Andrew Philips travels on horseback to vote in Wilstead
Well it is all over! I lost my seat after 7 years as a Bedford Councillor in spite of strong support from voters in Elstow and Wilstead - thank you to all those who voted for me and especially to my small dedicated band of campaign helpers.
I had a very tough election campaign against a well known Independent candidate, born and bred in Wilstead, who resigned from the Conservative Party in April. My vote was only 70 less than in 2007 but I lost by 153 votes, because 100 Conservative
supporters switched due to their anger over the MP expenses scandal and I was the victim of a 'dirty tricks' campaign just before Election Day from the Independent Councillor I defeated in 2005 and 2007.
No one can say I did not try hard enough - after knocking on 2,000 doors and distributing 10000 leaflets and letters, which led to the damage to my leg which will take some time to heal. At present I am having to use a walking stick and I could not possibly issue a rebuttal in time to the potentially libellous letter.
One Conservative voter, Andrew Philips, travelled to Wilstead Village on horseback to vote as a protest over his situation. His farmhouse is in Haynes, Central Beds and is accessed from Haynes High Street, but his farmland is in Wilstead, Bedford Borough Council. After the Unitary reorganisation, Andrew and his family were put on the Bedford Borough Council electoral roll. Andrew is Chairman of Haynes Parish Council and his house can only be accessed from Haynes, so naturally he wants the boundaries changed so that he can vote in Central Bedfordshire. I have supported Andrew's campaign for several months but the Boundaries Commission will not be able to resolve the anomaly until 2010, when the Ward Boundaries are reviewed.