Clean sweep for the independents in both Heathfield North & South elections
As we recently reported, Heathfield North and South wards were being contested in yesterday’s May 4 local elections, by independent candidates who were taking on the incumbent Conservative councillors.
It has just been announced that both Mike Gadd (Heathfield North) and Kevin Benton (Heathfield South) were elected with large majorities.
Mike Gadd (Heathfield South) received a winning 523 votes, in contrast to Ray Cade (Conservative) 376 and David Newman (Labour) 204. Kevin Benton (Heathfield North) received 716 votes, almost twice as many as Tom-Guyton-Day (Conservative) who received 369.
Both Mike and Kevin campaigned on local platforms with a strong focus on protecting the AONB and maintaining and improving infrastructure which they believe is under threat by over development.
Kevin explained his thoughts just after finding out he had won:
” I am delighted that the residents of Heathfield North and South now have a voice, their voice. For too many years there has been a complete lack of transparency and total disregard of peoples genuine concerns. My first major task is to uncover what has stalled the installation of a local plan. The failure to install a new plan is a disgrace. Millions of pounds of rate payers money wasted by the council. Sight must not be lost that the submission local plan did not fail, the council chose to withdraw it leaving the flood gates open for speculative applications. Some voices claim this was an intentional act. We must protect our precious AONB and green spaces but also provide housing for the GENUINE needs of local families not profits into the bank accounts of overseas property speculator’s and Tory donors. The results today are a huge step in the right direction of honest Wealden residents. I thank every one who voted for change and look forward to representing you.”
Mike Gadd summed it up in a few words:
“Just to say thank you to the residents and voters and that it was a victory for them and I was just thier voice”
This means that the Conservatives have lost control of Wealden District Council.