6th May 2019
An opportunity for a fresh approach
An electoral tsunami swept through Uttlesford last Thursday as the local community left no doubt as to its dissatisfaction with the incumbent administration. The Conservatives retained just 4 out of their 24 seats, making this proportionately the largest loss by any ruling party in any District Council in the entire country.
The five members of the Council’s Planning Committee who voted in favour of the Stansted Airport planning application last November are no longer councillors, whereas the five who voted against were all re-elected.
The leader of Uttlesford District Council (UDC) sought to blame Brexit but it was far more than that. This was a deeply unpopular administration which attached greater priority to the commercial interests of Manchester Airports Group than to the wellbeing of local residents. There is no doubt that the controversial Local Plan was another reason for the catastrophic losses suffered by the Conservative group.
Many of the members of the public who spoke out on behalf of their communities at recent Council meetings to voice their concerns about airport expansion and other matters have now been elected as full members of the Council, replacing those who refused to listen. Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) congratulates all of them and looks forward to re-establishing a constructive dialogue with the Council.
SSE Chairman Peter Sanders commented: “I very much regret the fact that our relationship with UDC has been strained in recent times as a result of the Council’s mishandling of the current Stansted Airport planning application. We now have a change of administration and I am optimistic that this will allow us, once again, to have a cordial and business-like relationship with the Council. This is an opportunity for a fresh approach.”
The composition of Uttlesford Council prior to the local elections on 2 May was: 24 Conservatives, 10 Residents for Uttlesford, 4 Liberal Democrats and one vacant seat. The composition of the Council now is 26 Residents for Uttlesford, 7 Liberal Democrats, 4 Conservatives and 2 Independents. (Total = 39)
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