Fringe Box



Lib Dems Are First to Announce Their Candidate for the Lovelace By-election

Published on: 17 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 19 Aug, 2014
Colin Cross the Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Lovelace By-election

Colin Cross the Liberal Democrat Candidate for the Lovelace By-election

The Guildford Lib Dems were this evening (August 17) the first political party to announce who will stand as their candidate in the forthcoming by-election in Lovelace ward that covers Ripley, Ockham and Wisley and elects only one borough councillor.

In a press release this evening they said that they were: “…pleased to announce that Ripley parish councillor Colin Cross has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the forthcoming by-election in the Lovelace ward of Guildford Borough Council [GBC].

“The by-election comes at a crucial time for the Lovelace villages, as residents are consulted on the controversial Draft Local Plan which proposes a new town of 2,100 houses on the former Wisley Airfield on green belt land in the heart of Lovelace ward.”

All but one the Lib Dem councillors present at the full council meeting, held in June, voted against the draft going out to consultation in its current state, saying there were still huge question marks over the housing target, the congestion on our roads and the impact on residents’ quality of life in both town and country. Cllr Zoe Franklin (Lib Dem, Stoke) abstained.

The motion to approve the draft plan to the next stage was pushed through by the Conservative majority at GBC, supported by the two Labour councillors.

County councillor Fiona White, chairman of Guildford Liberal Democrats, said: “We are delighted that Colin Cross has decided to join the Lib Dem team and is offering his services to the residents of Ripley, Ockham and Wisley as their borough councillor. If elected he will be a strong, independently-minded voice on the borough council, with a proven record of working hard for local residents.”

Mr Cross is understood to be a member or supporter of the Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) who recently announced that they would be unable to field their own candidate as the group had not completed registration with the Electoral Commission.

The new Lib Dem candidate backs the efforts of GGG to obtain a referendum on a return to the committee system on GBC, instead of the  Executive system which their press release claimed was: “dictatorial [and] marginalises back-bench councillors.” Colin himself has gathered over 100 signatures for the petition.

Colin Cross said: “I am delighted to be selected as the Lib Dem candidate for the by-election, since I know that if elected as a councillor I would be joining a strong council team but would have the freedom always to put my community first.

“I am determined to fight to protect our villages and our green belt, and to reject the proposal for a new town on the former Wisley Airfield. I want to fight this Tory Local Plan tooth and nail, and hope my fellow villagers will support me in this challenge.”

Paul Kennedy, Lib Dem Parliamentary campaigner for Mole Valley constituency, which includes the Lovelace villages, added: “The environment is under threat in our area as never before, and our communities need strong representation on local Councils. Colin Cross has a distinguished history of working for his community, and I know he will stand up for our villages and our precious Green Belt.”

The by-election is to be held on September 25th after the previous ward councillor, John Garrett, died in July after a long illness.

Cllr Garrett’s majority at the last election in 2011 was 514. Wikipedia reports: “Conservative candidate John Garrett got around 70% of the vote. The Labour candidate edged the Liberal Democrat to second place by three votes, both getting just below 15% of the vote.

“Just as in the 2003 elections, the Labour candidates, by a few votes, edged the Liberal Democrat candidates into runner up spot in Lovelace and in the neighbouring ward of Send. Other rural wards in Guildford Borough Council have tended to be Conservative – Liberal Democrat contests, rather than ones where Labour was runner up to the Conservatives. Send and Lovelace are unique in that regard.”

Share This Post

Responses to Lib Dems Are First to Announce Their Candidate for the Lovelace By-election

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    August 18, 2014 at 8:52 am

    If Mr Cross is elected will he help protect Gosden Hill Farm against the development of 2000 houses plus shops, railway station, and Park & Ride set in the ‘real’ green belt? Will he defend them as strongly as he defends Wisley Airfield. The airfield site is categorised as ‘previously developed’ with several thousand square feet of concrete runway, while Gosden Hill is still a working farm.

    It was noted that all of his party voted through the Aldi project without consideration for the facts or the associated traffic problems which will now be suffered by the Burpham community.

    But then apparently Burpham doesn’t matter, does it? Two sides of the community are under threat from an unneeded road across the flood plain and potentially 9,000 additional cars on the little changed infrastructure.

    All those campaigning for saving the green belt seem totally oblivious of the very basic facts outside their own nests.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    August 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

    This by-election presents an excellent opportunity for the electorate to unite under one banner to protect the green belt.

    Perhaps consideration should be given, on this occasion, to field an independent to fight on this major issue.

    Those who wished to stand as national party candidates should wait for the 2015 elections in May.

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    August 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Mr Allen appears never to have read the parable about the mote of sawdust and the plank.

    The Guildford Greenbelt Group has scrupulously sought to defend all green belt sites, not just a few.

    Mr Allen by contrast feels no compunction in trying to divert development anywhere away from Burpham.

    So far as Three Farms Meadow is concerned, Mr Allen might care to know that Bridge End Farm is in the middle of the site and is a working farm. The entire site is leased as farmland to a local farmer who actively farms it.

    On the one hand Mr Allen has defended Monika Juneja and the entire council and, on the other, he does not like what the Draft Local Plan says about Burpham.

    He should be consistent rather than just consistently partisan?

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *