MEET THE CANDIDATES: Reg Kemp (Independent)
REG Kemp stands as an independent candidate in March East Ward.
YES, its election time again – the time when your letterbox gets more exercise than normal even if you haven’t seen or heard sight or sound of election representative since the last District Council elections four years ago!
Anyway, what have I got to offer you might ask – how can independent make a difference? Well the fact that we’re independent doesn’t mean that we’re alone – its remarkable that there are over 2000 elected Independent Councillors representing the views of their local communities in England and Wales at this very minute. Many of them are signatories to the Bell Principles, a code of conduct put in place with help of The Independent Network (www.independentnetwork.org.uk) by Martin Bell OBE, the ex-BBC Correspondent who famously won election to Parliament as an Independent campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.
The main Bell principles are:
• To abide wholeheartedly with the seven principles of public life set out by Lord Nolan in 1995, i.e. selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
• Be Free from the control of any political party or pressure group
• Resists abuses of power and patronage and promote democracy
- 1 Take a look inside this £600,000 converted barn hidden in the Fens
- 2 Teenager, 19, on County Drug Lines heroin and crack cocaine charge
- 3 Plumbing ringleader who ‘traded under multiple names’ jailed
- 4 Dealer flees on foot leaving drugs, cash and his bike behind
- 5 Motorists face extra time on journeys due to A141 closure
- 6 Real living wage given to frontline care home workers
- 7 Supermarkets issue urgent product recall after salmonella found in products
- 8 Cup winners, bumper crowds and an ex-England star amongst Fenmen success
- 9 Former Wisbech mayor Aigars Balsevics charged with rape
- 10 'Most stunning' The Chase contestant takes on fresh challenge
I have no hesitation in subscribing to these principles – that’s why I’m asking you to vote for me on Thursday 5th May, because I’m the ONLY District Council candidate in the March East Ward who can genuinely commit to the Bell Principles.
We are facing tough times in Fenland and I don’t believe that our current one party rule with its entrenched party political obligations, its internal feuding and back stabbing, its hierarchy and its ‘we know better than you’ attitude is capable of anything other than cut and slash. I know we all have to make sacrifices but it seems to me the community are being asked to tighten their belts a lot home than our elected representatives.
“I will therefore campaign for a 10% reduction in Councillors’ allowance and an end to the expensive and undemocratic Leader and Cabinet system. I also think it is wrong for councillors to draw allowances from both the County Council and District Council.
“I will also call for a thorough review of all front-line services provided by FDC, particularly the costly one-stop shops and tourist info, to see if the community can be better served by integrating these with the threatened library services. I will also campaign for local services such as public toilets and play areas to come under the control of town councils rather than FDC.
“I will oppose any suggestion of full mergers with adjoining District Councils – we need smaller local government not larger and in many any cases the needs of Fenland are as different as chalk and cheese to those of East Cambs and Huntingdonshire, both of whom look of Cambridge for their prosperity and jobs.
“Crime prevention has got to the radically improved; I will campaign for the return of Police Neighbourhood Panels and the extension of CCTV in known crime hotspots such as Fenland Walk and the Riverside. I will oppose any reduction any reduction in front-line policing in March. I support the proposal to abolish unelected Police Authorities and replace them with directly selected Police Commissioners.
“I will oppose any suggestion of chagrining for our public car park- trading in March for most of our local businesses is difficult enough – they need more support not less. I will also campaign for more shops in the town centre rather than on the fringes of the town.
“I will continue to urge the council to look at ways of providing a town bus service without the need to pay large subsidies from the taxpayer to commercial bus operators. Any Subsidies available should go to fund community transport schemes.”
Finally, could I say that Party Politics should not intrude on local government. The Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition have enough bloomers already and Labour got us into the financial mess we’re in after years financial irresponsibility. Please think carefully about what you want from your local councillors and make sure they’re not just names on a ballot paper. But whatever you do, Please use your vote – it is your democratic right. One only has to look at places like the Middle East and part of Africa to see what happens to people who don’t have the right!