Phil Sawford - News, views and comment.

By philsawford on May 5, 2018

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Change is coming and Desborough Town Council needs to get busy. Time is short yet we have an opportunity to try and set an agenda for a generation. With the coming of a new Unitary authority (Corby, East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough) which looks highly likely, there is much work to do.

It looks as though Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough may soon be working towards setting up their own Town Councils but it is the next tier that we need to focus on, the smaller market towns and hubs that serve large communities (Raunds, Thrapston, Rothwell, Desborough, Oundle, Irthlingborough, Burton Latimer etc). What responsibilities might be devolved to those councils? What will their role be?

It is important, as policies are agreed and the framework for the future is decided, that we are proactive in that discussion.

Where do we see ourselves 20 years down the road? What kind of town do we see? Do we need a secondary school? Could we get a Railway station on the agenda? What kind of employment opportunities do we want? The big questions are always the more difficult ones, Drains and dog poo have their place but there are bigger issues that need attention.

We could spend the next year (or two years) point scoring, squabbling amongst ourselves, looking inward and discussing the past but I hope that the new council will be focused on the future and working on the important issues that matter to our town and to our children.



The by-election on the 3rd May was the 8th time that I have stood for election to the Town Council and I have been elected every time. I very much appreciate the support given to me by Desborough residents and thank them for putting their faith in me again.  I look forward to working on their behalf.

Local people have been through turbulent times recently with huge tax increase, votes of no confidence and mass resignations. We now have a new council in Desborough and we need to rebuild some trust, regain the confidence of local people and restore the credibility of the town council. We may not have long to do it but I am sure we can all work together and make a start.

Election Results

It was a very good turnout for a town council by election (Loatland 31%, St Giles 41%) with an Interesting mix of votes. There is a question mark over where all the conservative votes went as there were no conservative candidates and I am not entirely sure what it tells us in terms of swings and future elections. I will leave that to other pundits and experts (there are plenty of them on the internet these days).

I am happy with two Labour gains, though I would have liked to see more, the fact is that we had no Labour councillors in Desborough prior to this by election so I am very pleased that we now have Labour representatives back on the council. (The truth is that much of what has happened over the past three years would never have happened if more people had voted for the Labour candidates in 2015. But that is now history)  I look forward to working with Jo Taylor and all the other members of the council.

I will work with anyone and everyone as long as it is in the best interest of the town, I love Desborough, I wouldn’t have come out of retirement if I didn’t. My political journey started in Desborough over 40 years ago, it has been one heck of a ride, it has taken me to a lot of places and it will finish in Desborough.

Cllr Sawford

(sorry, I had to put that, it took me back to a day a long time ago)



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