Press Release: Residents campaigning leads to more primary school places in Saffron Walden

Friday 23rd January 2015, Saffron Walden: Residents-for-Uttlesford (R4U), the local advocacy party for towns and villages, announces success in its campaign for more school places in Saffron Walden.

Essex County Council has announced that the R A Butler School will provide 15 additional permanent primary school reception year places in 2015 and it is seeking Katherine Semar to admit 30 more by 2017. This equates to one and a half reception forms.

Cllr John Lodge, R4U Chairman
Cllr John Lodge (R4U)
ECC Councillor for Saffron Walden John Lodge said “The town’s schools are in crisis. When I was elected 2 years ago it was clear there were no long-range education plans for Uttlesford. This was in spite of UDC approving 1,000s of new homes for the district. Since then local residents’ groups have pushed hard for solutions, so I’ve been working with teachers and the ECC officers to address the school place deficit for the families of Saffron Walden.”

Sharon Morris
Sharon Morris (R4U)
Prospective Residents-for-Uttlesford district council candidate Sharon Morris said “Like any mother I am concerned about children’s education. I welcome the new places as long as they don’t lead to an increase in class sizes and the schools have the physical resources to accommodate the additional children.”

Cllr John Lodge added “R4U and residents’ groups are encouraged by these additional 45 reception places at existing town schools. This is a good but only partial first step; children in the new homes aren’t just of reception age, and so places need to be provided for the other ages. Our campaigning secured a further success last year with the allocation of a whole new primary school for the east of Saffron Walden. But I need to continue to hold the council to deliver on its promise and actually deliver the new school.”

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