Press Release: Saffron Walden residents announce John Lodge as candidate for Essex County Council Elections to drive localism agenda

Residents’ campaign group announces that it intends to nominate Saffron Walden resident John Lodge as an independent candidate at the forthcoming Essex County Council Elections and launches its election campaign site at

John Lodge || Independent for Residents || || 2 May 2013, Essex County Council Elections, Saffron Walden Division WardDan Starr, chair of the group said:

We have taken this step because we are being told that the needs and concerns of the residents of Saffron Walden and surrounding villages are not being met, particularly with respect to the Uttlesford Local Plan.”

In a January 2013 pre-election survey of many local residents conducted by, 86% of respondents reported that they didn’t feel their current Saffron Walden county councillor represented their views and 87% indicated that they would vote for an independent, non-party-political candidate who did.

In launching his campaign at, prospective Essex Council Councillor John Lodge said:

“The Local Plan is the most important decision that the district has faced in the last 150 years, so it’s critical that residents believe that their views are represented. This is something that the current county councillor has failed to do and something I am determined to correct.”

John Lodge went on to say:

“As an Independent County Councillor I would ensure that Party Politics does not get in the way of doing the right thing for the local residents I would represent; after all residents will have to live with the decisions far after the current politicians are gone.”

As a resident of the Saffron Walden area for the last 40 years John said:

“I am particularly concerned about the building of nearly 1,500 homes in Saffron Walden and Great Chesterford without a proper plan for traffic, transport, jobs and education. A failure to plan is a plan to fail!”

John Lodge has gained his experience in a number of professional, charitable and community roles which make him highly qualified. These include chief executive of a FTSE quoted company, director of the Papworth Hospital NHS Trust, and director of a new business investment fund. He is also a trustee of the charity funding the new concert hall at the SWCHS.

John will hold a Meet the Prospective Candidate evening from 7:30 to 9:00 PM on Sunday 17th of February at the District Scout Hall on Saffron Walden High Street (opposite the Temeraire pub). All residents are welcome. For more information about John, his campaign and events, visit

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 Notes to Editors

About John Lodge

John Lodge is highly qualified for the role having led companies and held a number of senior public, private, charity and community sector executive and board positions. These include chief executive of a FTSE-quoted company, chairman of a new business investment fund, and chairman of a restaurant group. He has also had a number of other non-executive roles, including on the board of directors of Papworth Hospital NHS Trust, the Embryonic Heart and Lung Institute and Department of Health finance committee. On the charity and community side he was chairman of Papworth’s Charitable Capital Appeal, chairman of a parish council and a school governor.

Having moved to Saffron Walden 40 years ago, he has been very active in local community and sports groups, and regularly plays cricket, rugby and golf for local clubs. He is also a trustee of the charity funding the new concert hall being built at the Saffron Walden County High School. A biography is available at

About the Essex Country Council Elections:

The 2013 Essex County Council (ECC) elections are on the 2nd of May. As well as the town, the Saffron Walden Essex divisional ward includes all settlements north and west of it in Essex, including the Chesterfords, Littlebury and Littlebury Green, Wendens Ambo, Elmdon, Duddenhoe End, Wenden Lofts, Chrishall, Langley, Arkesden and Strethall. 75% of the electorate live in Saffron Walden.

The current incumbent ECC councillor also holds a finance position on the Uttlesford District Council Cabinet. He is a strong supporter of the Uttlesford Local Plan that seeks to build 1,000s of new houses in existing settlements like Saffron Walden and Great Chesterford rather than the long held new-settlement strategy that the majority of residents of the district support. During his tenure as ECC county councillor, traffic congestion and air pollution have worsened and ECC have failed to produce any plan to address the issues, or make any of the needed major investments in roads and infrastructure in the north of the county.


Founded in 2011, is the Uttlesford based group that provides a strong, independent voice for the views of local residents. The group campaigns for long range strategic and sustainable plans for their area. works with other similar groups across Uttlesford and enjoys the strong support of professionals in key and relevant professions. is one of the residents’ groups that help start Residents for Uttlesford (R4U), the local political party of towns and a village that is seeking to give residents a stronger say in local matters. can we found on the web at

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Posted in Election 2013, Essex County Council, Planning, Pollution and Air Quality, Press Releases, Spotlight Articles, Traffic, Uttlesford District Council, Uttlesford Local Plan
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