Press Release: R4U announces ‘outstanding’ team for south of district and solidifies position in north with further candidates to fix council

Wednesday 21st January 2015, Saffron Walden: Residents-for-Uttlesford (R4U), the local advocacy party for towns and villages, has announced 8 new prospective candidates for the upcoming District Council elections. R4U party chair Cllr John Lodge said:

“Our bid to gain control of Uttlesford District Council for residents in May is gaining momentum. We’ve now announced 18 prospective candidates and already have 4 district councillors – and there are more to come. Residents are excited about the opportunity to finally have a voice that truly represents them that is free from national party whipping.

John Lodge continued:

“Our new prospective candidates are outstanding in their fields and will bring a wealth of both public and private sector experience that is much needed at the Council. We have a lawyer that has worked at the UN promoting women’s rights, a chartered construction professional that has delivered national infrastructure, a council clerk with considerable experience with the housing portfolio at East Herts, the vice chair of the Dunmow Town Team, and people with wide perspectives in the operation of councils, finance and private sector enterprise. Our party is the only one that can offer the range and depth of experience needed to fix Uttlesford District Council.”

In the south of the district the new prospective candidates are:

R4U prospective candidates Alex Armstrong, Ian Brown, Tony Clarke, Milan Milovanovic

L-R: Alex Armstrong, Ian Brown, Tony Clarke, Milan Milovanovic

  • Alex Armstrong – Managing Director who has served as chair of a Chamber of Commerce for 4 years and is currently Vice Chair of the Dunmow Town Centre Economic Team.
  • Ian Brown – Proprietor of his own successful online sales and marketing consultancy who has also worked within the UDC housing department and mental health charity Uttlesford MIND.
  • Tony Clarke – Chair of the Dunmow Society with 45 year career in senior planning and delivery of construction and development projects including national infrastructure.
  • Milan Milovanovic – Dunmow Town Councillor with a highly accomplished career in international business, who has also served as the UK’s youngest Mayor and was awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

In the north of the district the new prospective candidates are:

R4U prospective candidates Aisha Anjum, PaulG Fairhurst, Patrick Hawke-Smith, Belinda Irons

L-R: Aisha Anjum, PaulG Fairhurst, Patrick Hawke-Smith, Belinda Irons

  • Aisha Anjum – Experienced legal and finance professional from Saffron Walden who has worked for the United Nations promoting human rights and women’s rights and currently works for the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Paul G Fairhurst – Managing Partner at one of Saffron Walden’s most respected law firms, and highly qualified to act as resident’s advocate on financial and legal issues.
  • Patrick Hawke-Smith – An Oxford Politics, Philosophy and Economics graduate who is a professional fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Research UK, and formerly for Cambridge University.
  • Belinda Irons – Chrishall and Wenden Lofts Parish Council Clerk for 12 years who spent 10 years supporting the affordable and social housing portfolio at East Herts District Council.

They join R4U’s existing 5 councillors (John Lodge, Keith Mackman, Heather Asker, Joanna Parry and David Watson) and 5 prospective councillors for the May 2015 election (Dr Richard Freeman, Neil Hargreaves, Dr Barbara Light, Sharon Morris, and Dan Starr.

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