Greatest number of Residents candidates standing for May elections to keep Uttlesford free of Westminster politics

Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local party of north-west Essex towns and villages, has announced its greatest number candidates for the district local elections on 4th May to ‘finish the job of turning around’ Uttlesford District Council for residents.

Petrina Lees (R4U) Petrina Lees (R4U)

R4U’s Petrina Lees, Leader of Uttlesford District Council, said “In 2019 Uttlesford voted to be free of Westminster politics. Our residents’ party inherited a financially weak district council that was failing due to many years of mismanagement by self-serving and complacent Conservative administrations. Local residents elected us to make radical changes, and that is exactly what we’ve done, including refreshing UDC’s senior officer team. With them with delivered on our manifesto promises – we’ve rebuilt council finances, while keeping taxes low; created a greener district, with new community and sports facilities; over-hauled the planning department and held developers to account; and provided what are now award-winning services.”

R4U’s Cllr Lees continued “We need four more years to finish the job of turning around UDC. If re-elected on 4th May, we will deliver more value-for-money services, further invest in our communities, and always put residents first. We’ll also keep taking Conservative-controlled Essex County Council to task to fix their pothole mess, remove their awful book-to-bin system, and return our school choice. To do that we are standing 32 excellent district candidates across Uttlesford, which is the most we ever have. The choice has never been clearer – Vote Residents and get local priorities; vote Westminster and get their politics; so please put a cross against every R4U candidate on all your ballot papers to deliver the best local results.”

The local elections are on 4th May 2023. Valid Photo ID is now required to vote in person. Find out more information on our voting page.

Find your Residents district council candidates

TakeleyCllr Maggie Sutton
Cllr Maggie Sutton
With long ties to Takeley, Maggie is an experienced campaigner on many issues which directly affect residents, which help her role as a district councillor and the UDC Portfolio Holder for Communities.
Broad Oak & HallingburysCllr Neil Reeve
Cllr Neil Reeve
Neil is a Chartered Engineer of 40+ years and previously the chair of an ISO standards body. At UDC he leads the Economy, Investment and Corporate Strategy portfolios, and has been instrumental in restoring the council’s financial health and championing investment in local jobs.
Felsted & StebbingCllr John Evans
Cllr John Evans
Solicitor John has lived in Stebbing for 30 years. He’s an advocate for residents having a stronger say in what happens locally. He’s used his position as a district councillor and UDC portfolio holder for Planning, Infrastructure, and the Local Plan to do just that.
Broad Oak & HallingburysCllr Geof Driscoll
Cllr Geof Driscoll
Geof has lived in Uttlesford for 20+ years. After a 30 year career in senior management in road-haulage, he is now vice-chair of Uttlesford District Council, where he also sits on the scrutiny, governance, and audit committees, highways panel, and housing board.
Saffron Walden AudleyCllr Arthur Coote
Cllr Arthur Coote
Director of the Bell Nursery Arthur has worked as a child carer and early years educator for 30+ years, and has spent most of his life working for local communities. He lives in Saffron Walden, and is a town & district councillor and former Mayor.
Thaxted and the EastonsCllr 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.
SampfordsCllr Mike Tayler
Cllr Mike Tayler
Dr Mike is a well-known and respected GP from the Thaxted Practice who delivered healthcare to the residents of surrounding villages from 1986 until he recently retired. He became a district councillor in 2019. He is a strong supporter of environmental causes.
Elsenham and HenhamCllr 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.
Elsenham & HenhamCllr Petrina Lees
Cllr Petrina Lees
Elsenham resident Petrina is the Leader of UDC where she’s leading R4U’s improvement programme. Before that she enjoyed a 30-year career in nursing. She’s a tireless volunteer and campaigner for her community and been on the leadership team of Save Our Villages for 11 years.
Debden & WimbishCllr Stewart Luck
Cllr Stewart Luck
A Debden resident for over 40 years, Stewart is a district and parish councillor. At UDC he serves on the scrutiny and governance committees, and is topic lead for aviation. He’s a qualified Jumbo pilot and STEM ambassador, and an active organiser of community activities, events and volunteering programmes.
Saffron Walden CastleCllr Heather Asker
Cllr Heather Asker
Saffron Walden resident Heather, a councillor since 2007, serves on numerous town and district committees, and works on many ward issues, including parking, road safety and speed reduction. She is very active promoting the market and the vitality of Saffron Walden’s town centre.
Saffron Walden CastleCllr Richard Freeman
Cllr Richard Freeman
Experienced councillor Richard Freeman lives in Saffron Walden, where he restored the Town Hall, purchased trees and salt bins, supported Bridge End Gardens and has worked tirelessly to ensure that developers have finally provided a safe playground at Tudor Park and two new playing fields in Lime Avenue.
NewportCllr Judy Emanuel
Cllr Judy Emanuel
Experienced District and Newport Parish councillor and resident Judy has a career background is in IT consultancy and project management in financial services. She’s highly active in the Newport ward, supporting the community, local charities and schools, and serving on the Neighbourhood Plan group.
NewportCllr Neil Hargreaves
Cllr Neil Hargreaves
Long-time Newport resident Neil is a Chartered Accountant. He’s a councillor at UDC, where he’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Budgets. He chaired the successful joint villages’ Neighbourhood Plan and is now working on a refreshed version.
Great Dunmow NorthCllr Alex Armstrong
Cllr Alex Armstrong
Dunmow resident Alex is a district and town councillor. At UDC he is the portfolio holder for Sport, Leisure and the Arts. He was Chair of the Dunmow Town Team for 2 years and served on the Havering Chamber of Commerce for 10 years.
Saffron Walden ShireCllr Melon (Jubeyuir) Ahmed
Cllr Melon (Jubeyuir) Ahmed
After 30 years in Saffton Walden with his family, many residents know and respect town and district councillor Melon (Jubeyuir) Ahmed. He’s the man behind a number of the town’s Indian restaurants, including The Spice on Rowntree Way.
Saffron Walden AudleyCllr Alex Reeve
Cllr Alex Reeve
Saffron Walden town and district councillor Alex has been a primary and secondary teacher for over 20 years. He currently manages and teaches English at the Uttlesford Pop-up School for Ukrainian refugees. He’s a trustee of the town’s Youth Outreach Programme.
TakeleyCllr Mark Coletta
Cllr Mark Coletta
Mark is an experienced railway engineer with a passion for science, heritage, and innovation. He’s a STEM Ambassador, family orientated, community focused and an amateur beekeeper.
Saffron Walden ShireCllr Chloë Fiddy
Cllr Chloë Fiddy
Saffron Walden resident and councillor Chloë worked as a Planning Officer at the Town Council and Climate Officer at UDC. She’s volunteered at the foodbank and is a trustee of Uttlesford Citizens Advice.
Thaxted and the EastonsCllr Richard Haynes
Cllr Richard Haynes
Richard has lived in Thaxted for 30 years. He has impeccable credentials to work to protect the ward from over-development. He’s an Essex Trustee of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and former Chartered Surveyor who has worked for DEFRA, English Heritage and Historic England.
Saffron Walden ShireCllr Daniel McBirnie
Cllr Daniel McBirnie
Saffron Walden councillor and resident Daniel has fought developers and won concessions for local people. He’s a former Army Lieutenant Colonel who’s provided MoD briefings to the government on Covid and Mental Health.
TakeleyCllr 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.

About Residents for Uttlesford