R4U at SWTC cuts costs during 2020 but continues to focus on town centre and investing in community assets

In the New Year statement from the Leader of Saffron Walden Town Council, R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd talks about the challenges that faced the council during 2020.

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, who is Leader of Saffron Walden Town Council, said “Coronavirus was clearly the most important thing for residents and local businesses this year. Saffron Walden Town Council concentrated on trying to make our roads and pavements covid-friendly and ensuring that the town centre and the market in particular remain safe and support social distancing. Our thanks go off to the officers at SWTC. Many of the SWTC councillors and staff also volunteered with local organisations or helped with pharmacy deliveries, supporting those most at risk.”

Cllr Gadd continued “Covid has had a significant impact on the income at SWTC, with the Town Hall and Golden Acre being unavailable for much of the year. SWTC responded by cutting costs, including moving its offices into the Town Hall until things return to normal.”

Cllr Gadd concluded “SWTC’s refurbishment programme of community assets has continued, although at a slower pace than we would have liked. This has included the renewal of the paths and much other work in Bridge End Gardens. The Council has also managed to plant another 750 trees and hedging shrubs as part of its environmental re-greening programme. Meanwhile the Council’s playgrounds continue to win more awards for their upkeep by the Grounds Team. Finally R4U is delighted that SWTC has invited tenders to renew the playground at Golden Acre, which is hoped to be completed in the late spring / early summer of 2021. Something for nearby residents to look forward to!”

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 www.residents4u.org.