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Newsletter - Fri 5 May, 2023

Greens and Labour gain in borough elections

Election count at Donyngs leisure centre, Redhill, for Reigate & Banstead Borough Council elections May 2023
  • The count took place at Donyngs leisure centre in Redhill on Friday 5 May

In this year’s Reigate & Banstead Borough Council elections, the Conservatives lost two seats to the Greens and one to Labour. 

The council is now made up of: 23 Conservatives, 11 Greens, 6 Residents, 3 Lib Dems, 1 Labour, 1 Independent.

A third of borough council seats, one in each of the borough’s 15 wards, were up for election this year.

Redhill West and Wray Common

The Labour gain was in Redhill West & Wray Common, where the result in a close finish was Mark Smith (Lab) 893, Ronnie Hutchings (Con) 864, Leon Deith (Green) 378, Gemma Roulston (Lib Dem) 362. Turn-out was 35%.

That had been the seat of senior Conservative Natalie Bramhall, but she stood down as a borough councillor this year. She continues as a county councillor.

Horley East and Salfords

The first Green gain came in Horley East & Salfords, where Conservative Tony Schofield (deputy leader of the council, and an executive member) was ousted by the Greens' Jason Thorne.

Results were Jason Thorne (Green) 1,019, Tony Schofield (Con) 855, Steel Horton (Labour) 335, Robin Lawrence (Lib Dem) 211. Turn-out was 35%.

Hooley, Merstham and Netherne

The other Green gain came in the ward of Hooley, Merstham and Netherne. That had been the seat of Conservative Mark Brunt, who stood down this year both as leader of the council and ward councillor.

Results were Shasha Khan (Green) 929, Tim Peniston-Bird (Con) 717, Rex Giles (Lab) 573, Graham Burr (Lib Dem) 263. Turn-out was 31%.

Highlights from other seats

Reigate was a Conservative hold, as the party retained what had been Rosemary Absalom's seat, she being another councillor standing down this year. Results were: Kate Fairhurst (Con) 1,260, Jemma De Vincenzo (Lib Dem) 859, Claire Thorpe (Green) 446, Ian Thirwall (Labour) 283. Turn-out was 39%.

Meadvale & St John's, the long-running battleground between the blue and yellow parties, went the Lib Dems' way. Steve Kulka (Lib Dem and sitting councillor) retained his seat with 1,210 votes, Jonathan White (Con and a former councillor for the area) got 738, Philippa Martin (Green) 454, John Berge (Labour) 286. Turn-out was the highest in the borough at 41%.

South Park & Woodhatch proved something of a block on the Greens' advance. Prior to the election the ward was split, with two Green councillors and a Conservative, and that set-up remains. It was Conservative James King's seat which was up for election, and he retained that with 1,093 votes, Natasha Hobbs (Green) got 942, Marcus Ward (Labour) 216, Christopher Howell (Lib Dem) 121. Turn-out was 37%.

Other results

The council has kindly sent through full results for each ward - the PDF can be found here (Opens in a new window).

The results are also available on the borough council's website (Opens in a new window). That page also lists results for the third layer of local government that exists at Horley Town Council and Salfords & Sidlow Parish council.

(The above text has been updated to reflect the fact that the council has now published the results on its website after a short technical delay.)

Reigate decked out in flags for the coronation

Having put out their usual St George's Day flags last month, the volunteers of Reigate Business Guild have again gone to work and festooned the town centre with Union Jacks ahead of the upcoming royal celebrations.

They're also running an art competition as part of this year's festivities to mark the 200th anniversary of Reigate Tunnel, in Tunnel Road. Selected competition entries will be displayed in the tunnel in the summer. The competition closes this Sunday 7 May - details of how to enter and rules can be found on the guild's website (Opens in a new window). (Opens in a new window)

East Surrey College boosts access to green skills

'Green skills' cars acquired by East Surrey College, Redhill
  • The four cars received by East Surrey College

As part of funding from the Department for Education (DfE), East Surrey College (Opens in a new window) has received four new cars that will support the teaching of green technology: a fully electric Renault Zoe; a ‘mild hybrid’ Ford Fiesta; a full hybrid Toyota Yaris; and a plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander.

Richard Brooks, business development & projects manager, said: “This range will really enable us to give our students an in-depth look at the new technologies.

"The Mitsubishi Outlander has also been designated as the college tow car and will be used to take our motor sport team’s race car to the track, thereby improving our green credentials.”

The College is collaborating with seven other colleges from Hampshire and Surrey to support growth in green industries specifically linked to retrofit (construction), electric and hybrid vehicles.

Other parts of the funding will include continuing professional development for college staff, in turn benefiting local businesses and communities. 

The funding is also creating more online courses for businesses at the ‘Innovation South Virtual Campus (Opens in a new window)’.

The aim of the funding from the DfE’s Strategic Development Fund is to invest in new green and digital technologies, so as to improve links with local businesses to better their green skills.

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