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.