Highwoods ward by-election: All we know so far

Picture by Lauren Wiles

By Annalise Mia Faulkne

Following the resignation of Gerard and Beverley Oxford, change has sparked within the Highwoods of Colchester borough council leading to the announcement of a by-election.

On the 21st of October long-standing Highwood councillors Beverley and Gerard Oxford stepped down from their roles following a dispute with the council regarding disability access. Gerard and Beverley entered their roles over two decades ago having a combined leadership of 43 years however recent animosity within the council has resulted in their resignation. 

Following these events, the Highwoods of Colchester Borough Council has announced a by-election to fill the current vacancies in Highwoods ward. The election is set to take place on Thursday 8th December 2022.  

Liberal democrats are currently in control of the council however the by-election could change the political landscape for Colchester as we know it. If labour obtains both vacant positions it would result in Labour becoming the leaders of the council.  

Leader of the Colchester labour group Adam Fox has been preparing for the by-election in the aim to win both positions for the labour party and take leadership of the council. 

He said: “We’ve selected our two candidates, two great community champions Pauline Bacon and Catherine Bickersteth”. 

“Were fighting to win both seats here because we know that people will be better off with labour councillors representing them and that’s our main focus right now” 

Labour hope to take leadership of Highwoods focusing their attention on navigating the financial crisis and supporting residents  

“Our number one focus this year is the cost-of-living crisis we’ve got to do everything we can to support residents” 

Leader of the Colchester Conservative group Darius Law has also been preparing for the election putting forward Carpenter Richard Martin and Dr. Linghorn-Baker as his two candidates.  

He said: “What Colchester borough council need to do Is to think about planning, housing and its services that people encounter on a daily. Picking up the bins and running the services”  

“I’d urge people to consider what this means for Colchester; we are fighting to win”. 

 The candidate nomination deadline is set for Friday 11th November, guidance on how to apply is available on the electoral commission website. Here are the dates you need to know:  

Tuesday 22nd November- the midnight registers to vote deadline 

Wednesday 23 November- 5pm Postal Vote Deadline 

Wednesday 30 November- 5pm Proxy Vote Deadline 

Thursday 8 December- Polling Day