New Elections To Be Held for Commons Conservators

Residents of Putney and Wimbledon will be eligible to vote

Putney Common
Putney Common. Picture: Andrew Wilson

The Board of Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators have given notice of new elections to be held.

Five of the eight Conservators (Trustees) of Wimbledon and Putney Commons are directly elected every three years, with the last election having being held in 2018.

At their meeting in October the Board agreed that the closing date for the receipt of completed ballot papers for the 2021 elections would be Wednesday 10 March 2021.

All those on the electoral register who live within three-quarters of a mile of Wimbledon Common or in the old parish of Putney are eligible to vote.

At the last election levy-payers voted in four new Conservators, Peter Hirsch, Sarah-Jane Holden, Diane Neil Mills and David Hince; and re-elected Shirley Gillbe.

Ballot papers will automatically be distributed to eligible voters by the appointed election scrutineer, Civica Election Services Limited; votes may be cast via post or online.

Following the 2018 elections, the Returning Officer recommended that clear written guidelines for management of the election should be produced to assist the Returning Officer, prospective candidates and incumbent conservators. These guidelines have now been completed and approved by the Board. They can be downloaded here.

Anyone interested in standing as a Conservator in the election will be able to find details on eligibility and the election process, along with critical dates, on the Conservators’ website from 9 November 2020.

At their meeting in October, the Board agreed to hold their General Open Meeting by means of a Zoom Webinar on Wednesday 2 December 2020. In contrast to the more formal Annual Open Meeting held in July, the General Open Meeting will provide an opportunity to update
levy payers and other interested parties on operational activities on the Commons.

The Commons were created by an Act of Parliament in 1871 which provided for a Board of Conservators, more commonly known today as Trustees, to ensure that the area is kept “forever open and unenclosed and unbuilt on… [and preserved] for public and local use for purposes of exercise and recreation…”. The Conservators are responsible for the protection and preservation of Wimbledon Common, Putney Heath and Putney Lower Common.