The last time all the seats on Spelthorne Council came up for election in 2011 there were 79 candidates spread over the 13 wards. This time the total has risen by two-thirds: 129 candidates, an average of ten per ward. Seven candidates will also be contesting the Spelthorne Parliamentary seat on the same day.
One of the biggest tasks which the about-to-be elected Council will have to deal with is the Review of OUR Local Borough Plan. Residents are faced with different combinations of candidates in each ward with differing views on this vital issue. To help narrow down the choice, KKG asked every candidate to answer the following simple questions, either YES or NO.
1. If elected, will you use the powers available to you as a Councillor to maintain the current Borough boundaries of Green Belt land and other open spaces?
2. If elected, will you use the powers available to you as a Councillor to keep the future housing target as close to the current target of 166 new dwellings p.a. as possible?
3. If elected, will you use the powers available to you as Councillor to ensure the maximum level of residents’ participation in the current Review of our Local Plan, in compliance with the law, as set out by our legal advisers?
Six out of seven Parliamentary candidates replied. We received no reply from the Conservative candidate. All those who replied answered YES to all three questions, except for the Green Party candidate who qualified his answer to Question 2.
70% of the Council candidates replied. We received no replies from any of the Labour candidates. Some candidates also sent brief comments on why they had answered YES or NO. The Conservative candidates chose to answer neither YES nor NO, saying in a joint statement that they could not give the “declarations of absolute principle” that we had asked for.
Nevertheless, a clear majority of those Council candidates who responded answered YES to all three questions. But the devil, as always, is in the detail. All the responses, broken down by candidate and ward, can be seen by clicking on the links below.
Ashford North & Stanwell South
Spelthorne Parliamentary Constituency
Comment from the Liberal Democrats