Party leaders positive despite Epping Forest District Council election losses

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Council leader Chris Whitebread with councillors Will Breare-Hall and David Stallan Council leader Chris Whitebread with councillors Will Breare-Hall and David Stallan

Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders said they are staying positive despite losing seats in Thursday’s Epping Forest District Council election.

The results saw the Conservatives lose Waltham Abbey Paternoster ward to Ukip, while the Green Party ousted the Liberal Democrats from Buckhurst Hill East.

Chris Whitbread, leader of the Conservative controlled council, said the local party did well considering Ukip's inroads in other parts of Essex.

He said: “I’m disappointed with the result in Waltham Abbey and we’re one down for the day but we have stood up well compared to the rest of Essex.

“We have seen the impact of Ukip in Waltham Abbey and I hope they are able to serve their communities well.”

John Whitehouse, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Epping Forest, said: “We knew Buckhurst Hill East was a difficult ask and we don’t get any votes for free, we need to work for every single one of them.

“I am very pleased with retaining the seat in Ongar because it is always difficult when a long serving councillor steps down.”

Brian Surtees won the Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash seat beating the Conservative and Ukip candidates by eight and 10 votes respectively.

The election results leave a conservative majority in control of the Epping forest District Council.

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