Conservatives are looking to the future after difficult local elections in May, dominated by the national picture, which saw us lose three seats and control of Elmbridge Borough Council.
The Liberal Democrats and seven political resident associations are back in control of the council as a coalition administration, and it will be the duty of our 21 councillors to hold the new administration to account.
Conservative group leader, Councillor James Browne, has formed an eight person Shadow Cabinet to scrutinise the coalition. The team consists of the following councillors:
- Group Leader - Cllr James Browne
- Resources - Cllr Ruth Mitchell
- Environment - Cllr Glenn Dearlove
- Communities - Cllr Andrew Burley
- Leisure and Culture - Cllr Malcolm Howard
- Planning - Cllr Andrew Kelly
- Housing - Cllr Simon Waugh
- Transport - Cllr Steve Bax
In an inauspicious start, the Coalition's first act after taking office on 15 May was to increase the number of paid cabinet posts to nine - two more than the outgoing Conservative administration which ran a lean cabinet of seven. It equates to an increased bill for Elmbridge taxpayers of £12,666 in councillor Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs). Shadow Cabinet roles receive not additional allowance.
Councillor Browne says: “It is sad to see our residents’ money being used to pay for sticking plasters to hold a coalition of eight parties together. The Conservative Shadow Cabinet will work tirelessly to hold the new administration to account. We will not oppose for opposition’s sake and we will be putting forward a positive vision for Elmbridge over the months to come. The Conservative administration last year demonstrated beyond any doubt that it is possible to run Elmbridge efficiently with only seven cabinet members. By appointing nine to the new coalition cabinet, the new administration has already cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds."
Of the 48 seats on Elmbridge Borough Council, the Conservatives currently have 21, with the RAs on 17 and LibDems on 10.