‘Westminster can’t be trusted on local issues’ so R4U seeks candidates for Essex County Council Elections – Press Release

R4U is seeking residents’ candidates for the 2017 Essex County Council Elections. Even though the Essex County Council elections are a year away, the local independent party, Residents for Uttlesford, has started recruiting new candidates for the four county council seats in Uttlesford district because of what it claims as a breakdown of trust with local people.

John Lodge (R4U)
Cllr John Lodge (R4U Chair)
Cllr John Lodge is R4U’s chair and the existing County Councillor for Saffron Walden. He said “Westminster parties simply can’t be trusted with prioritising local issues. Picking fights with our teachers, doctors, nurses and police directly impacts local families every day. In fact just last week Central Government passed a bill to force UDC to sell nearly all of its council houses, which will directly impact locals that can’t afford to buy.”

Cllr Lodge continued “Our choice is quite clear. Do we want Westminster parties telling us what to do locally, or should we decide for ourselves? In 2013 Uttlesford residents were fed up with their councillors working for Westminster so they elected their first residents’ councillors. There are now passionate and talented R4U councillors at all 3 levels of local government, county, district and towns/parishes. In 2017 we’d like to see councillors in all 4 county divisions in Uttlesford that only answer to one boss, residents.”

Cllr Lodge added “We are looking for community-minded individuals who love where they live and would like to make a difference. If you are a resident, an existing parish or town councillor, a school governor or a local volunteer, we have the team in place to help you to take the next step. To find out more, please visit the Essex County Council election page on the R4U website.”

Essex County Council responsibilities include education, highways, health & social care, and the environment. The next ECC elections will be held in May 2017. A County Councillor will be elected for each of the 4 Uttlesford County Divisions: Saffron Walden, Dunmow, Stansted and Thaxted. Essex County Councillors are paid a basic allowance and expenses to enable them to undertake their duties.

Cllr John Lodge has also announced that he not stand again in 2017. He said “It has been a privilege to be trusted by residents to serve as their County Councillor and I will continue to do so energetically until 2017. However my main focus has to be the Local Plan at UDC where I also serve and lead the opposition – this is the most important thing for the residents of the district. In 2014 the UDC Cabinet suffered rejection of its Local Plan and wasted £2 million of our money. And just this Spring they did a U-turn on their promise to fully involve us local residents. My time must to be spent over the next 24 months on the Local Plan – scrutinising and holding UDC to account, and critically preparing to lead the judicial review if they continue to fail to properly take in to account sustainability issues in Saffron Walden and elsewhere in the District.”

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 is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In 2015 it became the second party at Uttlesford District Council (UDC). In 2017 it achieved a further by-election gain with 60% of the vote. In the May 2019 Local Elections R4U gained majority control of UDC winning two-thirds of the seats. The result delivered the biggest loss of seats by any UK Conservative controlled council in the UK in those elections.

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

Residents for Uttlesford can be found on the web at www.residents4u.org.

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