Tri­umphant Tories


Uxbridge Gazette - - Front Page - By MARTIN ELVERY Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

THE leader of the Con­ser­va­tive Party in Hilling­don, which tri­umphantly in­creased its ma­jor­ity on the bor­ough coun­cil last night, says he knew Labour was in trou­ble when Jeremy Cor­byn paid a visit.

Speak­ing af­ter his party in­creased its ma­jor­ity from 20 to 23, a buoy­ant Ray Pud­di­foot said he was al­ways con­fi­dent of win­ning, but even more so af­ter the Labour leader at­tended a rally in Hilling­don last week­end.

He said: “It shows all the ef­fort that John McDon­nell (Hayes and Har­ling­ton MP) and Jeremy Cor­byn put in came to noth­ing.

“In Hilling­don, peo­ple do ap­pre­ci­ate our pol­icy of sound fi­nan­cial man­age­ment and good busi­ness prac­tice over the ‘Co-op of Chaos’ Labour were putting for­ward.

The Labour man­i­festo con­tained no spe­cific poli­cies rel­e­vant to the peo­ple of Hilling­don and was pro­duced at cen­tral level.

“Our res­i­dents do ap­pre­ci­ate a party that puts them first. Labour put for­ward that the is­sues were Brexit and aus­ter­ity, but they were refuse col­lec­tion, schools, roads and coun­cil tax.”

Mr Pud­di­foot also held on to his seat in Ick­en­ham with an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity. He said it was an “hon­our and a priv­i­lege” to have been re­elected.

The Tories started the night with 42 seats and Labour on 22, but af­ter the bal­lots were counted at Brunel Univer­sity the Con­ser­va­tives had 44 and Labour 21. The Tories gained two seats in the Charville ward and one in Uxbridge South and Labour gained one in West Dray­ton.

Labour leader Peter Curl­ing said he was “dis­ap­pointed” with the re­sult but said it would be “very dif­fi­cult” to say what had gone wrong un­til more de­tailed anal­y­sis has been done.

He said the fact the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in Hilling­don voted to leave Europe may have played a part in their on­go­ing sup­port for the Tories.

He said one pos­i­tive from the night was that a num­ber of new young Labour coun­cil­lors had been elected who could help the party re­vi­talise for the fu­ture.

Nicola Bright­man, who took one of the two Labour gains in the Charville ward, said the party would now kick on and look to take the re­main­ing Labour strongholds in the south of the bor­ough – the com­plete op­po­site of what Labour had hoped would hap­pen in this elec­tion.

She said: “As coun­cil­lors here we are all lo­cal peo­ple and have been for a long time. We will now have a much big­ger voice to get all the an­noy­ing lit­tle things that need do­ing done in the ward.”

David Yar­row, who re­tained his seat in Uxbridge North ward, said the Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lors in the safe seats in the north of the bor­ough had played a ma­jor part in help­ing make the gains in Charville and Uxbridge South.

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