Are Independents powerless?

Are Independents powerless? 

A recent letter to Castle voters from one of the parties suggested that, as an Independent,
I can have no influence on local issues. Here is what local residents say to that:
I believe you DO have an influence and that the local parties need someone to stand up to the
party line every so often. It strikes me that the party line is usually for the benefit of the party
and not for local residents.

I believe political parties have too much influence in local government. In Cambridge we need more
members of the council who speak their own minds, and whose extensive experience of local
government and the vagaries of planning and planners allows them to see through and round
smokescreens to the real issues. We are lucky to have you as councillor, and I very much hope you will
be re-elected.

Being free from the strait jacket of party politics gives you a greater opportunity to think
about, and respond, to a wide range of issues on behalf of those who elect you.
Independents are free from the whip of the main parties, who consider they have some
kind of strength in numbers. Sadly this approach can make them introverted, looking for
party interests first, rather than being open to the electorate.
Good luck with your campaign. You can be confident that you’re admired for your
openness, integrity and willingness to be of service all those in Castle.
You are not constrained by party lines, being free to join with other councillors in supporting the
proposals you do agree with.

When I glanced through the letter in question I just laughed – they must be
really worried!

And this is what I say: The political parties know that I am in touch with local opinion on a
number of key issues. They also know that when I speak, I speak for those same people. I
urge voters to ignore the siren voices of the political parties and to vote for someone they
believe will work for them.

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