Exclusive to the Epsom and Ewell Times we are bringing you statements from each Party standing for election to the local council this Thursday 4th May. We continue today with the Conservative Party.
This set of local elections in Epsom & Ewell are the most important for a generation. On Thursday 8th May your vote will shape the future landscape of our town for years to come. Never has your decision at the ballot box for a council election needed to be so carefully considered, it’s a big responsibility and that is why you must vote for the candidates with professional experience, vote for the candidates who have already proved themselves in your neighbourhood, vote for your Conservative candidates.
Top image: Conservative Candidates Bernie Muir and Kieran Persand (Horton) and Michael Ware (College)
The Resident’s Association has controlled the Borough Council for an astonishing 87 years! Democracy dictates that good governance needs robust opposition to scrutinise and hold to account, unfettered power invariably leads to poor outcomes. Sadly, for our town, this flaw in our council has been dramatically demonstrated in the disastrous local plan put forward by the RA this year.
The stuttering and stumbling journey the RA controlled council took to arrive at the decision to tear up 137 acres of green belt and disregard all our brownfield sites is almost more shocking than the plan itself. A consultation that reeked of laziness and narrowmindedness. Town planning consultants employed who freely admitted they had no local knowledge and offered to do the work on the cheap. A process that neglected to even review Epsom’s historic conservation areas rules. A professionally designed alternative plan commissioned by Conservative MP, Chris Grayling, to redevelop brownfield disregarded with a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude. Stark warnings not to build on areas vulnerable to flooding ignored. The complacency of 87 years means our town is being put at risk by a plan for our future that 10,000 people of Epsom have already rejected.
The plan has been paused but be in no doubt this has been done because as RA Councillor Alex Coley admitted when asked why the local plan had taken so long at a public meeting in March, “we are terrified of you lot!” In other words, terrified of losing their cosy seats! The danger is that, if when the election is over, the status quo is restored, the RA’s fiefdom is re-established the catastrophic plan will be ploughed ahead with.
The only way to stop this is if there is a strong and effective opposition and the only opposition that is strong and effective is a Conservative opposition. Your Conservative borough Councillor, Bernie Muir has done more alone to hold the RA to account and speak up for residents than all other opposition Councillors put together. She has worked across the whole borough, not just in her own ward. Bernie has also built a team of volunteers and activists to help her fight the decisions the RA council have been making in your name. Those volunteers and activists are now your Conservatives candidates.
Michael Ware in College who worked tirelessly on the shambles of the Chalk Pit expansion while Lib Dem College Councillor Julie Morris said nothing and did nothing as thick dust was falling on our cars and washing. Stephen Pontin in Stamford an experienced councillor who campaigned alongside Bernie to successfully save the Wells Community Centre while the Lib Dems ignored the issue. Kieran Persand who ran surveys and petitions in Horton to inform locals about flooding worries and anti-social driving in Horton Lane while Labour and the Lib Dems ignored Horton until it became a ward on the electoral map. And never forget Labour and the Lib Dems will not oppose ULEZ while the Conservatives are leading the fight against Sadiq Khan and his tax on Surrey’s drivers.
Our team are professional people, lawyers, engineers, accountants, schoolteachers, who all bring their expertise from their lives to bear on council issues. They will be councillors of calibre, councillors who will scrutinise, councillors who will get things done.
We understand that for some of you this will be the first time you don’t vote for the RA in a local election, your patience has finally run out, but when moving you pencil tentatively across the ballot paper, ask yourself why you are changing your vote? Is it because you want a more professional council? Is it because you want councillors who have a proven track record of delivering for your neighbourhood? Is it because you want a councillor who will speak up and hold the RA to account? If your answer is yes, then let your stubby election pencil land on the box for the Conservative candidate and you will be choosing a brighter future for Epsom & Ewell. Written by Emma Ware
Ed: The Conservatives are fielding candidates in all 14 wards in the Borough