Independent councillor calls for more Independent Councillors

[At her manifesto launch] Mrs Wright called for more councillors of other political parties to stand at this May’s town and district council elections, adding: “We have a Conservative crime commissioner, a Conservative MP and every council locally is Conservative.”

“The county council…tends to be, fairly progressive, but the district council is…a dinosaur. It has always had a large Conservative majority…getting things through is quite difficult because they block vote, and that can’t be good for democracy.

“People are tired of the old political parties, and May 7 has to be about getting a better balance on EDDC, and [a greater number of] other councillors, especially independents, because they don’t have to toe a party line and can vote with their consciences.”

9 thoughts on “Independent councillor calls for more Independent Councillors

  1. Knowing Eileen as I do, who is so independently minded, sometimes even her own Liberal companions find it hard to keep up with her, but she has been banging her head against those other members of our council who perhaps have objections with the likes of losing the Davy Court Care Home, but except it’s closure to easily, as it is purely down to DCC Conservative policy.

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  2. Liberal Democrats are just that, liberal & democratic. We don’t toe a party line & neither do we have a Whip. We stand for fairness, equality & justice. Independents form a group.

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    • If you all do your own thing all the time why are you in a party and not Independents?

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    • Obviously while independence of thought and action is essential to the integrity of public representatives, the existence of a group gives the opportunity for councillors to act together for reasons of mutual support and of standing firm over matters of principal. Can you tell us Eileen why the Liberal Democrat group didn’t stand together to force openness and clarity over what seemed to be the financial deceptions practiced through the last local and district campaign and subsequent events? I can remember two councillors at Exmouth Town Council striving very hard initially to get to the bottom of one matter, and the group voting with the Independent to mandate an enquiry. That ended up as a comical fig leaf. I can also remember one Conservative Councillor insulting your party and members of the public as part of an attempt to distract from the real issues in that case, yet she also got off scot free. I understand also that a very senior EDDC officer came over to act as town clerk at one subsequent meeting where he apparently ruled that a question which might have provided some clarity should not be answered and also advised that some allegedly dubious minutes should be accepted. Is this true? I can understand why the Conservatives would have wanted these matters swept under the carpet but I cannot understand why your party did not pursue collectively the initial efforts to get to the truth.

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  3. I do agree, we need more independent councillors and MPs. The hung Parliament we are very likely to have, you can voice what you feel your voters would most benefit from, not necessarily what the main parties and the whips would like. We would all be better off in Exmouth had our council, been more independently minded, it would stop councilors acting like children from different schools. Claire Wright would be a breath of fresh air, not unlike Barbara Castle who was ‘a rebel’, but would stick her neck out, as when the Ford Motor girls fought for equal pay. The problem any new independent MP will have to face, will be all other MPs trying to belittle you at every opportunity, giving you as much grief and anguish as possible, not unlike what happens at Sidmouth EDDC Meetings. YOU NEED TO BE VERY STRONG IN TAKING SO MUCH …..

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  4. Please don’t give the impression that every candidate who stands on a party political ticket is not free to vote according to their conscience. I am a member of the old Liberal Party and I am the only Liberal Party Councillor in Devon! The Liberal Party does not operate a party whip system and I am always free to vote as I wish…I do not toe any party line but I stand as a Liberal because of my political beliefs, I believe that people have a right to know where I stand on the political spectrum!

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    • Well done Jenny. I am sure our own Eileen Wragg feels the same, but although we have some very good Conservative Councilors, they are so inhibited by the hard headed Conservative bosses at EDDC. They were not able to keep to their own election promises. Although at times some showing reservations and not always happy going against something contentious. The cost of perhaps an appeal going against a local council decision could prove extremely expensive. Often they would find it better to take the easy way out, and follow EDDC policies like sheep.
      For some years our Council had been campaigning for a Jurassic Heritage and visitor centre, claiming Exmouth as the starting point of the Jurassic coast line. Since then Seaton has with EDDCs help won this coveted prize, and we are told will reap the benefit of 600,000 visitors. Our Conservative Council Voted instead for a Premier Inn.

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