This letter appears in today’s Haslemere Herald, from Nikki Barton, independent candidate for Haslemere in the Surrey County Council elections, 2rd May 2013. Nikki Barton leads the Haslemere Parking Action Group.
For over a year your readers have followed the incredible story of jousting between Haslemere and Surrey County Council, in which communities, churches, schools and businesses in the town have had to fight to be heard in the corridors of County Hall in distant Kingston-upon-Thames. My own involvement has been in both challenging ill-thought out parking proposals and galvanizing community interest, in order to protect the unique vitality of Haslemere. Our success in defeating plans for pay-and-display across the town has shown me what can be achievedthrough genuinely non-political collaboration in Haslemere.
There should be no doubt that the interests of Haslemere should come first for our next County Councillor and that is why I have decided to stand as an Independent candidate in the upcoming elections on May 2nd.
My priorities, if elected, would be (a) to listen to the concerns and needs of the community, (b) to give Haslemere the voice it deserves in Surrey and (c) to stand up for open and meaningful, non-political engagement between the people of Haslemere and the processes of local government at all levels. In a nutshell, Haslemere First!
I’ve been told it is a bold decision to stand as an Independent in Haslemere, a true Tory stronghold with 100% Conservative representation at Town, Borough and County levels. But as the mother of three young daughters, who truly cares about the present and future well being of Haslemere, I feel inspired to stand. As an Independent Councillor, I would certainly put Haslemere first.