Could Conservatives make a return to Desborough Town Council?

There has not been a Conservative councillor on the town council since early 2018.
There has not been a Conservative councillor on the town council since early 2018.

The Conservative Party could make a comeback on Desborough Town Council this month with the ruling party not fielding a candidate in the upcoming by-election battle.

Jim French, 74, is standing for the Tories in the Loatland ward by-election being held on Thursday, October 24th.

If he is elected it would be the first time since January 2018 the party has had a representative on the council.

All of the 10 Conservative town councillors stood down after a bitter fallout following the rising of the precept in by an unprecedented 400 per cent in May 2016.

The council is now run by the Independents for Desborough (IFD) group, which has lost two members since winning a landslide election in May last year and gaining eight of the 12 council seats.

The ruling party, which has recently faced some local criticism of its handling of the library purchase matter, is not putting up a candidate in the by-election.

Mr French, who has unsuccessfully stood before, says it is his ambition to make a Conservative return.

He said: “I want to level up the numbers . There are three Labour councillors on the council, two independents and the rest are Independent for Desborough. So I’m standing to see if I can level it up.

“I have heard so many rumours over the past three to four months and if I get on to the council I can get it straight then.

“I would want to work cross-party in the best interests of the town.”

If elected the former landscape gardener, whose children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in the town, wants to put the matter of a one-way system and car park back on the agenda for discussion.

Also standing are Helen Wood for the Labour Party and Alan Window for the Liberal Democrats.

The seat has become vacant after IFD’s Bill McElhinney stood down for personal reasons.