Residents call for change at Essex County Council in May local elections to stop the cycle of failure

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has announced that it is fielding candidates to contest the four Uttlesford seats at Essex County Council. The local party says that if elected, R4U councillors will work to break the ‘cycle of failure’ at ECC, and will hold the council to spend council taxes sent from Uttlesford on Uttlesford priorities.

Dan Starr (R4U Chair) Dan Starr (R4U Chair)

Dan Starr, chair of R4U, said “Essex County Council isn’t working for Uttlesford residents. They are spending our tax money elsewhere. Year-after-year we see the same problems – 3x more potholes in 4 years, broken street lights, flooding, no school choice, and no new infrastructure. On top of that ECC has refused to accept responsibility for their multiple school bus safety issues. Now they are failing on finance. Uttlesford residents pay ECC over £50 million a year – they take 71 pence in every £1 of our council tax. Despite this, their budget includes slashing £46 million more of services next year, but they’re refusing to tell residents where until after the election. What of ours will they cut? If we keep electing the same people, the same cycle of failure will keep happening. R4U has fixed Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council, and we’re now fielding a full slate of candidates for the May 6th county elections. Enough is enough – it is time for change at County Hall.”

Geoff Bagnall (R4U) Geoff Bagnall (R4U)

Cllr Geoff Bagnall, who is standing for R4U in the Dunmow county division, said “If Residents candidates are elected we will hold Essex County Council to account to treat Uttlesford fairly and spend our tax money on us. We will hold them to prioritise our highways needs, clear drains, meet their eco obligations, speed up rural broadband, restore school choice, invest in our libraries and communities, and make developers pay for infrastructure. I chair the UDC Local Plan working group, so I know what developers should be contributing. Paul Gadd is standing up for Saffron Walden, where the Town Council under his leadership has officially become the Best Council in Essex. Bianca Donald is standing up for Stansted residents. In 20 years of teaching she’s seen how ECC has failed our youth and parents – in fact she’s standing against the ECC cabinet member who is responsible for Education and the bus fiasco. Longstanding community champion Martin Foley is standing up for Uttlesford’s most rural county division Thaxted. He knows first-hand how the poor investment in our roads, buses, libraries and broadband impact village life every day. It is time for a better deal from ECC for Uttlesford residents. Westminster party politicians in Chelmsford are complacent and don’t care about us. It is time for residents to decide.”

Essex County Council - Your Residents Candidates

There are 4 county divisions in Uttlesford. Here are our candidates.
Cllr Geoff Bagnall

Cllr Geoff Bagnall

Takeley resident and district councillor Geoff has had a career in fixing performance at financial companies, which are skills he’s used in his UDC roles as chair of the Local Plan Working Group and Investment Board.
Cllr Bianca Donald

Cllr Bianca Donald

Bianca has taught in Uttlesford schools since 2004 and knows many local parents. As an Elsenham resident, parish and district councillor, she serves on the New Village Hall and playground refurbishment committees. She’s an avid grassroots sports participant, previously netball and now rounders.
Cllr Martin Foley

Cllr Martin Foley

Long-time Thaxted resident Martin has been a UDC councillor since 1995. He’s a visible campaigner for our rural environment against over-development and to save our local libraries from ECC cuts, even also becoming a county councillor in 2021 to hold them to account.

District Council and Town Council By-Elections - Your Residents Candidates

There are by-elections in Newport, the Sampfords and Saffron Walden wards.
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