Talking to Helen leaves you excited and energised to be in the presence of someone who not only wants to make a difference to people’s lives but has the drive, focus and energy to do it.
Helen grew up in Sheffield with the Peak District on her doorstep, before joining the ‘red caps’, the Royal Military Police, seeing service in Bosnia and Iraq.
Now down south and a mum of three teenage kids, she runs her own business as a charity fundraiser while finding time for cross country running with Epsom & Ewell Harriers.
“Like many who come to work in London, we moved out from Lewisham to give our children the opportunities to benefit from our green spaces as I did as a child in the Peak District National Park. I’m therefore passionate about caring for our countryside and about helping to resolve the climate emergency we now find ourselves in."
Helen was a Parish Councillor in Claygate and Chairman of the local recreation ground when fire devastated the community’s local sports pavilion.
“The fire presented a great opportunity to provide something far better for the wider community. So we took this opportunity to raise over a £1m for the build, and now have a facility which is used more widely by local people and one which is far more inclusive and accessible for less abled residents.”
“As your local representative, I want to make a difference. I want to push the Government into providing better healthcare for our underfunded local service; to stop sewage being poured into our rivers – to help struggling families – to stop the degrading of our local services. Hard pressed people need to see help at hand, not a country in crisis – a country which can’t even satisfactorily provide health, dentistry, and care services.
“I want to change that.”
Helen backs the Climate Change Emergency declared by the Liberal Democrats in Mole Valley.
She has campaigned tirelessly in the fight against sewage dumping in the Rivers Mole and Hogsmill. Whilst recognising the need for more low-cost and social housing in our area, she condemns indiscriminate plans to build on the Green Belt.
“Under-investment in our sewage plants led to around 6,000 hours of foul discharge in our rivers in 2022 – that’s the price we have paid for excessive dividend payments to shareholders.
“Instead of policies to support electric cars, we see no investment in the network to power them. Instead of plans for upgrading our homes, we see ill thought through policies. Instead of long term plans for extending wind farms in the North Sea, the Government is now struggling to find anyone to build them. We need far-sighted leadership, like we saw in 2014 when Energy Secretary, and now Lib Dem leader, Ed Davey called for the G7 to focus on sustainable energy."
“Long term policy is what we need and this is what I and my fellow Lib Dems will deliver to ensure people of this country are in a better place than they are today”, said Helen.
There is no closer issue to the hearts of local residents than our NHS and care systems. But if we only focus on numbers that highlight under-investment in hospitals, record waiting lists, ambulance problems, access to GP and dentistry services, then we are in danger of taking our eyes off the less abled individuals in our community who are really suffering.
Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Helen Maguire told us, “Too often I am coming across those in our community who are being left behind by a regime that no longer seems to care.
“One local lady, who is visually impaired and suffering from numerous debilitating ailments, tells me that she is “living in hell” thanks to the withdrawal of financial support from Conservative controlled Surrey County Council.
“As funding and other support gets withdrawn, many are feeling increasingly isolated.
“If you are elderly and cannot see or walk, then being told to get your blood pressure checked in a self-help booth at your local surgery is not sensitive given the difficulties accessing such self-services. If you have no family but have to rely on the limited hours provided by a care worker, then getting to the pharmacy can be problematic.
“I want our country to work better and so improve the quality of life,” says Helen.
“Not only do I want to tackle the underfunding of our NHS, but I also want to see our Police services properly funded following the cutbacks imposed by successive Tory administrations.
“Policing in Surrey is suffering from under-investment. In nine out of ten cases of bike crime, the Police don’t even identify a suspect! In Epsom a private police force has been brought in by traders, to tackle the epidemic of shoplifting by organised gangs and threats to staff. Why? Because such crimes tend not to be investigated by Surrey police.
“As a former military police officer, I find this unacceptable. It is yet another impact on people’s quality of life.
Schools are crying out for more per pupil funding particularly after the recent increase in teacher’s pay came out of existing school budgets and so reduced per pupil funding. Furthermore, investment in school infrastructure has been woeful and our very own Danetree primary school had to close a building due to the RAAC crisis.
“Time and again, whether hospital buildings, the police, schools, access to GPs, dentists, waiting lists of every kind, ambulance services, or our military, the one constant factor is the failure of this and previous Tory governments to invest in the very public services that we all rely on.
“I wanted them to get a grip on these issues, but they have clearly failed to do so.
“So, if they are not prepared to sort things out then they should step aside and let others get on and do it. If elected as your local MP, then that’s exactly what I am committed to do.”