Independents Putting People First

torbay independants

A group of Independent Candidates have come together to fight the Torbay Council elections on May 2nd and they include people from across the bay and political parties as well as people with no former political allegiance.

The group believes that for far too long, the main intention of the leading groups on Torbay Council has been to hold on to power rather than listen to and act upon the hopes and aspirations of the communities they claim to represent.

Currently there are 16 declared candidates with more expected to declare in the coming few days.

Putting People First

‘As someone with a long record of supporting our communities,’ Darren Cowell, said, ‘I’ve come to the conclusion that it is time for councillors to put the community back into the heart of Torbay Council. Party politics has not served Torbay well so I am delighted to work with a team of Independents from across Torbay, putting people before politics.’

Nicole Amil added, ‘I am a local woman fighting for local people. I was deeply unhappy that as part of a political group I had to ‘put the party first’ but as an Independent I will be able to ‘put residents first and foremost.’”

‘Aspirations in our Bay have suffered for too long from short sighted and internal bickering amongst the main political parties,’ says Paul Raybould adding ‘It’s time for a community-focused Council for all ages and abilities to share and enjoy.’

Leaving the squabbling behind

Nationally and locally it looks as though more and more people are becoming disillusioned with the political system and with our main parties, fighting amongst themselves rather than getting to grips with issues that concern us all, from affordable housing to education. Locally, the Independents say it’s time to get beyond all that party squabbling and to start to pay attention to what people want – and what communities need.

‘I was elected by the people to represent them but, being in a political party in its present format, I was made to put the party before the people who elected me,’ says councillor Robert Excell. ‘Being an Independent enables me to put the people first.’

Robert Loxton, who is well know in Sporting circles around the Bay said, “I have backed many local communities schemes over the years, but politics has always got in the way, as an Independent I can put people before politics and support the residents of Torbay in working together to address our considerable problems.”

Tradition of Independents

In a joint statement Brixham’s three Independent Councillors, Vic Ellery, Mike Morey and Jackie Stockman said, “We have been elected as Independent Councillors and Brixham has a proud record of Independents. If re-elected in May we will continue to act in the best interests of Brixham and the wider Bay.”

They added, “With the Mayoral system coming to its conclusion there is a real opportunity for a positive change for Torbay and as Independents are not governed by Party Politics we can come to decisions based on the evidence and in the best interests of our Communities.”

Cecilia Brown who also plans to stand in Brixham said, “Torbay faces incredible challenges and I am up for those challenges to improve the bay.”

Long standing Ellacombe councillor, Cindy Stock has announced she will be standing with local businesswoman Steffi Rox. Cindy said, “I have always put the local residents first, but have been frustrated in the past by Party politics. If re-elected along with Steffi, we can look at issues based upon evidence and what is in the best interests of the people, rather than political gain.”

The group will not be having a joint manifesto as they want to illustrate that they are a collective of Independents that want to work with all councillors for the benefit of the Bay,

In a statement they said, “As Independents we will be free to decide how we vote on an issue by issue basis, We all recognise that the economic prosperity of Torbay has to be a priority, not least investment in our town centres and well paid jobs.

“The Neighbourhood Plans that will be decided on the same day in May will form a cornerstone of our thinking as these plans are at the heart of community thinking and aspirations.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about standing as an Independent can contact or call 07808 765486 or 07811 965194

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!