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Oct 03 2014

Dateline 04/10/84: Independent James Bond wins in Pinner!

cllr_james_bondThirty years ago, on the 4th October 1984, history was made in Pinner when James Bond was elected to Harrow Council and became the first, and only, non-Conservative candidate to gain election in what had been perceived as unshakeable ‘true blue Tory territory.’

Pinner’s new Independent Ratepayer councillor had won a by-election gaining his victory at the expense of Harold Mote, a former Mayor and Leader of Harrow Council, and at the time, the serving Greater London Council (GLC) representative for Harrow East.

Cllr Bond polled 1,189 votes to the 846 cast for the Conservative Mr Mote with the Social Democrats (SDP) in third place with 499 votes and Labour trailing in fourth position with 341 votes. The turnout on a warm October day was 37.58 per cent.

Cllr Bond’s election triumph was a case of third time lucky having first contested the Pinner seat at another by-election just six weeks after Margaret Thatcher’s government swept to power in 1979. The suggestion that an Independent might one day win in such a safe seat for the Conservatives was given credibility, when at the council elections of 1982, James Bond polled 1,246 votes and finished only 437 votes behind the three elected Tory councillors, who until this time had enjoyed the luxury of majorities at previous elections of more than 2,000 votes over other candidates.

The electoral success of thirty years ago this month increased the non-party political representation on Harrow Council to five members with Cllr Bond joining the three Independent Ratepayers’ councillors serving in Roxeth and another who represented Headstone South.

Cllr Bond was supported by many people in his endeavours to represent them in local government, but his main supporter was his son, James, the current Cllr Bond, who as an Independent was re-elected in Headstone North at the recent May elections. He says, “My dad initiated my interest in the workings of the council and in serving the community with all that this entails so I took on many roles to support him, including election agent, press officer, and membership secretary of the Pinner Ward Ratepayers’ Association, the organisation formed to back Independent candidates in local elections. It really was a family run business.”

In fact whilst many serving and former councillors can say that their family members have also been elected to councils, the Bond family can boast three members across two generations! Graham Bond, the brother and uncle of the two Cllr James Bonds, was first elected to Herne Bay Urban District Council in 1947 and at the time, aged 25, was the youngest ever councillor to serve on that local authority. In later life he also served as a member of Hailsham Town Council.

20141002_james_bondsThe current serving Cllr James Bond is rightfully proud of his family’s service to the community. He says, “The 80s, which was a decade often mocked for its association with yuppies and mobile phones the size of a house brick, were the happiest years of my life. My dad was, and still is, my greatest inspiration and the reason I have devoted much of my life to follow in his footsteps. I salute my dad on the 30th anniversary of his election to Harrow Council.”

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