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:

Video: Watch the blaze that destroyed a lorry trailer carrying egg boxes on the A40

Oxford Mail:

11:10am Monday 22nd December 2014

A LORRY containing egg boxes has caught fire on the A40 near Witney.   

Special report: The city where it can be 19 times your salary for a home

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.

UPDATE: Queues along Abingdon Road as Westgate shopping centre car park fills up with Christmas shoppers

Oxford Mail: Westgate Centre oxford

4:35pm Monday 22nd December 2014

A RUSH of shoppers to the Westgate Shopping Centre has caused traffic to queue down Abingdon Road in Oxford.

A4130 blocked after car goes into ditch

Oxford Mail: a4130 alert

1:19pm Monday 22nd December 2014

THE A4130 is partially blocked in both directions by a car crash between Didcot and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.

Oxford chosen to host new NHS genetics research centre to improve care

Oxford Mail:

12:10pm Monday 22nd December 2014

PEOPLE in Oxfordshire with cancer and rare diseases could get advanced diagnosis and treatment under a new genetics project.

What brilliant picture is in our Oxford Mail Advent Calendar today?

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014

December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?

Guess which of the great and good sent these Christmas cards

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

YOU know you’re starting to go places when you get Christmas cards from Oxfordshire's great and the good. Here's David Cameron's offering but can you guess who is responsible for the other five hidden in our interactive graphic and then read why they chose them

Much-loved narrowboat taken out of commission

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

A NARROWBOAT that has delighted elderly and disabled people with canal trips for more than two decades has sailed her last.

Campaigner welcomes move to approve new kidney cancer drug

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

7:00am Monday 22nd December 2014

CANCER campaigner Clive Stone has praised health bosses he once fought against for passing a kidney cancer drug, but pledged to fight for other sufferers.

Boris gets a reminder to return book to Oxford college's library

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

MAYOR of London Boris Johnson had a confession to make when he visited Oxford to sign copies of his latest book.

Upgrade locks, say police, after spate of burglaries

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:30am Monday 22nd December 2014

BURGLARIES that have all used the same technique to break door locks have prompted a warning by police for residents to improve their home security.

Firefighters battle loft blaze in Witney

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

10:01am Sunday 21st December 2014

FIREFIGHTERS were able to stop a roof fire spreading and destroying the rest of the house last night.

Skye Hall's family: Our first Christmas without our brave son

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

LOOM bands are taking over the house of Skye Hall’s family as they prepare to spend their first Christmas without the brave youngster who died in August.

Hudspeth backs councillors in demand to be told man's pay in allowances row

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

OXFORDSHIRE County Council leader Ian Hudspeth has backed councillors Rodney Rose and Kevin Bulmer who asked a voter to reveal his wages when he challenged them over a 19 per cent hike in their allowance.

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