The Saffron Walden Division of Essex County Council apart from the Town also includes the surrounding villages of Wendens Ambo, Great Chesterford, Little Chesterford, Elmdon, Duddenhoe End, Chrishall, Arkesden, Langley, Littlebury and Littlebury Green. An important part of the role of the County Councillor is to attend regularly the meetings of the Parish Councils in these villages to ensure effective liaison with County. It is sad to report that Councillor John Lodge has totally ignored the villages since being elected four years ago. He has been a virtually invisible County Councillor. If he had attended twelve of the villages’ Parish Council meetings over the four years that might be a generous calculation.
Compare this with Cllr Ray Gooding in our neighbouring Stansted Division who over the past four years has attended no less than 400 Parish Council meetings in his various villages, sometimes three in one evening. It is not surprising he has acquired a reputation for diligence as well as being an effective County Councillor for the area he represents.
Councillor Lodge said four years ago when standing for election “I’d like to take the party politics out of local politics”. Pretty clear for the villages in his Division that he wanted to take commitment out of the role too. If he was standing again it would be only right to hammer home a record of such negligence. At this forthcoming election the electorate should demand a binding commitment from all candidates that if elected they will regularly attend their village Parish Council meetings. Moreover if they fail to perform in line with this undertaking they should resign and enable a by-election.
Anthony Russell, Elmdon