Long Ditton has a new community champion following the selection of Claudia Riley-Hards as Conservative candidate for the area.
The local mum advises councils on economic development and regeneration for a living, and is keen to play a role in making Elmbridge Council more efficient and prosperous if she is elected as a councillor on May 3. Claudia grew up in British Guyana and moved to the UK 40 years ago, making her home in Long Ditton for the last two decades. She holds a degree in Business Studies and a Masters in Marketing.
She says: “I want to serve the fantastic community in Long Ditton and be their voice on the Council. I‘m keen to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour by working with the police our Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner. Youth services and opportunities for young people,as well as enhancing our environment are also very important to me. I want to champion solutions to local residents’ every day anxieties and concerns.”
Claudia is conscious that the Liberal Democrats and political Residents Associations currently in control of Elmbridge Council had floated the idea of building thousands of homes in the green belt, including on land near Squires nursery in Long Ditton. She comments: “Thankfully the proposal was rejected by residents at consultation. I would just like to add that I strongly defend the Green Belt. The Council Administration has dithered and avoided producing a Local Plan to set out areas of the borough that are suitable for house building and those that are not – as a result they run the risk of a plan being imposed from Whitehall. It’s time they showed some leadership.”
Claudia is busy meeting Long Ditton residents to hear their views on local issues. Anyone who would like to help her campaign can email C.RileyHards@esherwalton.com or call 020 8546 2934.