Labour top Colnbrook poll but two seats go to Conservatives
An alleged attempt by ‘out-of-towners’ to “wield control” over parish funding may have been thwarted, but the politicisation of the Parish Council was completed yesterday as all three of the vacant seats went to Labour and the Conservatives.
In electing three party political candidates, those few Colnbrook residents who actually voted on Thursday appear to have rejected separate pleas from some councillors (and former councillors) and the Colnbrook Community Association.
While the current and previous chair of the parish council took their campaign to the local newspapers it was never fully clear if it was really just about a fighting to prevent candidates who live outside of the parish boundaries or simply to prevent the further advancement of Slough Labour. There was no similar lack of clarity with the Colnbrook Community Association’s position: it asked residents to dispel all notions of party politics and vote for the two independent candidates in a passionate editorial posted on its website days before the election.
In the event, all three seats went to party political candidates.
The Conservatives, who were spared the ire of Messrs. Hood and Bryant, won two places on the parish for the first time – Joyce John, from Sherbourne Close, and Alistair Buchanan, from Park Street. That makes a total of three now if you count Conservative ward councillor Dexter Smith who is nominally independent on the parish and has himself previously spoken out against party politics at parish level.
Topping the poll with 313 votes, Anup Kumar Babuta won a fourth seat on the parish for Labour. The by-election was his second attempt to gain a seat on the parish: in 2015’s by-election he was pipped to post by just 1 vote, with Cllr Paul Brooks taking second place. Anup lives in Coleridge Crescent.
|Babuta, Anup Kumar||Labour Party Candidate||313||YES|
|Buchanan, Alistair||Conservative Party Candidate||297||YES|
|Frewer, Stuart Charles||Independent||184|
|Grewal, Gurdeep Singh||Labour Party Candidate||265|
|John, Joycelyn Angela||John, Joyce||Conservative Party Candidate||298||YES|
|Kaur, Amandeep||Labour Party Candidate||245|
|Lever, Olywn Margaret||Independent||179|
|Sharma, Sahibi||Sharma, Aryan||Conservative Party Candidate||204|
But the publicity surrounding the election failed to attract significant interest of voters. Turnout, at just 17.32% may have been an improvement on the 14.67% seen in the by-election in 2015, but it came nowhere near the 48.47% of the parish that turned out in the Local Elections that year. The low turnout has already led to the inevitable comments about relevance and engagement.
|Dexter Jerome Smith||Conservative*||1080||May-15|
|Scott Terence William Bryant||Independent||795||May-15|
|Jagjit Singh Grewal||Labour||596||May-15|
|Anup Kumar Baputa||Labour||313||Nov-17|
|Joycelyn Angela John||Conservative||298||Nov-17|
|Raymond Scott Jackson||Independent||233||Aug-15|
|Paul Elvis Lyndon Brooks||Independent||221||Aug-15|
A rebooted parish council will no doubt want to take stock of that when it meets on January 2nd – as well as working out how to work with three groupings.