Fringe Box



‘Vote for Me’ Say the Four Candidates in the Horsleys SCC By-election

Published on: 16 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 17 Oct, 2023

By Martin Giles

A county council by-election is looming. It will be held this Thursday (October 19) when the county council seat for the Horsleys division is up for grabs after the sudden resignation of Colin Cross in late August.

See: County Councillor Quits Saying SCC Agreement With Developer Was Final Straw

It will be the first real test of voter opinion since the borough council elections in May. Candidates from four parties are standing: Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV).

The Horsleys is in what many would consider to be the Surrey “stockbroker-belt” and is therefore naturally Conservative territory. But discontent with the Guildford Local Plan is still a factor and has been clearly demonstrated in recent local elections.

At the last county council election in May 2021 Colin Cross of R4GV defeated the Conservative incumbent, Julie Iles, despite widespread acknowledgment that she had worked hard for the area and the fact that she had not agreed with all the borough council’s planning policy implemented by her Conservative colleagues.

Horsleys SCC Election Result May 2021

And, as the current hearing of the appeal on the proposal to build 1,700 homes at the former Wisley Airfield site continues, planning remains a major issue; it is likely to be a factor, even though planning is a borough council responsibility. The standing of the parties nationally also play a part.

The Dragon asked each candidate to provide a 100-word statement saying why they felt they were the best choice. Here is what they said…

John Barnes, Labour

John Barnes, Labour

After 13 years of Conservative local and national government, life in our rural communities is breaking down. Buses are being cut, pubs closing, local shops disappearing, the police non-existent. Everyone agrees – nothing works anymore.

I have lived in the area with my wife for 36 years, my sons grew up and went to school here. I’m standing to be a voice for ordinary residents.

I know what it means to depend on local shops, schools and services, and I am committed to the preservation of village life. Labour is the party of public services and together, we will not let you down.

Dennis Booth, Residents for Guildford and Villages

Dennis Booth, Residents for Guildford and Villages

I will work with our residents and parish councils against Wisley new town and SCC’s total lack of infrastructure planning for our local roads, medical facilities and education.

Residents need residents fighting for them on SCC, not national political parties who created the mess our villages are now in as a direct result of the dreadful Local Plan by Conservatives, supported by the Liberal Democrats’ leadership.

I have achieved substantial funding for local road and pavement
improvements and new facilities, and I am committed to extending this good work for you together with our excellent R4GV borough councillors.

Paul Kennedy. Liberal Democrats

Paul Kennedy, Liberal  Democrat

I’ve been campaigning in the Horsleys for nine years now, and as I’ve spoken to many of you during the by-election you’ve made it clear you’re fed up with being let down and taken for granted by the Conservatives at Surrey County Council and in Parliament. You want action on roads, schools and community infrastructure.

You want me to keep fighting against the Wisley development (I’m speaking at the inquiry), to get Ripley’s school reopened and the Howard rebuilt without destroying precious green belt. I understand and if elected will be the community champion local people want and deserve.

Alexander Stewart-Clark, Conservative

Alexander Stewart-Clark, Conservative

Alexander Stewart-Clark is a well-known local businessman in the Horsleys Division. He has been listening to residents and is already working with Angela Richardson MP and colleagues at Surrey County Council on the issues you care about.

Alexander is firmly against the Wisley development, but he will work to ensure that if approved, our villages get the infrastructure improvements they want to see.

I’ve eaten, breathed and slept in this precious part of Surrey over the last 37 years. I now want to serve our community, and I hope I can have your vote on October 19.


Share This Post

Responses to ‘Vote for Me’ Say the Four Candidates in the Horsleys SCC By-election

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    October 16, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    I have to say it is a bit of a con, with the LD and Con candidates claiming to be campaigning against the Wisley development. The Tories included the site in their despised local plan. Without their raid on the greenbelt, this unwanted development would never have been on the cards.

    As to the LDs, they supported the LP, and defended it in the high court against a Judicial Review, and their leader supported, and voted for it.

    No, these turncoats do not deserve our votes!

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    October 17, 2023 at 10:44 am

    I hope that voters will remember that the Tories and Lib Dems are equally culpable for the despised Local Plan which is now blighting our villages, and brings the threat of 3,000 new homes at Wisley. No matter how much they claim they will fight the development, they are responsible for it being on the cards in the first place!

    Editor’s note: Only the Lib Dem leader voted to adopt the Local Plan in 2019.

    • Jules Cranwell Reply

      October 18, 2023 at 3:40 pm

      That may well be the case, but it was the Lib Dem leadership which defended the JR against the Local Plan at the high court.

  3. Julie Iles Reply

    October 18, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Dennis Booth should note that provision of medical facilities falls within the remit of the NHS through Integrated Care Boards. It is not the responsibility of Surrey County Council.

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 *