“How Morecambe’s independents set a trend for local elections”

Today Morcambe Bay, tomorrow East Devon – just vote Independent today!

“… The MBI (Morcambe Bay Independents) was formed in 1987 after a group of local residents were ignored by the town’s mainly Tory councillors when they asked to discuss a way forward for the resort following its steady decline since the 1970s.

After a few teething problems, the group went on to take control of Lancaster city council in 1995. They ran the council with a cabinet made up of MBIs, Conservatives, Greens and Liberal Democrats. Labour refused to take their cabinet seats.

New sea defences were built, the books were balanced and art installations were approved, including the Eric Morecambe statue. However, the party took a big hit in 2015 and lost control of the council.

The MBI leader, Geoff Knight, said: “Unfortunately our fortunes depend heavily on whether national or regional elections are taking place on the same day – as local elections are often overshadowed, severely affecting the independent vote. As a consequence we were reduced to two councillors in 2015.”

This time it has fielded 29 candidates in the Lancaster council election and another 25 for Morecambe town council. Its aim is to loosen the grip of the current Labour administration. Labour leads with 31 seats against an opposition of 29 councillors, made up of 17 Conservatives, eight Greens, two MBIs and two non-aligned independents.

A similar story is unfolding across the country, from Lincolnshire to Cheshire East, where unprecedented numbers of independent candidates are standing.

“Nationally, Morecambe Bay Independents are viewed as a model of how you can get into the council and make things happen. You get a lot more influence on the council,” Knight said.

“People have always belonged to a party – it’s very tribal. But a lot of time is taken up talking about issues which have nothing to do with Morecambe – it’s party politics. We have already shown what can be achieved when minority parties rule. During the four-year period we had control of the council, an awful lot was done. Politics was kept off the agenda.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/02/sea-change-how-morecambes-independents-set-a-trend-for-local-elections?

Change REALLY could come down to a few deciding votes – please vote

Today is a BIG day for East Devon.  A handful if votes could mean the difference between “same old” and a new way of doing things – making local decisions with and for local people with NO party political interference!

It’s the day that WE get to decide just how our district will be run for the next four years.

If you want “same old” then vote Tory.  But, remember, something must be drastically wrong if the Conservative Leader at EDDC has resigned from the party!

Tory – pretty much pale, male, stale, no interest in protecting our community hospitals or our local NHS, presiding (even as governors) over local schools begging parents for financial help to survive , concreting over vast swathes of beautiful countryside to provide outrageously expensive houses (often for more retired people), or presiding over developers building expensive ticky-tacky boxes that our young people cannot afford, denying or avoiding tackling the climate change emergency.  If that’s what you feel comfortable with, vote for them.

BUT

If that ISN’T what you want – vote Independent.  Livlier people, MUCH more active in their communities, fighting for us 24/7,  living here 24/7 (because they aren’t trying to be in two places at once), refusing to accept “same old” when it so obviously isn’t working, not being anti-development, but only for development at the right price in the right place and with developers being expected to provide truly affordable housing from their vast profits, acknowledging that climate change is already affecting our coastal and rural communities and needs urgent action.

Independents have been already been representing some local communities for the last 4 years or more, but never as a majority.  They have seen at first hand the dubious decisions, the secret meetings,  the blind adherence to national Tory policies (what few there are these days) that just do not fit with local needs that permeates the ruling party.  They know what needs to be done to correct this and they are prepared to do it, along with new independent colleagues who share the same aims.

To bring in a new way of doing things needs a new way of voting. 

Out with the parties, in with the people whose ONLY driver is doing what’s best for their communities. 

Vote Independent – people before parties.