Press Release: R4U proposes to reverse Conservative’s Council Tax increases on Uttlesford’s most vulnerable

Tuesday 17th February 2015, Saffron Walden: Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local advocacy party for towns and villages, has announced that it supports the proposed UDC District Council Tax cut of 3%. But the party says it doesn’t go far enough, and so it has filed an amendment to reverse the Tories’ removal of Local Council Tax Support for the district’s poorest families.

Cllr John Lodge, R4U Chairman Cllr John Lodge (R4U)
R4U party chair Cllr John Lodge said “We fully support the motion to cut taxes by 3%. UDC is sitting on reserves of £ millions of unused cash, which rightly belongs to residents. It’s our money and should be returned to us.”

John Lodge continued “However it is important for us to support the most vulnerable in society. Last year the current UDC Administration withdrew council tax relief from the poorest families. During our manifesto consultations we received a number of comments; one resident wrote to say ‘we barely exist as it is and struggle to survive; most weeks I’m constantly watching my bills to see what’s left for food.’ We’ve proposed an amendment to the tax cut to have Local Council Tax Support restored for those at risk. It can be fully funded within the existing reserves, and we’re calling for cross-party support.”

On Thursday 26th February the full UDC Council will vote on a motion to cut the district portion of the 2015/16 Council Tax bill by 3%. R4U, who support this motion, has requested an amendment to restore Local Council Tax Support, which provides tax relief to the poorest families.

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