Today (Thursday 18th November) is polling day in Binscombe in the Godalming Town Council by-election.
The election takes place on the retirement of Green councillor Jo Purvis due to ill-health. Unusually there are just two candidates – Labour and the Lib Dems chose not to stand to support the Green Party candidate.
Polling Station is Binscombe Church, Barnes Road from 7 am -10 pm
Green Party member Steve Williams said:
“It is a straight contest between Claire Weightman of the Green Party and the Conservatives – reflecting the collaborative, progressive coalition on the Town Council between Greens, Liberal Democrats, Labour and our one independent councillor, with the Conservatives choosing the route of opposition.
Clare would make a brilliant local councillor and would be a great asset to the progressive coalition on GTC. I wish her every success.”
The Conservative candidate is former Godalming Mayor and Waverley Councillor Liz Wheatley, who we thought had retired from politics several years ago, but who gamely stands as a paper candidate whenever called upon to rock up for an election, anywhere!
The former Mayor of Godalming and a Conservative Waverley Borough Councillor for the town has been charged with a number of criminal offences of, ‘a sexual nature,’ and appeared before Guildford Magistrates today.
Mr Thornton of Abraham Way, who is a Godalming butcher, faces 23 charges, including one count each of rape of a girl under the age of 13 years, voyeurism, assault of a girl under the age of 13 and paying a girl for sexual services.
He also faces two counts of making indecent photographs of a child, 11 counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 15 and six counts of taking an indecent image of a child.
The case has been referred to the Crown Court for a hearing fixed for May 8.
Godalming Mayor Simon Thornton stepped down from the mayoral role, as well as relinquishing his roles as the Conservative Town and Waverley Borough councillor for Ockford & Eashing Ward in October 2017.
Mr Thornton, who became the town’s mayor in May 2017, cited personal reasons for his decision to resign. Both seats have now gone to Liberal Democrat Paul Follows following a by-election.
Mr Thornton was first elected to the town council in 2011 when he was also elected as a Waverley borough councillor.
As a Waverley councillor, he was a member of the powerful executive from 2014-2016 with portfolio responsibility for leisure, culture, parks and the countryside.
At an extraordinary meeting of Godalming Town Council shortly after Mr Thornton’s resignation members elected Holloway ward councillor Anne Bott as mayor for the rest of the year. Mrs Bott previously served as mayor in 2015. Her husband and fellow Holloway councillor, Steve Bott, will be her consort. Current deputy mayor Nick Williams will continue in his role.
Congratulations to Lib Dem Paul Follows who takes both Waverley Borough Council and Godalming Town Council seats. Godalming Town Council result: Lib Dem 294 Conservatives 252: Labour 162
Paul said: “It’s clear that the people of Godalming have spoken and that they want fresh voices and real change. I am honoured to be elected to begin that change.”
At last Farnham Residents – the ‘official opposition to the Conservative Party’ at Waverley will have another council member who will challenge decisions rather than rubber stamping them.
Could this be the first sign of things to come?
Why was this By-Election called in the first place?
Stay tuned! Waverley Web is pleased to see a fresh faced youth elected to the Councils, and one that at least has a grasp of communicating on social media. We recommend you all Follow the Follows for future lobbying!
In our efforts to cover the Godalming By-Election, which takes place on Wednesday, we have waited patiently for a response to our request for information from the Conservative Party.
And we are not the only ones! Here’s a few comments from the Godalming Noticeboard.
The Conservatives are fielding one candidate for the Waverley Borough Council seat and one for the Town Council.
Maybe Councillor Stella Andersen Payne’s Stellar performance as a former Waverley Councillor for Farnham, has convinced voters in Godalming that she needs no introduction. So there is no need for her to respond to our requests? But, maybe Graham Bennewith will get in touch – there’s still time.
So far, the only comments we can find from Godalming folk on Ms Anderson Payne’s go along these lines…
– By not appearing on the Godalming Community Board Facebook she is either out of touch, or not interested, in her ward? – concerned that when she was Waverley Councillor for Dockenfield she almost caused a by-election due to non-attendance. – a Tory paper candidate that will do nothing for the town
But they may feel differently if she lets everyone know, other than on the doorstep, how she hopes to represent them?
According to some of our Farnham followers when Ms Andersen-Payne represented the Dockenfield Ward at ‘YW,’ she ‘rarely bothered to turn up,’ Still, we are sure she will do better this time – won’t she?