Whoops! Tories fail to field candidate in local election

Odd goings ons in Oxted, across the boundary from Croydon in Surrey.

Oxted High StreetThere is a by-election happening in Oxted South today, for a parish councillor. But in this heartland of true blue Conservative stockbroker belt, there’s no Tory candidate.

In 2011, Oxted South duly elected six parish councillors: four of them Conservatives, one Labour and one LibDem.

A year later, one of the Conservative councillors stood down, and there appears to have been a consensus because the Tories were allowed to co-opt a replacement, Peter Bush, rather than go to the expense of a by-election.

Bush died towards the end of 2013, and this time Tandridge District Council, which oversees the democratic process for the parish elections, did receive the requisite number of applications to trigger a by-election in Oxted South.

On November 27, the local returning officer issued a notice of the by-election, to be held on January 9, requesting nominations for candidates with a deadline of December 10. In due course, Tandridge council offices received a nomination as candidate for today’s election from the Liberal Democrats for Stephen Blunden, and from Labour for Sarah-Jane Wilkinson. “We published the usual documents, but those were the only nominations we received,” said the very helpful officer at Tandridge council.

Now we know that the Tories in Croydon are having a bit of bother recruiting members, and that local MP Gary Barlow has been sending letters to residents asking some of them – anyone – to come forward to stand as candidates in May’s local elections. Certainly, as recent repercussions over the Coulsdon “Masterplan” have shown, what happens in Surrey can impact parts of Croydon. And remember, Croydon South’s MP, Lord Bletchingley, lives not so far away.

UKIP did rather well in Surrey last year, but they say they have not put up a candidate in Oxted South because they don’t think it appropriate to politicise parish elections. Holier than thou? Probably, as UKIP tries to focus its resources and candidates on May’s local and especially the European elections.

But could the Conservative party in East Surrey be struggling with the same recruitment problems as their Croydon colleagues? One Surrey parish councillor suggested to Inside Croydon that the reason there is no Conservative candidate in Oxted South is even more embarrassing: they forgot to send in the forms.

We called Colin Thomas, the “President and Chair” of the East Surrey Conservative Association to ask him the reason for the absence of the candidate in Oxted South. “Oxted South?” Thomas said. “Nothing to do with me.” He suggested we call someone else in his local Association.

We did that on Monday, and an answering service message suggested that we should leave our name and number and someone would call us back. No one has returned our call.

Perhaps they’ve forgotten.


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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7 Responses to Whoops! Tories fail to field candidate in local election

  1. David Aston says:

    How very droll. Who looks at this site to find out what happens in Oxted? Anyone up for another chorus of “Hooray the witch is dead” (Full lyrics to appear in an Inside Croydon Oxted Parish Election Special ) !

    • It is “drole”.

      And if you read the piece, you’d see that the relevancy is in the challenges to the local Conservatives in the southern part of the borough – UKIP won council seats just across the Surrey boundary last year.

      In any case, to misquote Donne, no borough is an island.

  2. David Aston says:

    The spelling of the word “droll” appears as such in the Collins English Dictionary. You were probably looking in an EU version….. A politically correct one no doubt.

  3. David Aston says:

    I can tell the difference between a D and a T. But is that a D for Dostoyevsky or a T for Trotsky?

  4. David Aston says:

    Lot’s of “Trolls” in Oxted I’m sure. But more concerned about the number of “Trotskys” appearing in Croydon.

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