UDC Leader Petrina Lees thanks Uttlesford residents for stepping up for their neighbours and communities

In her end-of-year message, R4U’s Cllr Petrina Lees, Leader of Uttlesford District Council (UDC), has thanked local residents, businesses and council staff for stepping up to support their neighbours and communities this year.

Local residents stepping up

R4U’s Cllr Petrina Lees, Leader of Uttlesford District Council, said “This year the pandemic has once more brought worry, hardship and uncertainty to many. Those locally in the Health and Care sectors have been working at superhuman levels again. Our district’s schools have been operating in a constantly changing and difficult environment, whilst still doing their best for our children. Residents have stepped up to help their communities – from providing support to neighbours, to raising money for those in need, to direct action through local foodbanks. At UDC, we’ve also connected those in need with those that can provide it via our Community Hubs. Thank you to all residents, businesses and local organisations that have made a positive difference this year.”

Delivering on manifesto

Cllr Lees added “A good litmus test of how your council is doing is ‘are the bins getting picked up’? Residents will have seen that despite peaks of illness, UDC has worked hard this year to deliver your services uninterrupted. Meanwhile strategically we’ve made huge strides in reshaping UDC to deliver what we promised you in our manifesto. The inherited financial hole has been filled. In fact additional income has been generated outside of council tax, which has been used to fund nearly £2.5 million of new local green, economic and community sports initiatives. We hired a super new UDC chief executive, and our reorganisation programme is bearing fruit, with the council recently winning a prestigious award. Thank you to all the staff and suppliers at UDC for delivering again during this challenging year.”

Season of goodwill

R4U’s Petrina Lees concluded “Looking forward, Covid will still be very much with us during the long shadows of winter. With it will come more isolation and knock-on mental health issues for some. We are a friendly and welcoming district. Over the holidays and into the New Year, please take a few minutes every now and again to check on your neighbours, particularly those that you feel may be vulnerable – it could make all the difference for them. In this season of goodwill, I wish my fellow residents of our district a joyous and peaceful break and the best for 2022.”

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 www.residents4u.org.