Press Release: Uttlesford residents form political party and launch campaign to win 2015 district election

Wednesday 22nd October 2014, Saffron Walden: Uttlesford residents have announced that they have formed their own independent political party, Residents-for-Uttlesford (R4U), with the intention of taking control of their District Council in 2015. They have also announced their first 7 prospective district council election candidates and launched their new website at R4U says that the initial group of candidates demonstrate that the new political party has support from across the district, political spectrum and backgrounds.

John Lodge, the Residents-for-Uttlesford chairman and existing Essex County Councillor stated:

“Residents don’t want national parties telling them what’s good for them locally – they want to decide for themselves. We’ll unveil our detailed policies nearer the election, but have no doubt about it, our plans are big, bold and are all about towns and villages getting their voices back and deciding for themselves.”

Along with Essex County Councillor John Lodge, the initial group of prospective candidates includes current Independent District Councillor Joanna Parry; former Liberal Democrat District and Saffron Walden Town Councillor, and former Mayor Dr Richard Freeman; plus former Labour MP candidate Dr Barbara Light. To cover the complete political spectrum, the residents’ party has also announced that current District Councillor for Dunmow, Keith Mackman, has left the Conservative Party to join Residents-for-Uttlesford.

The initial 7 prospective candidates are rounded off with families’ advocate, playground campaigner and mother of local school age children Sharon Morris, and chair, Dan Starr.

R4U Cllr Keith Mackman added:

“It is critical that residents from all backgrounds have a voice. That means we want both fresh faces and seasoned political experience from every party to help drive a broad set of policies focussed on things that matter to people – the local economy, quality-of-life, fiscal responsibility, and proper long-range planning. We’ve got working mums, existing politicians, successful business leaders and everything in between. Today we’ve announced just our first group of prospective candidates to showcase the political diversity and backgrounds of those that want to give residents a true voice. You can find out about more about R4U, our candidates and read their blogs at”

Dan Starr, prospective candidate and chair of said:

“In the last year the District Council has seen its approval rating slump from over 90% to 56% as residents have become increasingly fed up at being let down by the current Council on a whole range of issues. Since we announced in July that it was our intent to take control of UDC in 2015, we’ve seen a steady stream of people sticking their hands up to become candidates. But we’ve still got space for more. If you love where you live and want to make a difference for the residents of Uttlesford, drop us a line through our website – we want to hear from you.”

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Notes for Editors

Logos, and prospective candidate bios and photographs can we found in the Press and Media Centre.

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local party of towns and villages. The party was formed by a number of residents’ groups in north Essex to provide a strong, independent voice for the views of the residents of the area. The party believes that on local issues local residents should decide, not politicians from Westminster parties.

Uttlesford residents achieved election gains in 2013 and have been increasing their voter share ever since. In 2017 they achieved further gains with a 60% share of the vote in a local district council by-election. Election successes are based on the group’s desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

Residents for Uttlesford has 11 Uttlesford District Councillors and numerous Town and Parish Councillors. It is the Second Party at Uttlesford District Council and the largest party at Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship, the council has won multiple awards.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at