Attending the Uxbridge and Ruislip by-election,
following Boris Johnson’s resignation, I saw the Conservative Party vote fall from 25,351 in 2019 to 13, 965, which was close enough for a recount. There was a very full set of candidates with plenty of choice of Independents and party members. 11 out of 17 candidates attended the hustings. In doing some exit interviews to help Independent Councillor Ed Gemmell, I found that people cared about the climate, but recognised that this was going to be close run. Comments were polarised to either “get rid of the Tories” or “keep Labour out”. The big parties produced vast numbers of leaflets, 17 from the winning party, I was told. Independents relied on being locally known, on social media, or just one leaflet.
Mayor Khan’s Ultra low emissions zone or ULEZ expansion scheme is set to charge Londoners in all boroughs of £12.50-a-day to drive anywhere in the city from August 29, if their cars don’t meet particular environmental standards. That is in addition to the Congestion charge and the Low Emission Zone charges. Part of the anger is because the scheme is “especially harsh” and “more about taxing us than saving the planet”, said residents.
“Look at my car,” said one man, pointing to a very smart, small family car, full of voters. “It is low emission, with zero road tax, and I have to scrap it because it is just over six years old! How does that help the environment? We don’t have the same level of public transport here either.”
The Anti-ULEZ candidate tells me he has some 46,000 followers on his very active sites. He was charged with criminal damage after 96 cameras were smashed in the run-up to the election, then charges were dropped.
In Uxbridge and Ruislip, people were angry at the Labour Mayor for the sudden, rather harsh introduction of a new additional charge, which seems to have been just enough to keep a Conservative MP in power here. Independents did a great job and certainly influenced thinking, which was the intention, but on the day, residents used their votes in a close race between just two parties.
Lincolnshire Independent, Cllr Marianne Overton MBE July 2023- Tel:07920235364
Or Contact: Cllr Ed Gemmell 07440 763 530 Climate Party (Second from the left at the count)
Dogs at the polling station Some people just can’t hide their feelings! Conservative MP David Simmonds being interviewed
It’s a recount! Results finally announced