If you're asking yourself "who are these people listed on my ballot paper?" before the May 4 local elections, here's your answer...
In the build-up to polling day, we invited each candidate standing in the Haslemere Town Council elections to submit a profile of 100 words, explaining who they are and why they deserve your vote on May 4.
Below are all the profiles of those who responded, including information about their background and involvement in their local community, as well as their priorities and goals if elected.
The profiles of Farnham Town Council candidates can be found here, and Waverley borough and East Hampshire district council candidates will follow next week...
All of the below wards will elect two councillors each.
Haslemere Hindhead & Beacon Hill (four seats):
Jean Arrick (Conservative):
I have been a town councillor on Haslemere town council representing Hindhead and Beacon Hill for over 20 years. During that time, I have always stood up for the interests of local residents in trying to preserve the character of the area by supporting sensitive development. I live in Hindhead with my husband and Labrador dog and will be retiring from the teaching profession this summer after 25 years at a local secondary school.
Malcolm Carter (Conservative):
Malcolm and his wife have lived in Beacon Hill for 21 years. He has three adult children and one large dog. He was a town Councillor until 2019 as well as Mayor in 17/18. He is a governor of Woolmer Hill and St Edmunds schools as well as volunteering with Three Counties Money advice, providing debt support advice across Hindhead, Beacon Hill and Haslemere.
Jerome Davidson (Lib Dems):
As a long-term resident (thirty years), I am concerned that Hindhead and Beacon Hill evolves appropriately with adequate facilities to support our community. Our neighbourhood plan implemented recently (and voted against by Conservative councillors) helps to protect what we have and means more funds will become available for vital infrastructure, but we must remain vigilant. Although highways are the responsibility of Surrey, I will push for safer roads with a maximum 30 mph speed limit across the ward and for the improvement of public transport services. It would be a privilege to continue representing all sections of this wonderful community.
Susan Ryland (Green):
I have lived in Beacon Hill for almost thirty years and want to drive forward the long overdue regeneration of Beacon Hill and Hindhead. The types of shops and businesses that thrive in our area have changed over the years, and we now need to formally review all aspects of the villages to understand what works, and what needs improving or changing.
As a university lecturer and researcher in sustainability and the creative industries, I am skilled in problem-solving and design, and as a co-director of COPSE- a vibrant community orchards project, I am experienced in supporting community-led initiatives.
Conrad Waters (Lib Dems):
I worked in finance and am now an author. I care passionately about Beacon Hill and Hindhead, having lived here almost thirty years. I first served as a councillor as a younger man, wanting to ensure our area was effectively represented and its environment protected. Back then, I secured investment in play areas and public spaces, working with the team that delivered Haslemere Leisure Centre and gained funding for the Hindhead Tunnel. I was delighted to be elected last June to re-join the town council. My priority now is to support Hindhead and Beacon Hill’s interests during these challenging times.
Haslemere North (four seats):
Zoe Barker-Lomax (Conservative):
Zoe’s main objective is to drive greater value for local taxpayers.
As a founding member of the Surrey Hills Association, she would resist the LibDem plans to build on local land designated as AONB.
For over 20 years, Zoe has run a business in healthcare communications, lived in Haslemere and raised two daughters.
Graham Betts (Conservative):
Graham’s goal is to improve local amenities for residents within current budgets. Volunteering as a Citizens Advice adviser has helped him understand the challenges facing people and he will work to improve access to existing support. Graham has lived in Haslemere for 30 years and raised two daughters. He was the Finance Director of a leading accountancy firm before retiring,
Oli Leach (Lib Dems):
Many people will know me as Oli from Oliver’s Coffee shop & wine bar. I have been a volunteer for Guildford Samaritans for 10 years and represented the branch as Branch Director. If elected, I will aim to provide support to our community in helping those who need a little helping hand, and I feel it is important that our amazing town remains united. I have never stood in a role like this before but with the support of my loving family and our amazing community, if successful, I will jump at the opportunity to contribute to our Haslemere community.
Phil Miller (Lib Dems):
I have lived in Haslemere for over 30 Years. Until recently, I was a Lay Minister in All Saints Church Grayswood. I am an enthusiastic vegetable-grower and rent an allotment. I am a member of the National Trust Beaver enclosure-maintenance team. Now retired, I worked as a Professional Engineer in the Space industry. If elected, I will be a hard-working representative of the community and will aim to promote better parking and road use in Haslemere. I would strive to improve our environment by encouraging less car-based travel and by championing the maintenance of pavements, footpaths and hedges.
David Round (Conservative):
David moved to Haslemere just over 50 years ago. After the death of his first wife Karin, David married Melanie Odell who is well-known in Haslemere for organising just about everything and being mayor three times. David has represented Haslemere North and Grayswood for eight years now and is standing again. He has been mayor once, in the year when we remembered the Centenary of the Great War.
David was born in Worcestershire and after attending the local Grammar School studied maths at Cambridge. His career spanned decades in the City developing investment management computer systems and generally running IT.
John Weatherburn (Lib Dems):
I moved to Haslemere in 1986. I have been married for forty years and have three daughters, each of whom were educated locally. I have a masters degree in Chemistry from Oxford University and a masters in Soil Chemistry from Reading. I am now retired but was employed as advisor to a member of the board of directors of Aramco, the world’s largest company. I am committed to action on climate change, while promoting an inclusive and supportive society that listens to and acts on the values and concerns of all local people, irrespective of political view or life situation.
Terry Weldon (Lib Dems):
Originally from South Africa, where for many years I was an anti-apartheid campaigner, I am now a British citizen, and have lived in the UK since 2003 (and in Haslemere since 2006). Now semi-retired, my part-time work delivering medicines for a local pharmacy has given me an acute awareness of the difficulties faced by some of the elderly and vulnerable people in our community. I have been a Haslemere town councillor since 2019, serving on the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, Finance and Governance, and Planning committees - since 2022 as chair of the latter.
Haslemere South (four seats):
Farzana Aslam (Lib Dems):
I am a qualified barrister and hold degrees from LSE and Oxford. I previously taught at the University of Hong Kong and am now a Director of a management consultancy, focusing on equality and diversity, and a Board member of a fintech company. In Haslemere, I have been a Board member of Haslemere Vision and am now campaigning via the Haslemere Health Transformation Group to enhance Haslemere Hospital. On the council, I would work to support sustainability and health initiatives. I am an enthusiastic supporter of Haslemere Cricket Club where I can often be found serving burgers to hungry kids!
Lesley Banfield (Lib Dems):
I have lived in Haslemere for 22 years, undertaking extensive voluntary community work, including as joint-founder and present chair of Haslemere Vision (that prepared Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan), co-founder of Haslemere Fringe Festival & past Arts Director, member of the working group that prepared the Haslemere Design Statement and presently a member of Haslemere Biodiversity Group. A qualified and experienced urban designer/architect/project manager, I’m now a consultant with 35 years’ business experience working on partnerships/schemes with Councils, Government and private sector on regeneration, housing and sustainability. I am passionate to support & advocate for Haslemere, its community, future prosperity and wellbeing.
Tom Bridge (Conservative):
No profile submitted.
Bryan Carroll (Lib Dems):
I am an IT executive with deep experience representing people and small businesses at companies like Google and Etsy. I’ll bring this experience to the Town Council to ensure residents’ needs are addressed. My priorities will be lobbying to improve the condition of our roads, working with the Chamber of Commerce and local business owners to understand and resolve their challenges, and long-term planning to improve the quality of life in Haslemere. My wife and I chose to raise our child here in 2020, and I’m very motivated to make our new home as safe, enjoyable, and vibrant as possible.
Stephen Fry (Conservative):
No profile submitted.
Shirley Lewis (Labour):
I moved to Haslemere over 15 years ago. My young sons attended local schools where I also worked as a primary school teacher.
I am passionate about protecting our environment and I’m firmly against dumping of raw sewage in our rivers. Many people are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. I believe in decent wages and affordable housing. We need safe streets and clean rivers and well-resourced public services.
There is an appetite for change, and I want to play my part. You have four votes for Haslemere Town Council. Please cast one of your votes for me.
Haslemere West (five seats):
Alastair Bayliss (Green):
Since moving to Haslemere with my family I have been enthusiastically involved in our community and lead on initiatives to make it easier to walk and cycle around the town.
We can make a difference locally, and I believe now is the greatest opportunity we’ve ever had.
The Green Party prioritises supporting our daily life in local economies and the community. Green councillors aren’t required to vote the way they are told by party officials and can therefore represent you better if, for example, a contentious development was being put forward. I am determined to help make good choices simpler.
Jacqueline Keen (Lib Dems):
I have lived in Haslemere all my life and was very proud to be first elected to the Town Council in 1984! I served on the Council for 23 years until 2007 and was Town Mayor in 1995. I was re-elected in 2019 and have been very fortunate to be Mayor of Haslemere again. I feel very passionate particularly about supporting Haslemere’s young people. I support a ‘A place to be’ which provides a Friday night youth club and, also, I am pleased to have campaigned successfully for new play equipment for children with disabilities and special needs.
Claire Matthes (Green):
A town councillor since 2019, when the pandemic struck, I collaborated with key community stakeholders to establish Haslemere Help, a huge team of volunteers who provided crucial support to fellow residents.
I led on the repurposing of a disused Waverley building, Pathways, as a town council-supported hub, also serving as a first venue for language classes, and as a Jobseekers’ venue. I am currently leading on establishing a Haslemere Water Quality Testing hub.
Our youth and nursery provision needs more advocacy locally and our approach to greenspace in the town could be improved for the benefit of both humans and wildlife.
Peter Nicholson (Lib Dems):
Married, I have lived in Haslemere almost 40 years. Now retired, my work had been in capital projects planning and marketing. I am currently a Waverley Borough and Haslemere Town councillor.
If re-elected, I will continue to support increased provision of social housing, using existing council owned land. I strongly support the excellent Haslemere Neighbourhood plan with the proviso that all developments must have acceptable fresh water and sewerage facilities.
I will continue to campaign for a further mid-evening number 19 bus, the length of the Town and support the ban on heavy vehicles to protect Lion Green in winter.
John Robini (Lib Dems):
I worked for Surrey Police for over 40 years leading partnership projects, and crime reduction. I have been elected as a County, Borough and Town Councillor and have served as Mayor of Haslemere and Waverley. I have led in making sure the Neighbourhood Plan was approved and passed to Waverley Council for adoption. I believe the elderly, vulnerable, and young people need support and a voice. If re-elected, I will work for all those groups in our town. Haslemere, and its community, is a jewel in the South and I intend to help ensure it stays that way.
Toby Westcott-White (Labour):
I was raised in Haslemere and would be incredibly proud and honoured to have the opportunity to represent the people of Haslemere West on the local council. I work for an education sector trade union.
I have seen first-hand how Conservative austerity has harmed our public services. My priority is ensuring a supply of good quality, genuinely affordable housing for young people and delivering the good public services residents need.
I will be a strong radical voice for the people of Haslemere West. Please cast one of your five votes for Haslemere Town Council for me.