Fourth Tory councillor defects to Uttlesford residents’ party

Cllr Sarfraz Anjum

Cllr Sarfraz Anjum - Credit: Archant

A former Saffron Walden mayor and longstanding town councillor has become the fourth Conservative in as many months to jump ship to the newly-formed residents’ party.

On his defection to Residents-for-Uttlesford (RFU), Sarfraz Anjum, said: “Whilst I remain a Conservative nationally, when it comes to local politics the traditional political parties promote a Westminster-based agenda whereas R4U is the only party which promotes the best interests of residents.

“We need to remove the burden of bureaucracy, cut inefficient expenditure of taxpayers’ money and adopt a transparent common sense approach which puts the residents first.”

He added: “R4U is the only party that can give locals the right and power to decide the future of their community.”

R4U chairman Cllr John Lodge said: “We are very excited that Sarfraz Anjum has joined Team R4U.

“He is a well-respected entrepreneur with a long public service record having served as a councillor for more than 10 years. Not only have we now gained another Saffron Walden Town Councillor, but our broader election campaign is gaining momentum across the district.”

Cllr Anjum is the fourth Tory to defect to R4U since the party was formed last year. In late 2014 district councillors Heather Asker, Keith Mackman and David Watson joined R4U from the Conservatives.

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R4U has stated that its goal is to “take back Uttlesford District Council for residents” in the May elections.

A spokesman for the Uttlesford Conservative group said: “The defection of Cllr Anjum is much like the defection of Cllr Asker in that it has followed his deselection as a Conservative candidate at the upcoming elections.

“This is due to his very poor attendance record at council and feedback from the public that Cllr Anjum doesn’t answer telephone calls or e-mails from his constituents.

He added: “His performance and attendance was below our accepted standard for a Conservative councillor.”