At UDC Residents for Uttlesford pushes for greater support and clear exit plan as Essex is moved into higher Covid Tier 2

At UDC Residents for Uttlesford is urging for greater support for local residents and businesses and a clearly defined exit plan as Essex County Council and the government move the whole county-council area up to Covid Tier 2 “High” level.

John Lodge (R4U) John Lodge (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr John Lodge, who is Leader of Uttlesford District Council, said “With much of Essex below the national Covid-19 infection average, it seems surprising that ECC pushed for the county to be moved up to the government’s Tier 2 response level. ECC, which is responsible for local emergency response, is in a difficult position and will be damned if they acted now or if they didn’t.”

Cllr Lodge continued “We expect ECC to be proactive to protect those most at risk. We also expect ECC to use the best available evidence when making decisions for our area. One of the more telling measures used is what is going on in hospitals. The data shows that our hospital Covid admissions are rapidly growing and our region is only weeks behind the North West, where there are more severe personal and business restrictions. ECC say they are trying to take early action to slow the virus in Essex to keep us out of the more restrictive Tier 3 for as long as possible or avoid it all together.”

R4U’s John Lodge concluded “Many residents are frustrated and our local hospitality businesses are being pushed closer to the edge. We might not personally like being moved to Tier 2, but it has been done – and we know that in times of crisis everyone must pull together. UDC cannot control the Tier Uttlesford is placed in, but we can play our part at UDC and the other councils where R4U is represented. At those councils we will work quickly and efficiently to implement the government’s support programmes, and will seek the best funding available for residents and businesses. We will also continue to hold ECC to account to make sure they always use solid evidence, and that they have a clear and transparent plan for moving out of Tier 2 as soon as the numbers allow. We will also push for a firm post-emergency recovery programme to help Uttlesford get back on its feet.”

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 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 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