May 3, 2023 8.00 am This story is over 8 months old

Lincolnshire independents make push for election success

Independents say it gives them freedom from national parties

By Local Democracy Reporter

The number of Independent candidates running for election across Lincolnshire has grown by nearly 50 per cent since 2019.

A total of 181 hopeful candidates across the county have chosen not to run under a national political party in this year’s local elections – an increase of around 46% since the last time most of these seats were contested.

It’s a trend that has been surging through district councils over the last ten years and leaders believe it is the best way forward to avoid residents being “disillusioned” by the actions of central Government.

No Lincolnshire council is currently run by any Independent group, but with growing support and a strong showing, many are hoping this might change come May 5.

South Kesteven, North Kesteven and Boston Borough are seemingly paving the way for this alternative approach, with each district having upwards of 30 Independent candidates this year.

Councillor Marianne Overton, Leader of the NK Independents, told The Lincolnite that Independent councillors have the ability to focus on exactly what residents in their ward need as government services continue to be “hollowed out”.

“We have increasing numbers of local people who are part of the communities prepared to stand up for their constituents,” she said.

“If elected, we would not shamelessly carry out national party policies, but instead focus on local people and what they want and need.”

The councillor, who represents the Cliff Villages ward, added: “We’ve already seen some significant improvements in North Kesteven but there is a huge amount more to do.”

Spalding St Paul’s Councillor Robert Gibson, Leader of South Holland Independents, said: “If you want to be in politics or want to work on the district council, you might not want to do it under a party rosette and be told what to do.”

He went on to say that they “wouldn’t need to sing the same song” of MPs in Westminster if they disagreed with certain policies.

Residents will have their chance to elect who they want to represent them on Thursday, May 4 when all the district councils along with North and North East Lincolnshire hold a vote.

Lincolnshire County Council will not be taking part this year, with its next election due in 2025.

There are a number of crucial issues at the forefront of people’s minds this year, including the ongoing cost of living crisis, housing and hospital waiting times.

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