Charville vot­ers stick with Labour

Mary O’Con­nor falls short a sec­ond time

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Alan Hayes alan.hayes@trin­i­tymir­

LABOUR have held Charville ward in a snap by-elec­tion caused by the res­ig­na­tion of one of the party’s mem­bers.

In a vote by an ul­tra-low turnout by the elec­torate – just 25.7 per cent – for­mer coun­cil­lor John Oswell was elected by a mere 21 votes on Thurs­day last week to serve in the mid-bor­ough ward, which en­com­passes parts of Hilling­don and Hayes End.

He suc­ceeds David Horne, who stepped down be­cause of ill health.

For the Con­ser­va­tive for­mer Mayor of Hilling­don, Mary O’Con­nor, it was a sec­ond de­feat within months. She was un­seated in the same three-seat ward in lo­cal elec­tions in May.

Mr Oswell, who rep­re­sented Pinkwell ward for a num­ber of years, said: “I’m re­ally pleased with what has hap­pened tonight be­cause it showed that the peo­ple of Charville wanted to keep the seat Labour.”

He thanked the party team for its hard work dur­ing the cam­paign, and paid trib­ute to the bor­ough’s only Labour MP.

“I have had help from John McDon­nell MP, and I can­not thank him enough be­cause he has been very, very help­ful,” said Mr Oswell.

“Also my wife has to have a men­tion be­cause of what she has put up with over the last four weeks.

“I have got to say I thought it might be tight, and it was, but I was hope­ful, al­ways hope­ful.”

Ms O’Con­nor was dis­ap­pointed but philo­soph­i­cal.

“It was close enough but no come­back, and that’s life, but I sup­pose the one thing was that the UKIP vote fell away,” she said.

“It was a very low turnout, but what would you ex­pect for a by-elec­tion at the back end of Novem­ber, with a gen­eral elec­tion round the cor­ner and the lo­cal elec­tions just over?”

UKIP Hilling­don chair­man Cliff Dixon, who was also a can­di­date in the elec­tion, said he was happy enough.

“Con­sid­er­ing what was ranged against us, 468 [votes] is pretty cred­itable.

“It was a solid re­sult; we’re es­tab­lished. We are the third party by quite a con­sid­er­able way, as can be seen from the votes, and we move on from here.”

■ NEW WARD: John Oswell was elected by a majority of 21 votes


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