Borough and Parish elections – 4th May 2023.

March 4, 2023| News + Events, Past Issues

Whilst Burpham Pages is not a platform for specific political debate, we have asked some of the Burpham Ward candidates in the local elections to outline issues in Burpham that they intend to focus upon. We understand that the official and complete candidate list should be published on 5th April 2023.

A fundamental change to the voting procedure will be the introduction of photo ID at polling stations. Find out more about voter ID in the 2023 elections.

Photo ID will apply for the first time in England at these local elections. To vote in this year’s election, you will need to register before you can vote.

If you would like to respond to any of the candidates please use the comments box below and we will forward your messages.

Burpham Ward Candidates – May 4th Borough Elections

R4GV: Liz Hyland

Liz Hyland with R4GV partner candidate Charles Wilce

I’m Liz Hyland and I’m going to stand in Burpham Ward as one of the two candidates representing Residents for Guildford and Villages (R4GV) in the local election on 4th May; my R4GV partner candidate is Charles Wilce.

We formed R4GV in early 2019. We’re from all walks of life and political viewpoints but all members of R4GV have two things in common:

  • The passion to make the borough better for everyone who lives, works, and visits here
  • The belief that a council free from the distractions and partisan agendas of party politics is best placed to serve its community

In the May 2019 election, R4GV became the second largest group on the council when 15 of the 17 candidates we put forward became councillors. Our leader Joss Bigmore became the council leader when the Lib Dems handed over the baton during the rather challenging Covid-years.

I’m really proud of the vital and long over due changes that the group has achieved already. I am definitely not a politician and would love to see a more common sense, practical approach to local government ‘without the point scoring’.

Local politics should be about what residents and the community want and need, NOT national party agendas.

I have lived in Burpham for over 30 years and I care deeply about our local community and enjoy getting actively involved. I am the current president of Burpham Womens’ Institute and I’m a member of Burpham Neighbourhood Forum. I sit on the steering group of the London Road Action Group and I’m involved with the Burpham Community Hub; a group trying to achieve a lease for Sutherland Memorial Hall so it can be used for community events.

I also recognise the importance of Guildford’s town centre to our borough’s economy and the need for well-planned regeneration. I fully support R4GV’s promise to introduce height limits and form a design panel to influence future architecture.

I promise that as your councillor I will:

  • Properly represent your views
  • Ensure local community assets are protected and available for community use
  • Keep all development in Burpham strictly in line with the Neighbourhood Plan

I fully support R4GV’s manifesto that promises to:

  • Put climate change at the forefront of everything we do
  • Review the current 3-hour minimum parking charge in the town centre
  • Demand better bus services despite Surrey County Council’s attempts to cut bus routes

Labour: Ian Creese

Ian Creese, Labour candidate for the Burpham Ward.

In the last few months, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you who I did not already know. Since I began my campaign to represent you as one of your two borough councillors, I have spoken to neighbours on their doorsteps, on Kingpost Parade and in Sutherland Park.

Two key issues have arisen, time and time again. Firstly, the temporary forthcoming road closure of London Road for improved cycle lanes. Secondly, Burpham’s lack of a GP surgery since the New Inn Surgery closed in 2019. I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on my position on the former and ask for your support on the latter.

With regard to London Road, we all agree with the aims of reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality and facilitating safe exercise for adults and schoolchildren. However, the County Council’s plan for this work was poorly shared, lacked consultation and left many questions unanswered. A last-minute consultation meeting at George Abbot school led to the formation of the ‘London Road Action Group’ which has members from all political parties and with no political affiliation. I believe that this is the best way to make sure that common sense prevails.

Turning to the issue of the lack of a GP surgery, I feel that the absence of one in Burpham is completely unsatisfactory. Like myself, after the surgery’s closure, many of you will have re-registered at the surgery in Merrow or one of the ones in the centre of town. My personal experience at the Merrow surgery has been first class, I thank them for welcoming me. My only problem is location.

With over five thousand residents, Burpham includes parents with small children, those with mobility issues and the elderly. A round trip to the doctors by bus seems unnecessarily arduous, particularly if the visitor is not well. I propose three things. Firstly, that the issue needs attention at Council level. Secondly, that the owners of groups of multiple surgeries in the area are approached. Thirdly, that any potential properties or sites are monitored.

I would welcome the support of those who agree, regardless of political party. If anyone has relevant experience in planning or the management of such facilities, I would be particularly interested.

Conservative: Christian Holliday & Adam Heilbron

Conservative candidates Adam Heilbron and Christian Holliday.

Burpham is a great place to live, work and play, with good schools, a thriving shopping parade and active community groups that take pride in the village. But there is still room for improvement: Increasing pressure on roads, housing, local facilities, green spaces and local businesses means changes are required to how the Borough Council delivers for Burpham.

Your Conservative candidates in the May election are Adam Heilbron and Christian Holliday. Adam is 23 years old and was born, educated and raised in Burpham. He lives in Weylea Farm with his family. He has a degree in politics from the University of Surrey and regularly engages in local activities. Adam volunteered at a Covid vaccination centre during the pandemic. Adam is keen to engage further across our community. Christian lives in Ockley Court with his wife and works as a planning consultant specialising in renewable energy. He was previously Councillor for Burpham between 2011 and 2019 and plays an active role in Burpham in relation to planning matters. Adam and Christian experience the same frustrations with traffic and access to local services as other readers of the Burpham Pages. They will continue to engage with Surrey County Council and residents over the London Road cycle lane proposals.

In these difficult financial times, it is necessary to refocus Council priorities on delivery of services to the service user, maximising every penny of public funds whilst keeping Council Tax low. If elected, and the Conservatives take back control of Guildford Borough Council, Adam and Christian are committed to restoring full availability of key public facilities, such as Sutherland Memorial Hall in Burpham, through the appointment of dedicate staff to run such facilities across the Borough. Adam and Christian will work to restore minimum acceptable standards of customer service provision, including answering phone calls and emails in a timely manner.

Adam and Christian will closely monitor Gosden Hill Farm and Weyside Urban Village, both of which have the potential to impact Burpham through additional pressures and, at the Weyside Urban Village, visual impacts on Burpham’s nature reserve. Adam and Christian will work to strengthen planning policy and the Council’s enforcement function, to ensure future development remains appropriate for Burpham.

Adam and Christian look forward to meeting as many of you as possible between now and polling day.

Liberal Democrats: George Potter

Liberal Democrat candidate, and current Councillor for Burpham Ward, George Potter.

Getting to work for our community as a borough councillor is an absolute privilege, and words cannot express my gratitude to all the people who placed their trust in myself and the Liberal Democrat team 4 years ago.

When we were elected we said our priorities were communities, affordable housing and the environment. We have delivered on those commitments. Thanks to prudent financial management we have managed to keep council tax rises below-inflation at the same time as protecting public services, especially for those most in need.

We’re building 700 new council houses and refurbishing existing ones. We’re developing a masterplan to guide regeneration of the town centre, and we’re working with the county council to tackle transport problems in our town.

We’ve also declared a climate emergency, adopted an ambitious plan to make the council carbon neutral by 2030, and have re-written our planning policies to put sustainability and wildlife protection at their heart. Some of my personal highlights from the past 4 years of work in Burpham:

  • Stopping the introduction of parking charges at Sutherland Memorial Park
  • Supporting the rebuilding of Burpham Bowling Club’s clubhouse with a £10,000 grant
  • Funding a safer speed limit review for Burpham Lane (due to take place in the 2023/24 financial year)
  • The restoration of concrete road surfaces in Coltsfoot Drive, Charlock Way, Burnet Avenue and Woodruff Avenue, and pavement repairs on Gosden Hill Road
  • The withdrawal of SCC’s plans for a 5-month closure of London Road and a commitment to consult the community properly on a re-designed London Road cycle scheme

None of these are things I can take sole credit for, but they are all things where I am pleased to have been able to help use my weight as a councillor to make a difference for our community.

I am actively supporting the Burpham Community Hub project in their efforts to get the Hall re-opened for public use, and I hope this can be resolved soon. Elsewhere, concrete blocks at Mallow Crescent still need to be covered with soil to create earth bunds, problem parking continues to obstruct traffic in Weylea Farm, privatised bus services are a mess, and there are ongoing problems with accessibility at the nature reserve.

These, and others, are issues I am currently working on as your local councillor, your local Liberal Democrat team will continue to work for you and our entire community if you place your trust in us again in this May’s elections.