and on bank holidays
  • Further cuts to the local highway budget, the money allocated to fund locally determined highway maintenance work & improvements. So more bad news for our highways

Children’s Services rated as Inadequate by OFSTED in May 2018

SCC was rated inadequate for its services supporting children “who need help and protection”, and in leadership, management and governance. In its 2017 report, SCC was told “a number of children in Surrey who have been at risk of serious harm were not assessed, helped or protected quickly enough”. https://www.eagleradio.co.uk/news/local-news/2373475/serious-weaknesses-found-in-surrey-childrens-services/

May 2018 Surrey County Conservatives Vote Themselves More Money

At the May 2018 Surrey County Council Meeting, the Conservatives voted to create four new Deputy Cabinet Member posts to be filled by Conservative county councillors, with an allowance each of £10,000.  In addition, and despite an Independent Review Panel recommendation that allowances be not paid to all Committee Vice Chairmen, the Conservatives also decided that they should continue to be paid.

In 2013, Haslemere voted for its first ever Independent Councillor for Surrey County Council.

Vote for Nikki Barton to turn that bottom corner of South West Surrey white again.

(Press release from SCC RA/Independent Group re council budget cuts).

LibDems and Greens step aside for Independent Candidate Nikki Barton for Haslemere County Seat

Local elections will take place in Haslemere on 2nd May 2019 for town council, borough and county council elections.

When you go to vote you’ll be given three ballot papers, three different colours for three different elections.

Surrey County Council by-election –

  • Lilac ballot paper
  • You have one vote to choose one Haslemere councillor for Surrey County Council.
  • Make that one powerful vote for one candidate with a track record – Nikki Barton.
  • The seat is vacant due to an absentee Conservative councillor. The Haslemere Herald reported on this. More here.
  • The Lib Dems and Greens locally have agreed not to contest this Haslemere seat.

“Rather than put forward our own candidate, we have decided to stand aside and give Independent Nikki Barton a free run in the hope that she can win again. Before doing so, we asked Nikki to confirm that, as County Councillor, she would fight any cuts to Haslemere Library and she was happy to do so. So, with that assurance, we’re backing Nikki and are confident she will again be an excellent representative for Haslemere on Surrey County Council”. John Leston, Haslemere Liberal Democrats.

“With the forthcoming Surrey County Council By Election in Haslemere on 2nd May, we have decided not to stand a candidate but rather support Nikki Barton in becoming a councillor. Nikki has a proven track record as an outstanding Independent county councillor, she fully supports the principles of sustainable development and has for example taken the initiative to set up projects that promote more sustainable transport.  Furthermore, in backing Nikki the aim is to avoid splitting the vote.  You can find out more about her campaign via http://www.haslemerefirst.com/ and we urge all local residents to vote for her”. Dr Susan Ryland, Guildford and Waverley Green Party.

Haslemere Town Council, Haslemere South ward

  • Salmon pink ballot paper for all town council seats.
  • You have four votes to choose four Haslemere Town Council councillors for Haslemere South.
  • You do not need to use all four votes.
  • Since the 2015 Haslemere Town Council election, two Conservative councillors quit mid-term and one had a poor attendance record in the Haslemere South ward
  • Please ensure you use one of your Haslemere South votes to re-elect Nikki Barton to represent you.

Waverley Borough Council

  • White ballot paper.
  • There are no Independent candidates.
  • A list of all candidates will appear in The Haslemere Herald today.

In the spirit of cooperation, here are links showing which Lib Dem and Green candidates are standing in different wards for the town council and borough council elections.

These are the Lib Dem candidates for Haslemere seats

These are the Green candidates for Haslemere seats

Surrey Residents are dissatisfied with road maintenance

This is a shocking stat (i):

When I was Haslemere’s Surrey County Councillor (2013-2017), I did not only fall back on the online reporting system and wait for potholes to be repaired. Rather, I worked with the highways team to negotiate funds for proper road repairs especially where the potholes were potholes on potholes. I also did regular cycle tours of the town to report potholes.

Here are a few examples of how my intervention helped directly with road repairs:

Funding from Waverley Local Area Committee was found to repair the following roads (ii)

• Sturt Road – £22,900 (including drainage repairs under the railway bridge)

• Lower Street at the junction with Sandrock – £23,367

• Kings Road near the entrance to The Herons leisure centre – £19,730; and

• High Lane – £14,217.

I arranged a full repair of a potholed section of College Hill (iii)

I arranged a full repair of the road outside St Bartholomew’s School. This road was unadopted but I felt it was important to repair the road – it was in a state of poor repair and it fronted a local authority school. I had discovered that the then Leader of the Surrey County Council had enabled a road repair in his constituency outside a state school and I used this as a precedent in my negotiation.

Following extensive discussions with SCC highways Wey Hill was fully resurfaced.  It was surprising to discover that Wey Hill was not included in the major Project Horizon road repair program. I worked with the Surrey County Council Highways team who agreed that the extremely poor condition of the road warranted a full repair. (iv)

If elected again, I will continue to do road surveys with SCC Highways and I will do my best to be innovative about getting potholes repairs.

Haslemere Town Council Candidate Profiles

The Haslemere Herald this week has a summary of all the candidates for the Haslemere Town Council election on 2nd May.

As well as standing as an Independent candidate for the Surrey County Council (Haslemere ward ) by-election, I am also standing for re-election as an Independent councillor for the Haslemere South ward of Haslemere Town Council.

Here is my statement printed in this week’s Haslemere Herald with my campaign photo.

Nikki Barton Campaign Image 2019

Nikki Barton  – Independent


Nikki Barton has been an Independent councillor for Haslemere South for the last two years and will be standing again in May. She lives in the ward with her husband and three teenage daughters.


As well as leading a successful campaign to stop parking meters in the town, Nikki is a founder member of the Haslemere South Residents’ Association. She has also brought together many community organisations in her role as Chair of the Haslemere Community Rail Partnership. Nikki will fight inappropriate development of our precious countryside. She advocates sustainable transport.


As a councillor and community volunteer, Nikki has consistently delivered results for the town without the constraints of party politics. 

She will continue to put Haslemere first.

Read about Nikki’s campaign updates and activities here:
Web: www.haslemerefirst.com
Twitter: @votenikkibarton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HaslemereFirst
Message Nikki on nikki@haslemerefirst.com

Leaflet Deliveries Began This Week In Haslemere

A very big thank you to all the volunteers who have been out helping to deliver leaflets this week.

Here is a scanned copy of my leaflet

Front page of campaign leaflet
Inside pages of campaign leaflet
Back page of campaign leaflet

The back page of my leaflet is a copy of my letter here published in the Haslemere Herald.

If you could deliver leaflets in the road where you live, please take a look at my campaign page here.