We are nearing the local elections. After more than a decade of Conservative rule at Westminster the country is in a grim state. But that does not mean Uttlesford has to go the same way. The first task is to keep the district out of the grip of Westminster parties.
You elected us four years ago to focus on the important needs of our rural communities and to play our part in improving the functioning of the council. At that same election 70% of UDC councillors became independent of Westminster parties. It was an emphatic vote for community-led democracy. We need to keep it that way.
The first thing we did was to press for wholesale change at the top of the executive. The council now has a new chief executive together with a senior planning director recruited from Whitehall. Further changes are in the pipeline. It is a team capable of delivering change, something that previously did not exist at the council.We are seeing a refreshing change from the cynical short-termism and political self-interest that so poorly served residents in the past.
As chair of the Scrutiny Committee, Neil has held the council to account for failures of the Local Plan, housing, the planning function and Stansted, as well as day-to-day scrutiny of budgetary and climate change policies. Many of these issues date back a decade or longer. They needed to be fixed.
Richard has exposed the extent of pollution in the River Cam, an appalling legacy of botched privatisation and inadequate local infrastructure. It’s no good building more houses if it means more sewage-related pollution. Richard is also pressing for a detailed appraisal of water security within the district. If we are not careful we risk water shortages.
Together we have challenged a planning system and Govt housing policy that leaves schools, doctors’ surgeries and roads overwhelmed, while enriching landowners and developers. It is a sad reality of local politics that the leftovers of the previous Conservative administration at UDC are dishonestly blaming the current administration for the lack of an up-to-date Local Plan. You can read our views about the disinformation circulated by the Conservatives on our website: proudlyindependent.uk
By re-electing NEIL GREGORY and RICHARD PAVITT you can continue to be represented by people with integrity who are steadfastly independent of Westminster. We have no party ladder to climb. No privilege to aspire to. No vested interests to indulge. Nothing but getting the job done honestly, openly and fairly.
We are excited at the prospect of another four years of locally-led democracy free of toxic Westminster influence. But first we need your support.
Our roles at the council over the past four years:
NEIL GREGORY: Chair of Scrutiny Committee / Member of Standards Committee / Member of Museum Management Working Group / Member of Infrastructure Delivery group / Member of Governance Review working group / Reserve Member of Planning Committee.
RICHARD PAVITT: Member of the Planning Committee / Vice-chair of the Local Plan Leadership Group / Member of the Investment Board / Vice-chair of the Climate Change & Ecology working group / Reserve Member of Scrutiny Committee / Reserve Member of Standards Committee