Residents’ parties and independents form alliance at Essex County Council to become official opposition

After the recent successful Essex County Council (ECC) elections, Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) has formed an alliance with similar residents and independent councillors to become the official opposition group at ECC.

Paul Gadd (R4U) Paul Gadd (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Paul Gadd, Essex County Councillor for the Saffron Walden division, said “The residents’ movement is growing across Essex. As a result the largest number of residents’ and independent councillors were elected in the recent county council elections. At ECC we have joined with them to form what is called a ‘non-aligned’ group, which because of its size, is now the official opposition at ECC.”

Cllr Chris Pond (LRA) Chris Pond (Loughton Residents)

Cllr Gadd continued “The new grouping is led by long-serving Loughton Residents Association Councillor Chris Pond, who we know well and have an excellent working relationship with. In addition to both myself and Martin Foley as R4U councillors, the group includes councillors from Basildon, Canvey Island, Rochford, Southminster and Tendring. This important alliance gives our grouping a stronger say in decision making, more seats on committees, and increased power to work within ECC to try to secure a better service for our residents.”

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 took majority control of UDC by gaining two-thirds of the seats. Since then it has set about re-engineering the now award-winning council operates, rebuilding the finances and fixing how planning is done. 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