Parish Council Elections - 8th January 2009

On Thursday 8th January 2009 polling took place to replace the four parish councillors who had resigned in October 2008.

Despite the freezing weather and perilous compacted-snow covering the footpaths, 3217 Letchworth residents managed to cast their vote (a turnout of 16.0%). Here are the results:

Ward:  Wilbury Ward Grange Ward East Ward South West Ward
  Sarah-Louise Long Lee Hayton Alan Gower Matt Heaton
  Sarah-Louise LongLee HaytonAlan GowerMatthew Heaton
Votes for
HELP Candidate:
  350 Votes (69.1%)
407 Votes (56.6%)
434 Votes (53.3%)
873 Votes (75.0%)
Votes for
Parish Council Candidate:
  June Taylor
156 Votes
Susan Keeler
312 Votes
Paul Ross
380 Votes
Lee Jones
291 Votes

It's a success for Letchworth Garden City community.

HELP had expected the results to be a lot closer due to the following factors:

  • The Parish Council sponsored candidates used the word "Independent" to descibe themselves on the ballot papers. Of course, these candidates were not independent at all - they were sponsored by the incumbent parish councillors, who originally stood under the registered political party of "Town Council Campaigner". At local elections, voters tend to vote for independent candidates rather than political candidates.
  • The Parish Council sponsored candidates delivered leaflets misleading the voters into thinking the Parish Council would give tens of thousands of pounds to certain local estates if their candidates were elected. In fact none of this money appears in the Parish Council budget, nor has it been discussed at their meetings.
  • In the week leading up to the election day, the Parish Council delivered a copy of their MyTown propaganda booklet to every house in Letchworth, at a cost of several thousdand pounds to the tax-payer.
  • Half of the votes were done by postal vote before any of our HELP leaflets were delivered, and therefore many people made their voting decision without the benefit of our information.