A couple of weeks back I was approached by Phil Ingall (Chellaston Ward) to see if I was interested in joining a group of independent people, a sort of ‘party’, with the aim of getting more councillors into office and changing the face of decision making in Derby.
I went to an initial meeting and the prospects were good. As an inexperienced campaigner, having someone with Phil’s experience to bounce ideas off and learn from would be a massive benefit to me. There are many contacts to be made and ways to campaign with a very small budget. There was the offer of an experienced election agent and campaign manager.
Phil and I also share the same philosophy on campaigning with regards being positive. No slandering the other candidates – that’s what the ‘main parties’ do. Self promotion is the name of the game – although this comes easier to some than others.
The concept of joining a ‘party’ does not sit easy with me. I have ermmed and arrghed about this many times over the last two years, particularly when people advise me that joining a party is the only way to get into the council chamber. In all honesty, I contemplated it but I just couldn’t do that. Why would I join a party that ‘whips’ councillors into voting in a specific way? Why would I join a party who I got many more votes than whilst running as an independent candidate? Why would I go back on a pledge I made to the people of Oakwood two years ago when I decided to stand as a candidate – free of party politics and putting the needs of Oakwood residents first?
So here we are, Phil and I, about to embark on a new adventure in the world of politics and campaigning. Not as an independent party, but as a couple of independent people, with some shared values, supporting one another in our efforts to improve the way decisions are being made on behalf of our ward residents.
If you are interested at all in what it would take to stand as an independent candidate in your ward… please get in touch.