It’s official: R4U-led Saffron Walden Town Council is now the best of 300 in Essex!

Under Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) stewardship the Saffron Walden Town Council has been recognised as the best of 300 councils in Essex.

The ‘Council of the Year’ is awarded annually by the Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) to the best town or parish council in the county. At the recent awards ceremony Saffron Walden Town Council won the best council award. In making the award, a council’s operation and delivery is considered, including governance procedures, council structure, service delivery, efficiency and effectiveness.

R4U’s Cllr Arthur Coote, who is Saffron Walden Mayor, said “We are the number 1 out of about 300 councils in Essex! We previously won second best, so to take the best council award shows the officers, staff and your councillors have stepped it up again! We also scooped the Community Leadership award. The Town Council is honoured and immensely proud to receive these two further awards for our work.”

R4U-led SWTC receive 2 awards, including Best Council in Essex. Clockwise from top left: Cllr Richard Porch, Mayor Arthur Coote, Cllr Trilby Roberts, Deputy Mayor Richard Freeman, Lisa Courtney (Town Clerk), Claire Haddock (SWTC Bookings Manager), Luke Matthews (SWTC Operations)

Mayor Coote continued “The residents of Saffron Walden can really see the positive impact of our community and environmental programmes, which were recognised by EALC.  The awards particularly noted our community engagement with residents; new paths, play and exercise equipment on the Common; the progress we’ve made on tackling Climate Change; and the work we’ve undertaken at Bridge End Gardens. A huge credit has to go to our outstanding Town Clerk, Lisa Courtney and her staff. She’s built a talented team who are working hard for our beautiful town.”

Last year the town council was awarded the second best in Essex. It also won awards for its playgrounds and running of the Tourist Information Service.

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