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:

Oxfordshire ambulance services accused of "playing god" and "putting lives at risk" in new drug trial

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

CARDIAC arrest patients could be given a salt solution instead of adrenaline as part of a new medical trial in Oxfordshire.

Iffley Road complex to be named after Olympian Acer Nethercott

Oxford Mail:

7:48pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

THE first phase of the £60 million redevelopment of Oxford University’s Iffley Road sports facilities could be completed by July 2016.

Arson-struck funeral home is overwhelmed by support

Oxford Mail:

7:30pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

STAFF at a funeral directors said they have been inundated with messages of support after a devastating blaze caused an estimated £100,000 worth of damage.

Health worker strike that would have seen staff walk out in Oxfordshire called off at 11th hour

Oxford Mail: John Radcliffe Hospital stock

7:13pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

A PLANNED strike by health workers has been called off less than 48 hours before it was due to start.

Snow forecast to hit Oxfordshire on Thursday morning

Oxford Mail: Pictures of snow from across the county

4:10pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

Heavy snow is set to hit the county on Thursday morning, according to the Met Office.

Jayden trial: Jury in Jake Blakeley case sent home for the night

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

2:57pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

THE jury in the Jake Blakeley trial has been sent home for the night.

Boy approached by man in blue van in Bicester

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

2:15pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

A 15-year-old boy was approached by a man in a blue van in Bicester yesterday

Station worker Steve Cross's funeral held next week

Oxford Mail:

12:49pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

THE funeral of an Oxford Railway Station staff member will be held next week.

Trial told how girl came home ‘bleeding’

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

12:43pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

THE foster mother of the alleged victim of child prostitution told a jury yesterday how her daughter was sent across the country for sex.

Former headteacher from Oxford had "fascination with bottoms of young boys" court hears

Oxford Mail: Scales of Justice

12:40pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

A former headmaster carried out sex attacks on boys with special needs aged as young as 10, a court has heard.

More than 300 people sign petition against Marine Le Pen at Oxford Union

Oxford Mail: The Oxford Union

12:40pm Tuesday 27th January 2015

MORE than 300 people have signed an open letter urging the Oxford Union to cancel its invitation to controversial French politician Marine Le Pen to speak in the city.

Meningitis victim Charlotte Nott turns seven

Oxford Mail:

11:54am Tuesday 27th January 2015

Meningitis amputee Charlotte Nott has turned seven, with a growing sense of independence and is now able to balance a pen between the end of her arm and torso.

Police 'drugs raid' at house in Howard Street, East Oxford

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

10:15am Tuesday 27th January 2015

POLICE are raiding an East Oxford house as part of a drugs investigation.

Selfless charity worker's life immortalised in print

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015

FOR most people, feeding a family of five children and ten grandchildren would be enough to keep busy.

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