Wye votes for a new future… with a landslide

Wye Park has claimed its latest casualty in the stunning defeat of sitting Conservative councillor Ian Cooling by the Independent Jack Woodford in the latest borough elections. Mr Woodford overturned a massive Tory majority to become the village’s first Independent councillor in recent memory. His campaign was fought on many fronts, but last year’s failed development by Imperial College, which he had vocally and consistently opposed as a parish councillor, was never far from its heart.

The final result of the 2007 election is…

Jack Woodford (Ind) 589
Ian Cooling (Con) 276
David Berrie (Lib Dem) 40

To put it in votes Paul Clokie might understand…in 2003 Councillor Cooling was elected with a majority of more than two hundred, polling 470 votes against 252 for the Green Party’s Steve Dawe and 57 for the Lib Dem candidate. This year he suffered a rout.

And with that save-wye’s job really is over. We wish the village’s new borough councillor and his predecessor well, and hope the ruling Conservative clique will finally ask themselves why they have been deserted in droves by the people of Wye, many of whom were once their natural supporters.

Happily, Peter Davison, the leader of the Independents on Ashford Council, retained his seat too, though narrowly. Nor is Wye the only area in Kent to have made inroads by fighting on a local campaign outside the realm of conventional big party politics. There was also a very interesting, and in some ways more astonishing, result in Sheppey.


About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome, Pieter Vos in Amsterdam, adaptions of the Sarah Lund stories in Copenhagen, and versions of Shakespeare worked for Audible.
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10 Responses to Wye votes for a new future… with a landslide

  1. Sean Furey says:

    ¡Viva la Revolución!

  2. Justin Williams says:

    Congratulations to Jack who ran a terrific campaign and congratulations to all those who helped him.

    My heartfelt congratulations also go to Peter Davison. He was Wye’s champion last year while the Conservative group was busy negotiating the future of the village away. Peter never tired and never backed off the fight.
    I’m sure that the loathsome Clokie, who threw everything at Hamstreet to get Peter out, must be spitting today – he’s lost Wye and the only man with the moral fibre to stand up to him is still in place.

    Well done, Wye. Well done, Peter. Well done, Jack. It shows you what can be achieved.

    A truly great day for all of us.

  3. David Hewson says:

    Here, here. And a truly great night ahead in the New Flying Horse for some of us too I suspect…

  4. Sean Furey says:

    This evening, I passed through Naccolt on my way to Wye, to pick up stuff for tomorrow’s farmers’ market. I came around a bend and there fluttering in the cold northerly wind was tatty poster begging in vain for votes for the Conservative Party and their champion.

    There was old man, bent with age and toil; I caught a flash of tweed out of the corner of my eye, and the bright red of his battered old Peugeot. He was reaching up, sadly, to take the lonely poster off the telephone pole.

    What did the old man think when he turned that corner and headed back up Oxenturn Lane? Did he look up in pride at the Wye crown, glowing amber in the evening light? Did he admire the lush green fields and woodlands that hold the village in a warm embrace?

    Or was his heart heavy in the knowledge that all the webs he had spun and the plots he had woven had not created a bright new future in steel and concrete?

    We will probably never know what the old man thought.

    And we probably won’t care.

  5. Ivan Warboys says:

    A fantastic result! The village has spoken loud and clear to the Conservative Borough Council. Perhaps our ex Ward Councillor will now realise that many in this village wanted a representative who would look after the future development of the village and not change sides when it was clear that the Imperial band wagon was losing its wheels. Congratulations to Jack Woodford.

  6. Merrilie says:

    Congratulations Jack , from those who used to live in your ward and know how much you cared before during AND after the IC debacle about the parish. Long may you, and others who put the people and the environs first, continue to thrive. Well done Wye!

  7. Kerry Bethel says:

    With this tremendous result under our belts we should be able to anticipate a future where the best interests of the village as a whole will be openly and unambiguously championed by at least one of our three elected borough, county and national representatives. I have no doubt whatsoever that Jack will give it his best shot and do his utmost to keep true to his word.

    Whilst we must remain vigilant and keep our guard up to protect our village, heritage and countryside against wholly undesirable and inappropriate development, it would be nice for the community to return to a more amicable footing and put the recent altercations behind us.

    We’ve all had our say (some more than others!) and the right outcome was secured… for now. Hopefully we can bury the hatchets and live in harmony with all our fellow villagers.

    Again thanks a million to David and Justin and their backroom support for turning the tide so magnificently. Thanks also to Wye Parish Council and The Wye Future Group for their important contributions.

  8. Val Paterson says:

    Well said, Kerry – couldn’t agree more.

  9. jack woodford says:

    As this may be my last opportunity before save-wye shuts down, I would like to say a Big Thank You, to all the People and Residents of Wye and Hinxhill who helped get me Elected as your Borough Councillor. I could take up the rest of the Comments Column with the names of those involved, David and Justin come near the top, but then Peter, Anne, Mike, Delia,Richard, Sue,Emerson, Veronica, the list could go on..All Members past and present of the Parish Council, Wye Futures Group, Ben in particular, and the members of Oxenturn Road, Bell Ringers, Footpath Walkers, Cliff and all the regulars of the Flying Horse,and of course the people of our Village, who I feel very privileged to now represent. As Kerry now points out, let us try to put aside any differences that may have occured in the past year, and during the recent Election, and move on….we have a Great Village and Great People who live in it. On a Walk yesterday afternoon with Wye Footpath Walkers, while in the vicinity of Challock Woods, we could just get a sighting of the Crown on Wye Downs, and it again occured to me how close we came to losing that unique piece of Landscape and Countryside last year. Please remember, I’am only Elected to serve the Interests of the Residents and People of Wye and Hinxhill….with their particular wishes and demands….nothing or nobody else has any influence on me…so once again a Big Thank You to everybody.

  10. David Hewson says:

    And on that note I am closing the comments on save-wye for good. Thanks everyone – and yes, a period of watchful reconciliation is surely now in order.

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