The politicking began weeks, or even months ago, with a steady stream of leaflets, pamphlets and activists arriving at your door.

But the list of candidates published yesterday evening is the official starting gun on a month more of slogans, counter-slogans, promises and pledges as local men and women try to seize control of Kingston Council.

Four years ago the Conservatives were convinced they had toppled the Liberal Democrats from power, only to suffer disappointment on the night as their rivals increased the number of seats.

The Surrey Comet will cover the ups and downs of the race for the Guildhall at

This time around the cast of candidates is changing.

One of the Liberal Democrats most senior councillors, Rolson Davies, will be among those stepping down at the local elections - scheduled for May 22.

Mr Davies, 64-year-old lead member for finance and resources said he had made the decision to quit after the 2010 elections, in order to spend more time with his family.

The Lib Dem deputy leader, who is also a magistrate in Hammersmith, said: “It is just time to do other things. I have been 16 years as a councillor.

“I have confidence in the other councillors that remain and the new candidates that come through to do a good job.”

Coun Davies is one of several high-profile and long-serving council members who will not be seeking re-election on May 22.

Liberal Democrats Barry O’Mahony, another former deputy leader of the council, blind councillor and former Mayor Mary Heathcote, current deputy mayor Alan Dean, John Burgess, and Sharon Hartley will all be stepping aside.

Meanwhile veteran Dennis Doe is among Conservative councillors, Michael Burden, Karen George, former national newspaper showbiz reporter Daily Patrick Codd, Adrian Holder, Mick Amson leaving the council.

Kate Stinton – who, at 25 per cent, has the lowest attendance record of any councillor – is also quitting the Guildhall.

Conservative Lynne Finnerty, who attracted criticism after being convicted of drink-driving last year, is standing down.

Independent councillor Tim Dennen, who heard hewas being prosecuted by Kingston Council for alleged benefit fraud days after he started canvassing for these elections, is among the formal candidates for election in Canbury ward.

Also standing in Canbury is controversial Liberal Democrat campaigner Dan Falchikov.

Mr Falchikov recently apologised for his conduct in the 2010 General Election, when he was allegedly overheard boasting how he had 'planted' a news story about Kingston Hospital being at risk of closing – kicking off the party’s Save Kingston Hospital campaign.

Another election hopeful who has courted controversy in the past is Tory candidate Adrian Amer.

The barrister caused outrage during the Grove ward by-election in 2012 when he sent out an 'insensitive leaflet' after Margot Sheehy was murdered in her home in Springfield Road. Mr Amer is again standing for the Tories in Grove.

For the Conservatives, former party leader and parliamentary candidate Kevin Davis will be standing in Old Malden, while former Tory councillors Ian George and Mary Clark are both standing again, in Alexandra and Old Malden respectively.

Another former councillor seeking a return to Guildhall is Labour’s Steve Mama, who is campaigning in Grove.

His defeat at the 2010 elections left Labour with no councillors in Kingston.

Sheila Griffin, whose fallout with Steve Mama led her to stand unsuccessfully as an independent in the 2010 elections, is back in the folds of Labour in Norbiton. Her vote kept the Rose Theatre open several years ago when it was on the verge of financial ruin.

Surbiton firefighter Simon Jakeman is standing for the Green Party in North Chessington and Hook, alongside environmental campaigner Jean Vidler, who is battling for a seat in Coombe Hill.

UKIP is fielding a candidate in all but two of the 16 wards, with only Grove and St Mark’s Hill not featuring a representative from Nigel Farage’s party.

And the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts, set up by former rail union boss Bob Crow, will fight in seven wards – Norbiton, St James, St Marks, Berrylands, Alexandra, Chessington South and Tolworth and Hook Rise.

There will also be one BNP candidate – David Child.

Mr Child stood for the far right party in the 2012 Grove by-election, when he received 23 votes.

Last year, he was accused of sending racists and homophobic tweets from a now deactivated account. His mother, Margaret, later told the Surrey Comet it was not his account and he had fallen victim to a hate campaign.

Tories try again to seize control of Kingston Council:

The Liberal Democrats control Kingston Council as the party with the most seats.

Liberal Democrats: 25

Conservatives: 22

Independent: 1

The candidates (# sitting councillor)

Alexandra Ward

Marilyn Corry - Labour
Kevin Foote - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Ian George - Conservative
Chris Hayes - Conservative
# Neil Houston - Liberal Democrat
# Richard Hudson - Conservative
Niranjan Jayasundera - Labour
Haran Kailasapillai - Liberal Democrat
Paul May - Labour
Anthony Perham - UKIP
Phil Smith - Green
Andy Townsend - Liberal Democrat


# Sushila Abraham - Liberal Democrat
Jack Chesterman - Liberal Democrat
Toby Flux - Labour
Lawrence Green - Labour
Mike Head - Conservative
Andy Johnson - Conservative
Martin Lake - Green
Amina Rasool - Labour
Italo Savastio - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Paul Scargill - UKIP
# Bob Steed - Liberal Democrat
Emma Woods - Conservative


Paul Bedforth - Conservative
Linda Collis - UKIP 
Marian Freedman - Labour
Lesley Heap - Liberal Democrat
# Trevor Heap - Liberal Democrat
# Simon James - Liberal Democrat
Liz Meerabeau - Labour
Raju Pandya - Conservative
# Terry Paton - Conservative
Chris Priest - Labour
Chris Walker - Green


John Anderson - UKIP
# Geoff Austin - Conservative
Ryan Coley - Green
Tony Cottrell - Labour
# Andrea Craig - Conservative
# Tim Dennen - Independent
Dan Falchikov - Liberal Democrat
David Glasspool - Conservative
Andrew King - Liberal Democrat
# Rebekah Moll - Liberal Democrat
Charlie Redman - Labour
Tariq Shabbeer - Green
Colin Startup - Labour
Nisha Tailor - Labour

North Chessington and Hook

Vic Bellamy - UKIP
Clive Chase - Liberal Democrat
# Andrew Day - Conservative
Max Freedman - Labour
Mike Gibson - Conservative
Lizzy Harrall - Conservative
Simon Jakeman - Green
Steve Kearney - Labour
Amanda Stuart - Labour
# Margaret Thompson - Liberal Democrat
Emma-Louise Wykes - Liberal Democrat

Chessington South 

Michelle Akintoye - Conservative
# Patricia Bamford - Liberal Democrat
Ryan Boxall - Conservative
Coral Cottle - UKIP
Louis Desbruslais - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
John Dodwell - Labour
David Griffin - Labour
Gina Healy - UKIP
# Shiraz Mirza - Liberal Democrat
Anthony Murray - Labour
# Rachel Reid - Liberal Democrat
Tania Symes - Conservative

Coombe Hill

Rowena Bass - Conservative
Tina Collis - UKIP
Iris Grender - Liberal Democrat
# Eric Humphrey - Conservative
Edward Naylor - Labour
Jonathan Oates - Liberal Democrat
Roger Price - Labour
Sally Richardson - Labour
Jean Vidler - Green
John Waddleton - Liberal Democrat
# Gaj Walloopillai - Conservative

Coombe Vale 

Roy Arora - Conservative 
Mona Ghobadi - Green
Julie Haines - Liberal Democrat
Peter Herlinger - Liberal Democrat
Jan Owen - UKIP
Sushil Pallen - Labour
Ian Parker - Labour
Geoffrey Parnell - Labour
Mariana Periklis - Green
Mike Perry - Green
# Julie Pickering - Conservative
Cathy Roberts - Conservative
Phil Thompson - Liberal Democrat


Adrian Amer - Conservative
Shoaib Bajwa - Liberal Democrat
# Stephen Brister - Liberal Democrat
Tim Cobbett - Green
Phil Doyle - Conservative
Chrissie Hitchcock - Liberal Democrat
Alison Hood - Green
Tessa Kind- Labour
Steve Mama - Labour
Peter Roland - Labour
Tim Walker - Green
Alex Ward - Conservative


Bill Brisbane - Liberal Democrat
Linsey Cottington - Labour
Jemima Davis - Conservative
Ellie Evans - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Sheila Griffin - Labour
Martin Hall - Green
Susan Hudson - Conservative
Holly Morris - Conservative
# David Ryder-Mills - Liberal Democrat
# Penny Shelton - Liberal Democrat 
Laurie South - Labour
Pete Withers - UKIP

Old Malden

David Bamford  - Liberal Democrat
William Bennett - Labour
Mary Clark - Conservative
Nicholas Collis - UKIP
Kevin Davis - Conservative
# David Fraser - Conservative
Lucy Howard - Green
Ian Kellett - Labour
Mi Soon Kim - Liberal Democrat
George Pearson - Labour
Richard Thompson - Liberal Democrat

St James

David Child - BNP
Paul Couchman - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Jason Ha - Liberal Democrat
Linda Holligan - UKIP
Gerry Jones - Labour
# Howard Jones - Conservative
Eric Masters - Labour
Mary Masters - Labour
Medina Montse - Liberal Democrat
# Priyen Patel - Conservative
Richard Senger - Green
# Ken Smith - Conservative 
Bona Watson - UKIP
Annette Wookey - Liberal Democrat

St Mark's 

Jack Beswick - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Jack Cheetham - Conservative
Sandra Coombs - Labour
# Liz Green - Liberal Democrat
Karen Hardy - Green
Martin Johnson - Labour
​Nathan Johnson-Paul - Conservative
Clare Keogh - Green
Michael Morton - Labour
Alex Nelson - Green
Pratik Shah - Conservative
Diane White - Liberal Democrat
# Yogan Yoganathan - Liberal Democrat

Surbiton Hill

# John Ayles - Liberal Democrat
David Cooper - Labour
Hilary Gander - Liberal Democrat
Richard Heys - Labour
Peter Kelk - Conservative
Brian Mulley - Green
Ronak Pandya - Conservative
# Malcolm Self - Liberal Democrat
Anne Vase - Labour
Carol Ward - UKIP
Alex Wright - Conservative

Tolworth and Hook Rise

Tony Banks - Labour
Mike Briggs - Conservative
Mavis Cracknell - Conservative
# Vicki Harris - Liberal Democrat
David Henson - UKIP
Katie Hill - Labour
Lucky Kumpeson - Conservative
Ben Miller - Labour
Ian Robertson - Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
Lorraine Rolfe - Liberal Democrat
Thay Thayalan - Liberal Democrat


Maha Alfakier - Liberal Democrat
Judith Cowley - Labour
# David Cunningham - Conservative
Philip John - Labour
Anne-Marie Haddon - Liberal Democrat
Jac Lott - Liberal Democrat
Chris Murphy - Green
Hugh Scantlebury - Conservative
Bob Smy - Labour
# Frank Thompson - Conservative
John Warne - UKIP