Saffron Walden shakeup in county council elections

A man in a red sweater stands over a table. On it, ballots are being counted

Paul Gadd, who won the Saffron Walden seat, observes the count. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Two out of the four Essex County Council seats within Uttlesford are now held by Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) after a 'Super Thursday' shakeup.

R4U's Paul Gadd became Saffron Walden's county councillor overnight, winning the seat 927 votes ahead of Tory incumbent John Moran.

Councillor Paul Gadd, who is also leader of Saffron Walden Town Council, said he was delighted to have won the seat.

He said: "There's a huge amount that needs doing in Uttlesford as far as Essex County Council service is concerned.

"I'm just looking forward to working really hard for residents and achieving results."

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As part of its list of policies online, R4U promises to oppose closing libraries, to resolve what it says is a 'chronic' shortage of school and nursery spaces, and to fix roads which it says are "not fit for purpose".

R4U also says it promises to be answerable to residents.

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The party currently has the majority on Uttlesford District Council, while Cllr Gadd is the leader of Saffron Walden Town Council.

Outgoing Conservative councillor John Moran said serving Saffron Walden and Essex had been "an honour" since his election in 2017.

He said: "As someone who believes in democracy, I don't take people's votes lightly.

"I want to thank everyone who voted for me."

Two men stand side by side wearing blue, with blue Conservative rosettes

Saffron Walden Conservatives chair Howard Rolfe (R) next to county council candidate John Moran. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

He added: "I particularly valued my time on the adoption panel."

Cllr Moran gained 2,268 votes in the Saffron Walden seat, compared to Cllr Gadd's 3,195.

Labour's Andrew Sampson placed third with 636 votes. The party came fourth in the previous county council election in 2017.

The Greens garnered 627 votes, while the Liberal Democrats had 546.

A group of people huddled around a ballot box with paperwork

The first ballot boxes arrive at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Thaxted's county council seat was also won by R4U.

Martin Foley, who is also serves as Chair of Uttlesford District Council, won the seat by just 94 votes, ahead of the Conservative Party's Simon Walsh.

A man observes ballots being counted. In the image, we cannot see the ballots

Martin Foley watches the Local Elections 2021 count. Picture: Will Durrant - Credit: Archant

Conservative councillor for Dunmow Susan Barker held onto her seat with a 1,251-vote lead over R4U candidate Geoff Bagnall.

In Stansted, Conservative councillor Ray Gooding held his seat.

While the Uttlesford count has finished, other districts in Essex began theirs at 9am today (Friday, May 7).

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