Fed up with Anti-social behaviour, Houses in Multiple Occupation and parking problems?  Then use your vote to make a difference!

As we state on our Home Page, this site is intended as a residents’ guide to the problems caused by Royal Holloway’s inappropriate expansion and what can be done about them.  In that respect then, we are not affiliated to any political party.  However, with the local elections on Thursday, 4th May we think it worth looking at the candidates and their parties with the sole intention of seeing how this could affect the initiatives needed to address the problems caused by Royal Holloway’s presence.

First though, let’s look back and see how we got here.

Long term residents will be only too well aware that the issues in question have really escalated since the inception of Royal Holloway’s Outline Masterplan which was approved by Runnymede Borough Council in 2015.  At that time, the Conservatives held 36 of the then 42 seats in Runnymede and there has been a Conservative majority ever since – although this has declined to a current 24 of the now 41 seats.

While we are not suggesting that the problems are the fault of the Conservatives, it is a fact that the expansion plan was approved under a Conservative majority and, as the party has been a majority ever since, its councillors could easily have worked to protect the residents from the consequences – but that hasn’t happened.  Indeed, there is clear evidence that at least one local Conservative councillor has briefed against measures to help curb the numbers of Houses in Multiple Occupation.

One might conclude then, that voting against Conservative councillors – and breaking their majority – may well provide the opportunity for Runnymede to finally introduce some of the measures needed to address problems such as HMOs and anti-social behaviour.  Loosing just 4 seats across Runnymede would loose the Conservative’s their majority and 2 of those seats will be decided in Englefield Green!

It’s also worth remembering that voting for councillors in the local elections is much more about deciding local issues than electing the MP of the party that you want to form the national government so it’s important to vote for the individual that is committed to addressing your local concerns.

So, if you want to use your vote in the May election to help solve the problems of HMOs, ASB and parking, these are your options on a ward-by-ward basis:

Egham Town

Egham Town has only returned independent councillors for many years now and one of the three incumbent Independents, Isabel Mullens, is up for re-election this year.  Isabel has been working on an Article 4 Direction to help try and curb the number of HMOs which will be a good thing for both Egham and Englefield Green.  Isabel is working hard on this potential solution so our vote would be for Isabel.

Isabel Mullens

Englefield Green East

Incumbent Conservative councillor Marissa Heath is not standing for re-election this year which leaves the field open to four unknown candidates and the chance to vote for someone that can really help make a difference.  Trevor Gates stands head and shoulders above the others as an independent committed to addressing the community’s issues and not afraid to say that Royal Holloway should take more responsibility for the conduct of the small minority of its students that blight the lives of others.  In our view, there can be no doubt that Trevor should get your vote.

Trevor Gates

Englefield Green West

Incumbent Conservative councillor Nigel King is also standing down this year leaving just two candidates for this seat.

For the reasons mentioned above, we cannot recommend another Conservative councillor if the problems that blight us are to be addressed, so we sat down with Eliza and learned that she is only too well aware of these problems and committed to work with others to resolve them.  Eliza gets our vote!

Eliza Kettle

To finish off, we must remind you that you’ll need photo ID this year.  This is really important because if you turn up without it, you won’t be able to vote.  Please check the Runnymede Borough Council website for full details.

And if you are voting in Egham Town, remember that the polling station has moved from the Band Hall in the Waspe Farm car park to the Egham Youth and Community Centre at the junction of the High Street and Limes Road.

Egham Youth Centre – the new polling station for Egham Town voters