Yesterday was a really exciting day in local politics in East Devon.
A meeting in Axminster saw the emergence of the East Devon Alliance from campaign group to political force. The history of the group can be read on their new all-singing, all-dancing website, but essentially:
The East Devon Alliance was constituted in April 2013, after many people from communities across East Devon began to unite with shared stories of very unhappy dealings with their local authorities. This could be at town or parish level, or more often with the powerful East Devon District Council itself, which sets the democratic tone for the entire area.
To an audience of press and supporters, chairman Paul Arnott welcomed everyone and outlined what had brought the East Devon Alliance to this exciting meeting. His speech drew on such literary luminaries as Shakespeare, Sophocles and Russel Brand (yes really). The essence of his speech (which can be read in full on Claire Wright’s blog at http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/east_devon_alliance_makes_political_history_…_letting_a_breath_of_fresh_a) was that if you have concerns about what is happening in your area, now is the time to stand up and be counted. The East Devon Alliance will support you through the process and offer practical support once you are elected.
Independents plough a lonely furrow
EDA leader, Cllr Ben Ingham, followed Paul Arnott with a speech explaining what a lonely experience standing for election as an Independent can be without the back up of a party machine and advice of existing councillors. He listed the laudable aims that Independents who came under the umbrella of the EDA would need to espouse to under the headings of Value, Development, Standards, Economy, Local services and Environment. Full details of these aims can be read on the East Devon Alliance website (http://www.eastdevonalliance.org.uk/aims/).
Essentially, if you are feeling that now is the time for You to represent your area, the EDA will be there, with its wealth of political experience, to help you.
If you want to chat about the implications of standing as an Independent in East Devon, please get in touch with the EDA or with me. I’d be delighted to have informal discussions about the highs and lows, the frustrations and the triumphs.
It isn’t a full-time job. You can fit your council work in alongside your family and work commitments … and you will become adept at juggling!