Last Thursday, 18th January 2018, there was a by-election in Henley North ward and the results were:
- Donna Crook (Con) 577 votes
- Paula Isaac (HRG) 484 votes
- Jackie Walker (Lab) 131 votes
Henley’s two wards, North and South, are divided by Greys Road. The Town Hall being in Henley North.
If you live in the South Ward, you might have had little awareness of the by-election, if you live in the North Ward, you can’t have missed it!
We are gutted that Paula is not able to join our team of Councillors – yet. She has already proved herself in community projects over a number of years and she worked hard throughout the campaign. She deserved to win and it is a let down for her to lose by 93 votes. But that is politics – even at the Parish level.
The seat was caused by the resignation of the Conservative Simon Smith who was “fed up being told what to do” and they have held the seat. There is no change in the balance on the Council which is made up of: HRG 8; Con 7, Ind Con 1. We will continue to control the Council till the full elections in May next year.
What was different about this by-election was the presence of a Labour candidate. If you support Labour, then this was your first chance to vote for your Party for many a long year and you would not have missed it. We certainly lost some votes in this direction – perhaps even our majority. At a full election, however, every voter can choose 8 Councillors which results in a sort of proportional vote, so Labour should not have the same impact on us in 2019.
The turnout was 28% which is low. We have to face the fact that although HRG have had some outstanding successes in the eight months since we took back control, we did not manage to persuade our supporters to come out and vote in sufficient numbers. If any of you have any thoughts on how we can communicate better with voters, we would be pleased to hear them.
Meantime, the Councillors get back to work!
Very Best Wishes