Reaction by the major political parties to the election results for Cherwell District Council

People all across the district cast their ballot for the Cherwell District Council elections last week on May 6.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 10:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 11:14 am
The count for the Cherwell District Council elections was held at the Spiceball Leisure Centre in Banbury

People all across the district cast their ballot for the Cherwell District Council elections last week on May 6.

Turnout for the elections varied for each ward across the district ranging from 29 per cent for Banbury Hardwick to as much as 46 per cent for Kidlington West.

Cherwell had a third of its seats up for election - so 16 out of 48 seats were being contested in this year's election.

All Conservative candidates held their seats in the Cherwell district and the party therefore remains in control of the council.

Eleven Conservative candidates won seats on the council, three Labour candidates won, one Liberal Democrat and one Independent candidate won.

We asked the parties with the most representatives to provide reaction statements to the results from last week's results.

Here are their replies (in alphabetical order).

Conservative Party

"We are pleased with the results of the Cherwell District Council elections held on Thursday 6 May that saw 11 Conservative members returned to the council. We see this as a vote of confidence in the policies and priorities of a Conservative-controlled Cherwell District Council and are grateful to residents for their support of our candidates. We will continue to work hard for, and in the best interests of, the communities and residents we represent."

Labour Party

"We’re delighted that in Banbury, the Labour Party bucked the national trend and maintained all of our seats on the district council, as well as our Grimsbury & Castle County Division, held by Hannah Banfield. These results are testament to the hard work and dedication of active Labour Councillors.

"In Ruscote County Division, the declaration has been challenged by our candidate Mark Cherry, with Labour Party backing, with a view to correcting the result in Mark’s favour; we cannot comment further at this time. In Hardwick County Division we lost by just 111 votes after a superb campaign by Rebecca Beigel - also elected to Banbury Town Council for the first time. We were delighted that Simon Garrett gained the town council seat of Neithrop South, but disappointed to lose the town centre seat by just 9 votes, as well as losing Sean Woodcock from one of the Ruscote seats. Sean served the town council with distinction for 9 years (including a year as mayor). He was instrumental in changing policy to ensure free child burials, and also the first flying of the LGBT flag over the town hall last year.

"Although we didn’t win any seats in the North Oxfordshire Villages or Bicester, we had some very strong performances, notably in Wroxton & Hook Norton County Division where Anne Cullen almost doubled her votes over 2017 and Bicester North & Caversfield ward where Sian Roscoe came a creditable second."

Liberal Democrats

"The North Oxfordshire Liberal Democrats are delighted with the result of last week’s county and district elections following strong gains in Cherwell and across Oxfordshire and would like to thank everyone who voted for us last Thursday.

"We are particularly encouraged by Calum Miller’s fantastic gain from the Tories in the Otmoor County Division as well as Andy Graham’s defeat of the incumbent Conservative County Council leader, Ian Hudspeth, in Woodstock.

"Calum commented after the result: 'I’m honoured to serve as your county councillor. I am looking forward to working with all members of our community to make it better together.' Our aim now is to develop on these gains, as these results have shown that we are now the only credible alternative to the Conservatives in Cherwell and Oxfordshire. "

Green Party

"We were disappointed not have won any further seats in this year's elections, but given the limited time we had to campaign due to Covid restrictions, and the large number of seats to cover, we were very pleased that we were able to field such an impressive number of candidates and see increases in our vote share across the district.

"In Bicester we saw significant increases in support on the county, district and town councils which we will be looking to build on for next year. In Kidlington East District Council Ward, local Parish Councillor Fiona Mawson's vote was very similar to Ian Middleton's when he won the seat in 2019 showing that support for the Greens is holding up well and that local residents are impressed with what they have seen so far from their Green councillor. Fiona came a very good second against a long standing Conservative incumbent. It's hoped that in next year's elections, when things may be a little more straightforward, the Greens will be able to take that seat. Support for Ian Middleton was also dramatically demonstrated as he was elected to the county seat against the same Conservative incumbent with a solid majority.

"The Greens saw historic levels of support across the country and particularly in Oxfordshire. It's clear our priorities of people before politics and genuine concern for the future of our planet is chiming with voters everywhere making us a significant political force to be reckoned with."