Independents and Frodsham Town Council (FTC)
The Town Council between 2007-2011 was dominated by the Labour Party and Labour Party sympathisers. Lynn and Andrew were the only Conservatives on the Council, and found themselves marginalised and not involved in much of the decision making. Who was to become the next Mayor of Frodsham was seemingly decided by a cosy cabal, behind closed doors. Common sense proposals they put forward were often ignored, such as for FTC to help with winter gritting.
With this bitter experience, we campaigned in 2011 to reduce the impact of party politics on the Town Council. We wanted a Town Council where party politics played little or no part in what occurred. We committed ourselves to work with whoever was elected - and, even though we are Conservatives, not to work as a political party on FTC. We have been as good as our word, and will continue to operate in that way.
We were delighted that the electorate in 2011 agreed with us. The vast majority of councillors elected were independents. Three of us, out of the 16 members, were elected as Conservatives.
Being honest with the electorate
As committed Conservatives, we think it is important to tell you that we are Conservatives when we stand for election, so that if you vote for us, you know what you'll be getting.
We're sensible, middle of the road people who believe in hard work and people being able to benefit from their efforts, so they can look after themselves and their families. We are committed to helping people who need assistance, giving them a 'help up' but not encouraging a life consigned to 'hand-outs'. We want to encourage people and communities to be more resilient and enable them to do more things they want to do with support, but not control, from government. We want to keep taxes as low as they reasonably can be kept, so that you keep more of the money you've earned. We believe in personal freedom coupled with personal responsibility.
Flying false colours?
There has been a trend in recent years for members of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties to stand for election to the Town Council as so-called 'independents.' The ballot paper may say 'independent' or simply be blank when it comes to describing their political party - however, when they take office and sign their declarations of interest, they then declare their political party affiliations. We think that this approach is dishonest.
Did you know former Labour Councillor Kyle McGregor stood for two elections being held on the same day in 2011? In the election to CWaC, he declared that he was a member of the Labour Party - however, in the election to FTC, he didn't mention his Labour affiliation.
Former Liberal Democrat Councillor Geoff Bath declared in his declarations of interest to FTC in 2007-11 that he was a member of the Liberal Democrat party - however, when he stood for election at a by-election in August 2011 for Frodsham South, he failed to mention he was a Liberal Democrat.
These are just 2 examples - we believe we've seen at least one other person do this too - and this is before we wonder just how independent some of the other FTC Cllrs are too.
We'll always tell you that we are Conservatives, and then act independently on FTC. We think that this is the honest way of standing. That is far better than claiming to be independent when you are actually a member of a political party.