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Thank You From Your New Councillor

ian middleton winning picture

Well this is a post I never expected to be able to make!

As most of you will know I won the election for Kidlington East yesterday and am now a brand new district councillor, as well as a councillor on Kidlington and Yarnton Parish councils.

The district election was a close run thing, with a majority of only 73, which required a re-count to confirm (not that anyone actually asked for a re-count but that’s another story!).

I now join hundreds of new Green councillors across the country in what can only be described as a tsunami of Green votes that have given us our greatest gains in recent memory (possibly ever!).

It’s fantastic to be a part of such a historic event and I look forward to doing all those things I promised I would do during the election. Holding the council to account on local services, defending our green spaces and making sure Kidlington gets a fair hearing at council meetings.

I will also be focussing on climate change, as you’d expect from a Green councillor.

My thanks go to everyone who voted for me and believed in me, as well as my dedicated team of helpers and supporters, many of whom went the extra mile for me in the final days, working tirelessly in the run up to what was a very close election.

It’s been a very hard 10 weeks of campaigning and I’m only just coming to terms with actually winning after 7 years of being a runner-up.

Everything we did during the campaign counted towards that result. Just missing out one step or one person not being there could have cost us the win.

My thanks also go out to my partners on the Libdem side without whom none of this would have been possible. Special thanks to Neil Fawcett, Alaric Rose, Doug Williamson, Conor McKenzie, Katherine T. Tyson, and of course my superb MP Layla Moran. Congratulations also go to Conrad and Katherine who both also won their seats in Kidlington West and on Kidlington Parish Council. I’m very happy not to be the only newbie on both counts!

My congratulations also go out to all those other Oxfordshire Greens who won yesterday, especially Robert Nixon in Bicester, Cheryl Briggs in Abingdon, Robin Bennett in Berinsfield and Sue Roberts in Wallingford.

It’s all been a massive team effort and I feel very honoured to have been given so much help to get to this place. I hope I can justify your faith in me.

I’ll be sending out personal thanks to everyone in the coming days, but for now I hope you’ll enjoy basking in the glow of what has been a great few days for the Greens and will hopefully go on to be a sign of things to come!

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I Can Win Today With Your Help

Labour

If you’re a Labour voter in Kidlington West please consider lending your vote to me in the District Council elections.

After coming a close second to the Tories last year, I have a very good chance of winning the seat this year anyway.  But with the help of a few progressive minded Labour voters I could be assured of that win.

Labour and the Greens share many ideals about social justice, unions, anti-austerity and creating a fairer society for everyone.  I have a chance to forward those aims in Kidlington as the most likely candidate to take the seat from the incumbent Tory.

If you want to see a Conservative defeat in Kidlington West, I’m your best chance of that.  I hope you’ll give real thought to voting tactically today to help me help you send a message to the Conservatives that their days of heartless government are numbered.

Please vote Green today and let’s all score a win against Conservative complacency!

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The Conservatives Blame Labour for their Plans to Destroy Kidlington’s Green Belt. Unfair? Yes, but then again…

crAGNoGUflXzqQd-800x450-noPadThere are campaign leaflets flying around from the Tories blaming Labour for ‘forcing Cherwell to build on Green Belt land”, I think that’s a huge stretch of the truth.

Cherwell’s Conservative leadership and the majority of councillors came up with and voted for the plans to destroy large parts of green belt in north Oxford for reasons of their own. They used the City Council’s claims of ‘unmet housing need’ as an excuse to facilitate investment and development opportunities for the university and other large landowners.

We begged the council to take a step back from their plans in view of the fact that the City hadn’t published a local plan proving their ‘unmet need’ This would have been a perfect justification, but they refused. So outrageously revisionist to claim it was all Labour’s fault!

But this statement in the Oxford Times from the City Council’s Labour leader Susan Brown does place their cards firmly on the table. She would rather continue to focus on economic and business development than provide affordable accommodation for their own needs.

There are multiple sites within the boundaries of the city that could be used for medium to high density housing to solve at least the immediate problems for housing the the city centre and in East Oxford.  At least 4 of those site are slated for development, predominantly for business use.

It’s plain that the council has repeatedly and recklessly pursued economic development  instead of housing under the leadership of Bob Price and the new Labour leader intends for this to continue.

Now their new leader has made it clear that her intention (and presumably Labour’s) is to push that envelope even further.  Increase business development in the city (even though unemployment there is virtually zero)  and press district councils to plough up their green spaces and destroy natural habitat to build houses to fulfil their needs.

Presumably Ms Brown is also happy to see the city export it’s obscenely high levels of pollution and appalling air quality into the green areas around her ever expanding empire like some post-apocalyptic behemoth, consuming everyone and everything in its path.

That’s not a vision of sustainability or quality of life I see as particularly attractive for anyone.

Yes we need to build houses, but they need to be the right houses in the right places.  If Oxford city want to deal with their own housing crisis (assuming that is proven in their own yet to be completed local plan) then the right place for housing is within their own confines.  At least it is before the expect other areas to cover their backsides!

It was good to see Labour members on Cherwell District Council supporting campaigners in defending our precious green belt, but they really do need to have a word with their colleagues on the city council and get them to set their own house in order, literally!