New Saffron Walden Mayor Heather Asker commits to supporting town through challenging times

At a Town Council meeting on Monday 11th May R4U Cllr Heather Asker was elected by town councillors to serve as Saffron Walden Mayor. The town’s Mayor is elected by councillors each year and serves for a 12 month period.

Saffron Walden Mayor Heather Asker (R4U) Mayor Heather Asker (R4U)

Mayor Heather Asker said “I am honoured to serve Saffron Walden as mayor for a second term. This is a challenging time for our town. It will be a difficult year for us all, but especially for those residents who are suffering loss in their families. I am however heartened by our strong community. Like many, I have come to mark my week with the noisy doorstep appreciation of our NHS and care workers. We should also thank those people in other roles that keep our communities going, as well as the hundreds of local volunteers who are supporting their isolating neighbours and industriously making PPE. Many of our young people are particularly worried at this time. Local youth organisations will be especially important as things start to open up. That is why my chosen charity for this year is the amazing Fairycroft House that supports so many.”

Mayor Asker continued “I am supported this year by Deputy Mayor Richard Porch. We need to get our town get back on its feet. That includes supporting local businesses, Saffron Walden’s town centre economy and our vibrant market. With fewer cars on the road many people have really come to appreciate our local public spaces. We want to maintain that balance for residents, so we’ll be pushing ahead with plans to pedestrianise the market square. I can’t wait to see market traders, cafes and residents back there again as soon as it is safe to celebrate the vibrancy of our town. Finally, I’d like to thank retiring Mayor Arthur Coote for the tireless work he’s put in over the last 12 months.”

Arthur Coote (R4U) Arthur Coote (R4U)

Cllr Arthur Coote added “Cllr Asker was first elected as Saffron Walden Mayor in 2015, and in those 12 months she revitalised the mayorship with her tireless enthusiasm for the town and for local residents. I wish her the best for the upcoming year. For me it has been a privilege and joy to serve our town as Mayor over the last year with former Deputy Mayor Richard Freeman. We have supported many local organisations and raised important funds for the Mayor’s charities. Our last important duty was to lay a wreath at the War Memorial on V.E. Day to respect those local people who served our country. It was a moving reminder of our town and the role it has played.”


Cllr Arthur Coote undertakes his last act as Saffron Walden Mayor, laying at V.E. Day wreath at the War Memorial, here pictured with his wife Elaine and former Deputy Mayor Richard Freeman

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.