IT HAS occurred to me in the last few weeks that there will be more Independent candidates than ever in the May 4 council elections, all with their own agendas right across the political spectrum.

Long-serving councillors like Fred Johnson and Anthony Ernest have parted company with their former groups and some candidates, like myself, owe no allegiance to any party but are prepared to work with any or all parties for the benefit of the people, the town and the Vale.

Voters will therefore need to read the campaign literature carefully, and decide whether to vote for the party or the person.

In my opinion, there is far too much party politics in local government which can lead to argumentative opposition along party lines only, stifling councillors’ obligation to put their constituents first.

The ultimate decision, as ever, lies with the voting public. Whether you are a first-time voter or one who has never missed the opportunity to vote yet - or one who doesn’t bother because “they never listen to us anyway” - it is important that you get out and vote. This is about your community.

“The only wasted vote is the one that isn’t cast.”

Andy Griffiths

Independent candidate

Court ward