Thank you Uttlesford! We’ve already started building a new Residents Administration

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has announced that it is ‘humbled’ by the trust local voters have given it and is already working to deliver a Residents Administration with cross-party representation and team-working. The local residents party was elected to lead Uttlesford District Council by a landslide in last week’s local elections. The previous Conservative majority of 24 was wiped out. In the new council R4U holds 26 seats (+15), Liberal Democrats 7 (+3), Conservatives 4 (-20), and Independents 2 (+2).

John Lodge (R4U) John Lodge (R4U)

Cllr John Lodge, chair of Residents for Uttlesford said “Uttlesford residents have spoken loudly and clearly through the ballot box. They want a positive change that puts their needs first. We are deeply humbled. We thank them for the trust they have shown in our team. We’d also like to congratulate the Liberal Democrats and the new Independents on their gains.”

“Residents gaining control of their district council is ground-breaking and nationally significant news. Nationally the Conservatives lost 27% of their seats. In Uttlesford they lost three-times as many. It was the biggest loss of seats on any council they controlled in the UK. This result was not a Brexit backlash. They have bungled our Local Plan, wasted taxpayer money, and refused to listen to residents. This is resident power at work.”

“We have a massive job ahead. Before they left office the Conservative administration submitted what we believe is a flawed Local Plan for government inspection. They’ve left a mess with the proposed Stansted Airport expansion, and lost £millions in their property arm. However we’re already knuckling down. I met with the UDC chief executive over the bank holiday weekend and we’ve already started work. People should expect a very different council from us. Our Residents Administration will put the resident at the centre of everything we do. It will take some time to get there, and there will be bumps along the way, but we are committed to it.”

“First up is the existing cabinet system. We don’t like it because it places too much power at the top away from the voice of the resident. It will take the rest of this year to evaluate the best options to replace it, so we will immediately take an intermediate step. This first step is to flatten the cabinet structure by creating a leadership team with many more members at the table. In a change in style from the previous administration we have already invited members of the other parties to join this new leadership team. We are done with the tribal politics of the Tory whip. We want team-working and sensible cross-party consensus. Stay tuned…we will be announcing appointments soon.”

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 leads Uttlesford District Council (UDC). It is the fastest growing local political movement in its district. In its first election in 2015 it became the second party at UDC. In 2017 it solidified its position with 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.

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 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 www.residents4u.org.