Residents for Uttlesford almost wipe out Conservatives on district council
The Conservatives in Uttlesford have been routed in Thursday’s local government elections as the opposition parties seized control.
The Tories lost 20 of their 24 seats as Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) romped home with 26 councillors, putting the group firmly in charge. Previously they had 10.
The Liberal Democrats had a good day too, taking control of Stansted Mountfitchet by winning both seats in Stansted South and Birchanger from the Conservatives and holding Stansted North.
Before the political earthquake, the authority had a Tory administration with 24 Conservatives, 10 R4U members and 4 Lib Dems. There was one vacant seat.
The biggest scalp taken by R4U was that of UDC leader Howard Rolfe, who lost his seat to James De Vries. The council’s chairman Cllr Lesley Wells suffered a similar fate in Broad Oak and the Hallingburys when her seat was one of two seized by R4U.
The party describes itself as “a strong, independent voice for people that live in the Uttlesford council district” and says: “We love where we live and know it the best, so we believe that on local issues, locals should decide and not the national party whip.”
Since winning its first seats in 2013, it has gained momentum across the district, expanding from its stronghold in Saffron Walden.
The rejection of mainstream parties was also in evidence in the Littlebury, Chesterfords and Wenden Lofts ward, where Independent candidates took both seats from the Conservatives.
STANSTED SOUTH AND BIRCHANGER (2 elected)
Melvin Caton (Lib Dem) 550
Ayub Khan (Lib Dem) 463
Gary Davey (Con) 349
Jennie Sutton (Con) 325
Daniel Brett (Lab) 81
Thomas Van de Bilt (Lab) 68
STANSTED NORTH (2 elected)
Alan Dean (Lib Dem) 905
Geoffrey Sell (Lib Dem) 871
Nick Church (Con) 484
Josie Thompson (Con) 453
Joe Lewis (Lab) 92
Alfred Miti (Lab) 79
The full results for Uttlesford are online.