I write to say a public thank you to former Essex County Councillor Valerie Metcalfe who stepped down as the elected representative for Buckhurst Hill and Loughton South at the elections held [on Thursday].

She has served this part of Epping Forest for 12 years, having first been elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017.

I have many strong objections to her party’s majority governance of Essex County Council, primarily their under-resourcing of pot hole and pavement repairs, their under-resourcing of our library stock, their removal of the Epping Home Start grant thus forcing its closure and their redevelopment plans for Loughton library.

However I still wanted to acknowledge Valerie Metcalfe’s hard work on behalf of individual residents and the wider area of Buckhurst Hill, Roding ward and Forest ward which make up her county division.

She also played an important role, along with many others, in helping to secure the flourishing sixth form at Roding Valley High, now in its sixth year.

Stephen Murray

Roding Ward Independent Councillor