Tag Archives: Independents

Press statement from Surrey Council’s Residents’ Association and Independent Group

Today is Surrey County Council’s full council meeting in Kingston. Agenda here.

The council will decide on revenue and capital budget 2016/17 to 2020/21 and Treasury Management Strategy Management Strategy. Item here.

Here is the press statement the Residents’ Association and Independent Councillors at Surrey County Council:

Cabinet Budget Papers Reveal Real Challenges Ahead Say Residents’ Association & Independent Councillors

Budget Papers drafted for the Conservative Cabinet’s recommendation to the Surrey County Council Budget Meeting on Tuesday 9th February have been released. The Residents’ Association and Independent County councillors have criticised the budget proposals for their failure to provide any details of cuts, service changes or higher charges.

The Budget Papers show a £46 million funding gap, of which £20 million the Conservative leadership failed to anticipate and they will now dip into the Council’s reserves to plug the hole. Leader of the Opposition Nick Harrison said:

“The Council is in a truly serious position as this is on top of an aggressive savings plan already in hand. The Council leader refused today to set out his stall and tell us where he expects the cutbacks to land. At the Council’s Budget Meeting the Conservatives will produce a budget of large generalised figures asking Members to vote it through without the detail. Those cuts only become public weeks after the budget is passed.   This ‘trust me I’m a politician’ approach to the serious business of reductions to services is undemocratic and lacks any opportunity for informed discussion of spending and service priorities.”                                                                                                                                            

Haslemere Independent County Councillor Nikki Barton said:

“I have real fears for the discretionary services provided by SCC. The funding of much of highways, Children’s Centres, libraries, waste and youth services is not required by law and all these important services could now face cuts. Due to cuts in the waste services budget, Haslemere has recently lost its valued Saturday dustcart collection. Furthermore, and of great local concern is that all SCC funded youth work sessions at Haslewey, the town’s youth centre, have recently been axed. There are fears that the requirement for the Transport Review to reduce transport budget by £2m by the end of 2017/18 will lead to reductions in much needed local bus services.”

 RA County Councillor Eber Kington criticised the Conservatives for their complacency and failure to anticipate and prepare for the Rate Support Grant cut announced by the Government.

“For the past year they have been telling us that they have the County Council’s finances under control and at the December Council Meeting they used their large majority to pass a Motion warmly welcoming ’a new Conservative Government which is listening to the voice of Local Government’. I don’t see much evidence of the Government listening to Surrey County Council when it comes to funding and the needs of our residents.”

Last week, I was interviewed by BBC Surrey on the subject of SCC budgets. Here is my interview (2 hours and 9 minutes in) (23 days left to listen).

Campaign Gets Off To A Good Start

A letter in today’s edition of the Haslemere Herald from the nine independent candidates for Haslemere town council election on 7th May 2015.

Dear Sir

Campaign Gets Off To A Good Start

Since our last letter (27th March, More choice in town council elections) to your newspaper where 9 residents wrote to announce their intention to stand as independent candidates in the Haslemere town council election on 7th May, there is news about our campaigning that we would like to share with your readers.

Two more residents have confirmed they will also stand as independents after reading our appeal for more candidates through the local press. We have started to post individual biographies on the www.haslemerefirst.com website to give voters some more information about all the candidates. These include the 2 new independent candidates: John Gibbons (Grayswood ward) and Mark Jasper (Critchmere ward).

We have a plan. We are not a political party so we will be campaigning as individuals but we will also be doing plenty of things together. This involves a public meeting, leaflet deliveries and street events. The dates will be publicly available via the website. We will be sending campaign e-mails to supporters; you can receive these regular updates by signing up and opting-in via our website or email us, please, on independents@haslemerefirst.com. You will be able to download a poster to print and put in your window to show support for our independent values and you may also like to take part in the fun poll on our website.

We are humbled by the offers of support from local residents and independent businesses following our Herald announcement. For those who may not have read our letter on 27th March, we repeat our priorities for Haslemere. If elected, we will serve community interests by:

(a) listening to the concerns and needs of the community

(b) giving the Haslemere area the voice it deserves in statutory consultations

(c) standing up for the principle of open and robust engagement between the people of Haslemere and local government at all levels

Our campaigns have started well and we wish each candidate standing in the town council election a good and enjoyable campaign.

Lesley Banfield, 16 Weysprings, Haslemere GU27 1DE

Paul Buckler, Treetops, Hill Road, Haslemere GU27 2JP

David O’Brien, 16 Weysprings, Haslemere GU27 1DE

Áine Hall, 11 Hill Road, Haslemere GU27 2JP

Maria Iriarte Mateo, 4 Hollyridge, Haslemere GU27 2NP

Nigel Pyke, 37 Courts Hill Road, Haslemere GU27 2PN

Vivien Shorleson, 14 Courts Hill Road, Haslemere GU27 2NG

David Simmons, 47 Lower Street, Haslemere GU27 2NY

Miles Weston, Ridge Hill, Hill Road, Haslemere GU27 2JP



Independent Candidates standing in town council election on May 7th

Haslemere has three tiers of local government. We have a town council (Haslemere Town Council), a borough council (Waverley Borough Council) and a county council (Surrey County Council). In May 2013, I was elected as an independent Surrey County Councillor representing Haslemere constituents. My first term of office is 4 years and I am half way through that term.

On May 7th there will be a chance for Haslemere residents to vote in the General Election, Waverley Borough Council Election and the Town Council Election.

It is wonderful news that there will be nine independent candidates standing in Haslemere. Here is a copy of their letter that appeared in The Haslemere Herald yesterday:

For the first time, the people of Haslemere will have the chance to vote for a different kind of town council. There will be independent candidates standing in every ward. Why is this happening? The independent candidates share the belief that the Town Council should be run entirely in line with the needs and wishes of the people of Haslemere and their children. Also, a local council should seek to represent the views of its electors about how Haslemere evolves; that means being good at finding out what residents think about parking, buses and trains, open spaces, facilities for children and teenagers, housing developments and more. These views need to be put to the Borough and County councils accurately and forcefully. Party politics should be absent from our town council; there is no logic to having councillors with Westminster party affiliations and, for voters, it makes no sense to vote out of party loyalty.

We offer you the chance to vote for independent candidates and have councillors with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise and the freedom to vote for what is best for Haslemere.

Our priorities, if elected, would be:

(a) to listen to the concerns and needs of the community

(b) to give Haslemere the voice it deserves in statutory consultations

(c) to stand up for the principle of open and meaningful engagement between the people of Haslemere and local government at all levels.

In a nutshell, Haslemere First!

If you are interested in standing as an independent candidate for Haslemere Town Council, or if you would simply like some more information, we invite you to contact us via email on independents@haslemerefirst.com.

The candidates are:

Lesley Banfield

Paul Buckler

David O’Brien

Áine Hall

Maria Iriarte Mateo

Nigel Pyke

Vivien Shorleson

David Simmons

Miles Weston