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:

Garden centre targeted by burglars for third time this month

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:16pm Wednesday 27th August 2014

THIEVES attempted to steal a safe and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash after breaking into Millets Farm Centre near Abingdon.

It's heartbreak for Oxford United, but Appleton so proud of team

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton was hugely proud by the way Oxford United stood up to West Bromwich Albion as a dramatic night saw the underdogs knocked out after a penalty shoot-out.

Six officers face investigation in Jaden inquiry

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014

SIX police officers are now under investigation over how the disappearance of murdered teen Jayden Parkinson was handled.

Covered Market robbery 'was to protect family'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 27th August 2014

CLINT TOWNSEND tried to rob a jeweller’s in Oxford’s Covered Market because he was being threatened by “loan sharks”, his sister has claimed.

Bath tragedy home will not be reopened, says NHS trust

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014

AN NHS facility where an Oxford teenager died will not reopen according to the health trust that runs it.

Santa’s elf recruiters are feeling festive already

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014

IT MAY still be August, but Father Christmas has just started a recruitment drive.

Hunt for witnesses after two men stabbed in chest

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 27th August 2014

TWO men stabbed in Rose Hill were recovering in hospital last night.

Keeping the legacy of historic power station alive

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 27th August 2014

DIDCOT Civic Hall has embraced its powerful history with a series of artworks.

Sister queries hospital decision on suicidal man

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 27th August 2014

THE sister of racehorse trainer James Douglas-Home questioned why a psychiatrist did not admit him to hospital the day before he shot himself in the head.

‘Death penny’ may unlock riddle of unknown soldier

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 27th August 2014

A BRONZE coin could unlock the mystery of a man who appears on a North Oxford First World War memorial but not in official records.

St Giles toilets to become offices

Oxford Mail:

6:40am Wednesday 27th August 2014

HISTORIC public toilets in St Giles can be turned into office space, council planning officers have ruled.

Blencowe 'felt in danger when he knifed teenager

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014

WILLIAM Blencowe fatally stabbed Connor Tremble because he thought he was in “imminent danger of attack”, a jury was told yesterday.

Racing to victory on a heap of scrap at Red Barn Farm

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 27th August 2014

HARRY Dudley and his wacky racer celebrated victory in both categories of the Trax Scrap Heap Challenge at Red Barn Farm, Woodstock Road.

Defibrillator campaign’s taking off after Mail pitches in to help

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Wednesday 27th August 2014

THE number of people in Oxfordshire being trained to use life-saving equipment has soared thanks to an Oxford Mail-backed campaign.

Comments (0)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

Comments are closed on this article.

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