A correspondent writes:
We could not have views more diametrically opposed than Owl’s and Paul S’s on the subject of the political affiliation of long-distance EDDC councillor Susie Bond. I am firmly in the Owl camp.
Ms Bond was elected around the time of the Graham Brown scandal, at a time when calling yourself a Tory would have been a vote loser. It made sense to be an independent. Especially as she was identifying strongly with her ward and its appalling flooding problems.
However, as time went on, it was obvious that Ms Bond was closer in political terms to Tories than other Independents. This is fair enough – independents are on a spectrum just as party councillors are. She made it quite clear that she did not feel close to other independent councillors (particularly East Devon Alliance) – always being careful to distance herself from them when it was needed – again, fair enough. But indicative of her lack of identification with other independents.
After the rout of Tories in the last election however, she joined the caucus around Ben Ingham. Yes, other independents did too, but most of them saw the (blue) light quite quickly and abandoned his cabinet and sought to distance themselves from him – I do not recall Ms Bond doing this or criticising his increasing identification with Tories (of which he is one again after being Independent then East Devon Alliance (Leader) , then Independent again).
Note, too, that, as she says, she did not vote for Andrew Moulding (Con) bit DID vote for another Conservative councillor, not an Independent.
As for councillors not living in their constituency – true the pandemic made it impossible to hold a by-election for some of the time but one has to say that not living in the ward means she has had no ear to the ground in what goes on there – it was perhaps disingenuous to say nothing about her move until quite recently, and travelling from Berkshire for one physical meeting where she supported Tories.
I think Ms Bond did right by her community on many hyper-local issues -but on non-local issues she showed a different side.