Despite a fantastic personal vote of 896, I was 45 votes short of what was required to get me returned to office.
I would like to thank all the wonderful residents who have voted for me and supported me, and those who have contacted me since the election to ask me to stand again in the future. I will certainly consider it when elections come round again in 2 years’ time.
I enjoyed my four years as a Councillor for Welwyn West very much. In my opinion, no-one has a more important role than a ward councillor in being a point of liaison between a community and its council. The councillor’s job goes far beyond simple advocacy on behalf of the ward. The representation involves building relationships with individuals and groups, to inform, consult and to empower people and to help with individual issues whenever possible. This I did to the very best of my ability. My only regret is the work that I have had to leave unfinished and I hope this will be taken up and dealt with effectively by those who now represent you.
Welwyn West now has three Conservative councillors, two of whom are Cabinet Members.
There are two main reasons why the Conservatives won, and an additional issue that may have had some effect:
- The boundary change brought in a large Conservative party faithful block vote where all three Conservative boxes were crossed, regardless of who the candidate was.
- The fact that the Liberal Democrats put up two “paper” candidates, i.e. they didn’t have a campaign, didn’t leaflet-drop or visit residents, didn’t expect to get in so didn’t even turn up on the evening of the “count”, yet took 500 votes between them. Had they not stood, several of those votes would have come to me and I would probably have still been your councillor!
- The other issue, which was highlighted in the WHT this week: A conservative councillor posted an unpleasant, anonymous, message on my website which accused me of being a liar. This was 6 days before the election and anyone new who visited the site, having been prompted to do so by my leaflet, may well have wondered whether this was true and it may have affected some votes. I would like to assure you that everything on my website has been the absolute truth: honesty and integrity have been my ethos throughout the past 4 years. The message was traced back by my website provider to the IP address of the councillor who I have reported to the Electoral Commission and the Standards Board.
To see the offending comment please click here to be taken to the relevant section of my website, once there please scroll down to the bottom of the page.
I will continue to be deeply involved with Welwyn activities. I will keep a close eye on what is happening locally and if things aren’t right and aren’t being dealt with properly, I will let you know through my website, or the press, as I have in the past.
I have been the “eyes and ears of Welwyn” for 4 years – it would be very difficult to stop – 4 years of documented updates are on my former website to prove it!
Please note that my website name will understandably have to change, once that has been done there will be a link to the new site here. This does achieve over 1000 visits a month and I plan to keep a website going to make sure residents can be kept informed of local developments.