As you reported, the closest challenge that the Tories faced to any of their seats was from the Green Party in Rudgwick where Graham Avery fell just short of unseating the incumbent John Bailey.
Before the election there had been an air of optimism in the village that for the first time in many years a change to the status quo may be possible.
Graham Avery had put himself forward as a young working man with no vested interests who had largely funded his own campaign and promised to represent all the village in an honest and fair manner and attend and speak at council meetings.
However it was not to be although Graham managed to poll an impressive 726 votes that is more that the incumbent did in the 2011 election.
This was not enough in 2015 because it seems that the Rudgwick Conservative Association sensed that this time there was a real threat to their man and managed to get all their voters out and the incumbent was duly re-elected with 870 votes.
Somewhat grudgingly credit must go to the well-funded local Tory party machine for achieving such a result especially given the dismal record of the incumbent in office over the last 12 years.
However in doing so I believe that they have sacrificed village interests for their national party political cause and that is to be regretted.
The result will disappoint many who will now feel it is impossible to ever change things in Rudgwick. Some will feel disenfranchised. Younger people with the energy we need may be dissuaded from participating in local governance and that would be a pity. Also sadly there seems little place in the Horsham of today for a liberal and progressive input into the political process.
To Graham Avery I send my congratulations for his efforts. Although he was urged by some to stand on a broader platform he remained true to his principles and stood as a Green candidate. I hope that he is not too disappointed at the outcome and will feel able to play some part in village affairs in the future.
Church Street, Rudgwick
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