WEST OXON ELECTIONS: Tories tighten grip on council

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth, left, West Oxfordshire District Council lerader Barry Norton, centre, and Liam Walker, chairman of Witney Conservative Future

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth, left, West Oxfordshire District Council lerader Barry Norton, centre, and Liam Walker, chairman of Witney Conservative Future

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

RELIEF and joy swept through Windrush Leisure Centre as the Conservatives managed to gain two seats in the district.

After a swift two hours of counting, the Conservative Party in West Oxfordshire District Council remained victorious after increasing their majority to 40 seats out of the council’s 49.

Of the 17 seats up for election, it won in 15 wards, while Labour gained a seat and the Liberal Democrats had a mixed bag, losing one seat but holding its other.

The party was under pressure to hold off UKIP as it made a challenge to 10 seats.

But the Tories held on, gaining two seats in Ducklington and Eynsham & Cassington, the latter previosuly a Liberal Democrat seat.

Oxford Mail:

  • Ben Woodruff

Ben Woodruff won the Ducklington seat with 337 votes – 50 per cent – after Steve Hayward resigned following his controversial move to Thailand. Mr Hayward left the Conservative Party last year.

Mr Woodruff moved to reassure residents he was going to stay. He said: “I have no intention of going to Thailand.

“The hard work on the campaign has paid off and the people in the area have decided.”

Council leader Barry Norton said the success showed people of the district supported the party, despite the national picture.

He said: “We started off the night with 13 of the 17 seats up for election and we ended up with 15 victories, including two gains.

“Again Conservatives across the country have not been doing that well and we are probably out-performing the national picture here, which underlies that we have a trust from people that we are achieving in West Oxfordshire.

“Our majority on the council is now increased to 31, as we hold 40 of the 49 seats on the council.

“A couple of other noteworthy victories are Alex Postan at Brize Norton & Shilton, where he saw off a single-issue Independent who was against housing growth in that particular area.

“So I think that’s particularly commendable there and, of course, we had terrific gain in Eynsham & Cassington where Peter Emery took the seat that was previously held by the Liberal Democrats. That’s a great gain for us now.

“What it means now is that we can continue to move forward running the council in a very positive way, making efficiency savings wherever we can, pioneering new ways of streamlining services and how they are presented to the public so we can become really cost-efficient and we are working with other councils to do that.”

Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron said: “Locally we have 15 Conservative seats out of 17 overall, which is a very good result. Our results, with two gains, have shown a huge vote of confidence in all the good things Conservatives are doing on behalf of local people.”

Anti-Europe party UKIP closed in on its political rivals the Conservatives in West Oxfordshire, but failed to gain any seats.

The party came second to the Tories in seven of the 10 wards it contested. The tensest moment came during the announcement for the Witney South ward, where incumbent David Harvey had faced a challenge from UKIP’s James Robertshaw.

Mr Harvey won with 625 votes – a margin of 152.

Mr Harvey said: “It went all the way down to the door. At the end of the day it shows the overall appreciation people have for the work I have done in the cabinet as portfolio holder for environment.”

Mr Robertshaw believed the weather played a part on results, saying: “I think part of it is because it was on the same day as European elections and I think I would have done better, to be honest, but it was raining yesterday and Labour had quite a heavy campaign as well.”

Our top stories:

Family of missing woman Emily Stiff told of discovery of a body in Thames

Oxford Mail:

5:18pm Friday 27th March 2015

THE family of missing Oxford woman Emily Stiff have been told about the discovery of a woman's body in the Thames this afternoon.

Video: Ex-headteacher found dead in Thames days before court appearance for molesting boys

Oxford Mail:

2:44pm Friday 27th March 2015

A FORMER headteacher due to be sentenced for molesting young boys was the man found dead in the Thames on Tuesday, it has emerged today.

Slavery: Police fear more victims as 10 arrested remain in custody + video

Oxford Mail:

8:59am Friday 27th March 2015

POLICE feared there could be more victims after 10 people were last night in custody after a series of anti-slavery raids.

Andrew Main fit to enter pleas over South Oxfordshire District Council arson attack

Oxford Mail:

5:42pm Friday 27th March 2015

A man accused of burning down council offices in South Oxfordshire has been deemed fit enough to enter pleas.

Two lanes closed southbound on M40 between Thame and Watlington junctions after car hits central reservation

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

5:05pm Friday 27th March 2015

ONE person was taken to the John Radcliffe hospital this afternoon after a crash on the M40 closed two lanes of traffic.

Men accused of city centre jewellery theft appear in court

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

4:00pm Friday 27th March 2015

TWO men accused of conspiracy to steal from a city centre jewellers have appeared in Oxford Magistrates' Court.

Woman flown to hospital with serious injuries after car overturned on M40 near Banbury

Oxford Mail: BOB, aka Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance.

3:58pm Friday 27th March 2015

A WOMAN was flown to John Radcliffe Hospital with serious injuries after a car flipped upside down on the M40 near Banbury.

Francis Habgood confirmed as new Chief Constable for Thames Valley Police

Oxford Mail: Francis Habgood

3:50pm Friday 27th March 2015

Francis Habgood has been officially appointed as Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.

Three boys arrested over series of sexual assaults on women in Oxford

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:52pm Friday 27th March 2015

THREE boys have been arrested on suspicion of a series of sexual assaults in Oxford.

Two men arrested over vehicle interference in Wallingford

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

1:53pm Friday 27th March 2015

TWO men from Oxford are in custody after being arrested on suspicion of vehicle interference.

UPDATED: Woman charged in connection with slavery raids appears in court

Oxford Mail:

10:37am Friday 27th March 2015

A WOMAN has been charged with slavery offences after 10 people were arrested yesterday in a series of dawn raids.

Missing girl Jennifer Moore found safe and well

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Friday 27th March 2015

A BICESTER teenager reported missing has been found safe and well, police said this morning.

Exhibition highlights ‘18th century Spitting Image’

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 27th March 2015

IF YOU were a fan of Spitting Image you will love a brand new exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum which pokes fun at the great and good.

Cowley’s Princess gets a royal reception on its 40th birthday

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 27th March 2015

FANS of Oxford’s most famous princess were out in force yesterday to mark her 40th birthday.

 

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree