3 May 2019
Wealden Greens are delighted! Wealden District Council has two new Green Councillors: Cllr Patricia Patterson-Vanegas won a massive victory in Forest Row, and she is joined by Cllr Keith Obbard, who won in nearby Withyham. In Crowborough, Colin Stocks was elected to the Town Council, representing Jarvis Brook. These are exciting times!
Patricia told her supporters, "I feel privileged to have worked with a team that has brought this victory through focus, discipline, and lots of hard work. We've delivered thousands of leaflets by hand, and knocked on hundreds of doors to show electors in Forest Row that the Green Party is determined to represent their concerns." All our candidates thanked the people who voted for them: every vote has made a difference.
Our new councillors stood on a platform of wanting positive change, with a determination to trust local people, putting power back into the hands of communities. Our campaign was always constructive, looking for solutions and ways to bring people together, and voters told us how much they liked our collaborative, practical way of doing things.
In Forest Row, Patricia won by a landslide, gaining 1212 votes to the Conservative candidate’s 321. Keith won his seat by 499 to 448 votes. And in many other wards across the District, Green candidates polled well, coming second in 12 wards: Arlington; Buxted; Chiddingly, East Hoathly and Waldron; Crowborough North; Crowborough St Johns; Danehill and Fletching; Framfield and Cross-in-Hand; Hadlow Down and Rotherfield; Hartfield; Maresfield; Mayfield and Five Ashes; Stone Cross. These amazing results are a sign of a massive surge in support for the Green Party and we're looking forward to building on it.
Voters across Wealden voted Green, many for the first time. They told Green campaigners before the election that a major issue for them is the climate crisis we face: only the Green Party has always placed action on climate change at the heart of its plans, and Greens across England have long been leading the way on taking practical steps to protect the future of the world we live in.
Wealden’s voters talked about local issues too: the desperate lack of truly affordable housing in Wealden, the speed and growing volume of traffic, the amount of waste the District sends to the incinerator, the threat of fracking in Sussex. They voted for Councillors who would speak up for them, challenge the Conservative bloc that has dominated so long, and propose solutions that will make life better for everyone in Wealden.
The Green Party is now the fourth largest party in local government in England, with a huge surge in support: voters have spoken clearly, telling their local councils that they want change, and they want to be listened to.
As we approach the European elections, the Green Party has a strong slate of candidates in the South East, reflecting our long commitment to Europe, and the transformative work that Green MEPs such as Keith Taylor have been doing for years. The Green Party is widely seen as the leading Remain party in the UK, and will be running a strong campaign for Green MEPs who will protect environmental, social and workers’ rights for everyone.