Surrey village with a by-election on same day as the general election as councillor moves away

Looking down Cobham high street. (Credit: Emily Dalton)
-Credit: (Image: SurreyLive)


As the nation hits the ballot box on July 4 to decide who is the next prime minister and leader of the opposition, residents in Cobham and Downside will also be voting on who should fill a vacant seat on Elmbridge Borough Council.

Cllr Robin Stephens (Lib Dem/Cobham and Downside) announced he was stepping down in a post on Facebook on May 30. The post read: “For family reasons I am unfortunately moving away from Cobham and therefore with a heavy heart I have decided to resign as a councillor.

“Representing you all has been one of the proudest times of my life, it was a huge honour to be elected to represent the people of Cobham.” Cllr Stephens added. “I hope I served you well over the last four years. [...] I will miss being your councillor.”

Commenting on the post, residents thanked Cllr Stephens for his service to the community, improving things for residents and for being responsive to issues.

The resignation has triggered a by-election which will be held on the same day as the General Election, July 4. Candidates looking to stand must submit their notification papers to Elmbridge Borough Council by no later than 4pm on Friday June 7.

Elected in 2021, Cllr Stephens gained his seat from a Conservative position. The Lib Dems won three seats compared to the Conservatives’ six new councillors. Under no overall control since 2016, the Lib Dems and some resident groups have formed a Residents’ Alliance to make up the administration.

The elected person will join Alistair Mann (Conservative) and Lawrence Wells (Lib Dem) as the third councillor for the ward. He was also the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Enterprise and Local Economy for the council; this position will be designated to an existing member of the council and not Cllr Stephens’ successor.

A vote will be held on July 4 alongside the national poll if more than one candidate or party stands. Voter registration closes at midnight on Tuesday June 18 - application can be made online - with applications for a postal ballot closing the next day.

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