Press Release: Cllr Keith Mackman selected as Residents-for-Uttlesford district council party leader as Newport residents group backs election bid

Tuesday 18th November 2014, Saffron Walden: Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local advocacy group for towns and villages, has announced that sitting councillor Keith Mackman has been selected as its party leader on the District Council; and that Newport residents are now supporting its bid to gain control of UDC in 2015 and are bringing their own candidates forward.

R4U party chair, John Lodge said “The campaign to give residents a real say is gaining momentum. In the last month we gained 4 councillors at UDC when Conservatives David Watson, Heather Asker and Keith Mackman crossed the floor, and they were joined by former Independent Joanna Parry. We are now excited to announce Keith Mackman as leader. He is an experienced councillor who is well respected by his constituents; he is straight-talking, hardworking, and has consistently defied the party whip and supported the views and needs of residents.”

With 4 new councillors Residents for Uttlesford has taken seats on the Planning, Scrutiny, Performance and Audit, Staff Appeals, Standards, Constitution Working Group, Licensing and Environmental Health Committees.

Residents for Uttlesford has also announced that residents group Save Newport Village has formally joined the R4U election bid, along with Saffron Walden based residents representatives. These settlements will be represented by 9 district councillors in 2015.

Uttlesford District Councillor Joanna Parry of Residents-for-Uttlesford announced a second prospective candidate for the Newport ward. Cllr Parry of Newport said “We’re very happy to be joined by Neil Hargreaves for the 2015 Newport ward election bid. He is a founder member of the Newport residents group and will bring an experienced and energetic voice for the people of the Newport, Quendon, Rickling and Widdington ward.”

L-R: Dan Starr, Keith Mackman, Sharon Morris, John Lodge, Neil Hargreaves, Barbara Light, Richard Freeman

About Residents for Uttlesford

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) is the local independent party of north-west Essex towns and villages. Formed in 2014 by a number of residents’ groups, the party believes that on local issues residents should decide, not Westminster parties. R4U’s success has been based on the desire to give local people a voice and implement long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area.

R4U leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In the May 2019 R4U took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. In 2021 the party won half the Essex County Council seats in Uttlesford district.

R4U also leads Saffron Walden Town Council, where under its stewardship the council has rebuilt finances, invested in community assets, and won multiple awards, including the best run council in Essex. It is a minority party on Great Dunmow Town Council.

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at