I just wanted to say thank you to everyone in Church Hill who voted for me on Thursday 5th May 2022. I am sorry we were not able to get a win over the line, but I congratulate Bill Hartnett on his 65 vote victory for the Labour Party.
Defending a majority of just one single vote made the Church Hill ward ‘Britain’s most marginal council seat’ going into the elections – winning was always going to be tough. Against the backdrop of mid-term blues for a Conservative government, controversy over Downing Street parties, and a local policy message about the library that simply didn’t get the point across it’s clear there were a number of factors that went against me.
I am happy to leave Church Hill in a better state than when I found it. We now have private apartments in the centre where the derelict doctor’s surgery was – in 2018 I was told by the then Labour Councillors nothing could be done about this site, and I proved them wrong. I am also pleased to see new council houses being built in Edgeworth Close, despite the clear issues with mud on the road and timings for arrivals of HGVs and deliveries. These will be good homes for people in need of a secure roof over their heads.
I am still a County Councillor on Worcestershire County Council and so I will continue to serve broader Redditch interests, and the interests of the whole county, from my position on the County Council. I just won’t be a voice for Church Hill on Redditch Borough Council, and I will not longer be the councillor in charge of the Borough’s finances, which I have also left in a far better state than when I found them!
As my favourite TV character says for goodbyes: “Live long, and prosper”