Community investment at core of new 4-year R4U plan for Saffron Walden Town Council

R4U led Saffron Walden Town Council has adopted a new 4-year plan to deliver on the party’s manifesto commitments.

R4U’s Paul Gadd, Council Leader at Saffron Walden Town Council, said “Your Saffron Walden Residents councillor team is excited to unveil R4U’s new 4-year plan of works at Saffron Walden Town Council. It puts our community and residents’ needs first. As a priority we intend to fund and build the new community centre off Little Walden Road that was first proposed more than 15 years ago. Our other facilities are constantly booked and residents need more capacity for local groups to meet. We will also refurbish existing community and play facilities, open new sports fields next to the new Community Centre, and expand what we offer for teens.”

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

Our town centre is at the heart of our community. We will implement better pedestrian use of the Market Square, refurbish the old NatWest building when their lease is finished, and revamp the public toilets on Hill St. The toilets were inherited from the previous district council administration. Everyone agrees they need improving.”

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd continued “We intend to expand our re-greening of Saffron Walden by planting 1,000s more trees and shrubs; push for new walking and cycling routes; and take further steps towards reducing single use plastics and our goal of being carbon-neutral.”

We will champion our town’s needs at other authorities. At ECC we will campaign for better parking, highways schemes and our town’s road maintenance priorities. Our Neighbourhood Plan will be delivered to help UDC repel the current developer-free-for-all. To help the police fight the spike in crime we’ve seen since the government cuts, we will see how the town’s CCTV system could be improved and review our direct funding of local police officers.”

Cllr Gadd concluded “In R4U’s first 4 years of running Saffron Walden Town Council we worked closely with council officers to turn it around, deliver many community benefits, and win the Best Council in Essex award. We’re now looking forward to doing even more for residents.”

Details of the Plan

Over the next 4 years, Saffron Walden Town Council intends to:

  • Create at least one new Community Centre in Saffron Walden
  • Refurbish, replace and provide new play equipment; consider a new play area if funding can be secured
  • Refurbish the Hill St toilets, to make them much cleaner and easy to use
  • Enhance and create new sports facilities in the town, including taking over and opening the sports pitches at Lime Ave.
  • Implement better pedestrian use of the Market Square, including considering part or full pedestrianisation
  • Set up a “SureStart” type facility to replace in part the the town used to have
  • Work with Essex Highways to address the town’s highways issues, including residents parking, pedestrian access and cycling
  • Complete the town’s Town’s Neighbourhood Plan to create a stronger future for the town and provide more protection from poor and speculative development
  • Improve access and paths in Bridge End Garden, particularly for the disabled
  • Finish the refurbishment of Saffron Walden Common
  • Take further positive measures towards implementing the goal of being carbon neutral, and reducing plastic use
  • Plant a substantial number of new trees
  • Adopt better environmental working practices
  • Improve youth facilities, building on the current Outreach Project
  • Improve public safety by continuing to improve the town’s CCTV systems, and reviewing other crime prevention measures

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.