If you have been on holiday – or have been busy rummaging in the loft looking for the Christmas decorations, you may have missed the fact that a By-Election is about to take place in Godalming during the busiest week of the year.
This was prompted by the sudden resignation of Godalming Town Council Mayor, and Tory Waverley Borough Councillor Simon Thornton for/ undisclosed ‘personal reasons’. Reasons, that the whole town is talking about!
As you will see from this link: The emergency, emergency at Godawfulming is over? Isn’t it? Godalming Town Councillor Anne Bott has taken over the Mayoral role, but it would appear that despite wishing to join the chain-gang she’s not quite so eager to jump into the local butcher’s boots at ‘Your Waverley’! Wonder why?
Here at the Waverley Web we are keen to inform Godalming residents of the reasons why the men and women want to represent them in the Central & Ockford seat for the remaining two years left of the life of both councils. Although we have managed to contact some prospective candidates – who replied moments after receiving our requests – others have not been quite so forthcoming! No prizes for guessing who!
So over the coming days we will give you a brief run down of those who have thrown their hats into the Waverley/Godalming rings.
In no particular order – as they say on Strictly Come Dancing – we have Paul Follows the Liberal Democrat candidate who is standing for both the Godalming Town council and Waverley Borough Council seats. This Godalming man’s main motivation for standing is quite simple:
‘The utter lack of opposition to the Tories in Godalming’.
The 31 year-old former university of Surrey student now works for BAe Systems Applied Intelligence. He and his Lib Dem colleagues have wasted no time in speaking to as many people as they possibly can before the election on December 13. They say they want to fully understand residents’ concerns.
Paul has lived in Godalming for several years and commutes to Guildford for work at the Surrey Research Park where his work covers standards, legal compliance and ethical conduct. He enjoys cricket and ice hockey and is a tenor in the Guildford Choral Society.
He says, ‘another motivation for my getting into politics has been my parents. My father is a retired soldier and my mother is an HLTA at a school in Guildford. Both have had cancer in the last 5 years and survived – largely due to fantastic staff – and so access to these services and providing for health services locally is a big deal for me personally. Equally an affinity for the teaching and defence professions is something built into me.’
‘Over the past few weeks we have been all over the ward canvassing, handing out leaflets and talking people. I just wanted to use this opportunity to feedback on some of the issues people have raised with me time and again on the doorstep’.
- Affordable housing which is balanced with the needs of the people living within their communities. People are really concerned that new houses without new infrastructure to support them will cause big problems;
- The speed and weight of traffic through residential areas (particularly near schools);
- The total absence of any other voice at Waverley borough council, other than that of Farnham residents and the Tories. The impact of austerity measures and the frustration with an unchallenged council that repeatedly fails to deliver.
Asked by the Waverley Web, what he seeks to achieve between now and 2019?
‘To me that is clear. Local residents have given me a list of issues they would like investigated, and, if electors give me the mandate, I hope to make progress on those. In addition I want to be that voice of opposition and scrutiny (hopefully the first of many) and essentially be the conscience that our Tory dominated councils desperately need when it comes to further austerity measures.
I want everyone to know I will be accessible during the campaign – on a stall next Saturday (9th) in the heart of the town if anyone wants to come and have a chat.
Many thanks and I hope to see many of you on polling day. Paul.