The election results for the County Council divisions of Kidsgrove and Talke & Red Street reveal how local people have turned their back on UKIP and the Liberal Democrats. Against all the odds Labours Margaret Astle beat incumbent UKIP Councillor Geoff Locke into 2nd place. This has sent a shockwave through local UKIP who were ‘quietly confident’ of a win in the Kidsgrove division. The protest vote wasn’t strong enough to stop the Labour team following years of local community work and activism. There is no denial that the vote was close and there was a clear protest vote against the Coalition Government.
The Talke and Red Street results were just as spectacular with Labours John Taylor picking up almost 50% of the vote. The message has been clear on the doorstep. Residents are happy with our ward work and want us to continue the fight against deep and damaging cuts to local services. People want their council tax spent wisely on the roads, schools and health services. Now that Labour has formed a strong opposition the Tories have lots to worry about at County Hall.
I would like to touch on the non-existent campaign the Liberal Democrats ran in Kidsgrove. The Kidsgrove candidate was quite clearly a paper candidate as she was shopping on Election Day rather than speaking to people on the doorstep. This reflected in the result as the candidate only picked up 4% of the vote.
But I turn my attention to the Leader of the Kidsgrove Liberal Democrats, Dennis Richards. Mr Richards put out a leaflet in Butt Lane that attempted to vilify local people and also politicise a Community Centre. He desperately tried to make political gain out of a venue used by people from all walks of life in the community. He even managed to get its committee members to nominate him to stand as a local Councillor yet months before claimed ‘politics have no place here’! Mr Richards will reap what he sows and will regret his spiteful attack on hard working local people who care about the community. He claimed his intervention meant the community facility was thriving but his vote wasn’t thriving when he only managed to scrape fourth in the election behind the Conservatives and picked up just 6% of the vote. If he spent more time dedicating himself to the community and less time claiming credit for other peoples work he may have actually had a better chance of winning an election. Gutter politics have hopefully left Kidsgrove for the time being but I won’t hold my breath.
Newcastle – Kidsgrove – results
Margaret Astle – Labour – 1183 – 44% – Elected
Geoffrey Locke – UK Independence Party – 1097 – 41%
Pam Jellyman – Conservative – 304 – 11%
Lynda Irene Griffiths – Liberal Democrats – 118 – 4%
Newcastle – Talke and Red Street – results
John William Taylor – Labour – 1368 – 48% Elected
Alexander Jozef Wright – UK Independence Party – 928 – 33%
James Vernon – Conservative – 333 – 12%
Dennis John Richards – Liberal Democrats – 181 – 6%
Rebecca Anne Carter – Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts – 35 – 1%