District council elections: Limpsfield – the run-down

Will the independents clean up again on Thursday? Here’s a quick overview of who’s standing in the elections for the Limpsfield ward on 4th May 2023…

Tandridge Council operates an election by thirds policy which means there’s an election for one (out of 2 or 3) ward councillor each year, except in a year where there is a County Council election. In Limpsfield, and other wards where there are currently only two ward councillors, there will be another year where there is no election.

Currently Limpsfield’s two spots are taken by independent candidates from Oxted and Limpsfield Residents Group (OLRG) Candidates, Claire Blackwell and Ian Booth. Ian was voted in last May, taking over the spot from Phil Davies, also OLRG, who did not re-stand due to a planned move away from the area.

Tandridge District Council has 42 councillors in total, who are elected in thirds, which means 14 seats are contested at a time. Parties need 22 seats to control the Council. There is currently no overall control, with the current political balance as follows: 

  • 17 Independents and Oxted & Limpsfield Residents Group Alliance. 
  • 10 Liberal Democrats. 
  • 10 Conservatives. 
  • 3 Independent Group. 
  • 2 vacancies (one previously Independents and OLRG Alliance and one Liberal Democrat) 

In Limpsfield, your four candidates are:

Claire Blackwell OLRG 
Mark Dean  (also standing for Parish Council)Labour
Paul Greenhalgh Conservative 
Rupert McCann Lib Dem 

Claire Blackwell – the incumbent District Councillor up for re-election is easily the best known candidate in the area, most visible campaigner and clear favourite in the election. Claire is a local through and through, having grown up in Limpsfield/Oxted and attended St Michael’s School, Limpsfield and then Oxted County School. She lives in Limpsfield with her husband and children.

I am committed to dealing with the difficult issues we are facing with regards to the Local Plan, submitted by the previous administration, and what this would mean for Tandridge if the plan is found unsound.  If this were to happen, I will do my utmost to protect our area from inappropriate development and speculative applications on the Green Belt.  

I am delighted that so much of our most valued landscapes in Limpsfield have been included in the review and of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) extension giving them even more protection.  I was however disappointed that Staffhurst Wood has not been included in the revised boundary and will be putting forward a case for its inclusion to Natural England during their consultation. My priorities include tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, improving infrastructure especially pressing for more health services locally, focusing resources on the services that matter most to residents and protecting the character and community feel of Limpsfield. 

Mark Dean, Labour – Lives on Snatts Hill in Limpsfield with his wife, Elisabeth. He currently sits on the board of a stonework and restoration firm that carries out conservation on the built heritage of London and the South East: including recent repairs to the render on St Mary’s church in Oxted. His manifesto focuses on the Conservatives 3 key areas of Housing, Our Green Future and addressing the Cost of Living Crisis. (see more info on the Parish Council elections article).

In my spare time I sit on the Surrey region committee for the charity Wooden Spoon which funds local projects that improve the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children. I undertake a variety of challenges for charity and regularly run charity events in the local area for a number of causes including the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Community Action Nepal and Wooden Spoon. I also work with the invitational rugby club, Samurai RFC, which provides a pathway for young male and female players to play elite and International level rugby sevens. All of the above is directly linked to my long held belief in equality of opportunity and in using my privileged position for the benefit of others.

Paul Greenhalgh, Conservatives – Paul has lived in Tandridge district for over 20 years with his wife, Claire, four children their golden retriever! He was an Insurance Litigation solicitor for 20 years and Managing Partner of City law firm for over 10 years, but is no longer practising, having semi-retired. He now works part-time for the National Trust.

Rupert McCann, Lib Dem – originally from Ireland, Rupert attended Trinity College Dublin, now lives with his husband in Limpsfield Chart and is a well known member of the Chart community. Rupert also stood for last year’s District Council elections. He is a director at an investment bank and believes his professional experience will help him as a councillor due to the leadership and organisational skills I have developed. In his free time he likes to go walking with his husband and their dogs.

I want to provide a positive and proactive contribution to my area and my community, I want to give back.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s