Many voters view independent candidates as being completely free of any outside influences or agendas, whereas those standing under a political banner are seen as slaves to a political ideology.
Yes, there are some candidates in these elections who are standing entirely on national policies and on their political beliefs, and they have failed to put forward any answers to real local issues.
But most candidates – independent or with party affiliation – are local people, who may have differing views on the best way of dealing with local issues, but fundamentally they all want what is best for our town.
I think I have demonstrated time and time again that I put the town and its residents before my party affiliation – in particular, with my criticism of the Police and Crime Commissioner (also a Conservative). I have stood up for what I believe is right for our town, even though it has put me on a collision course with a member of the party to which I also belong, and with others who have thought this ‘blue on blue’ conflict should have been kept behind closed doors.
I have vocally expressed my frustration with Parliament over the handling of Brexit. I have not allowed the fact we have a Conservative Government to hold me back from criticising their handling of this process.
I never have been and never will be a party stooge, but at the same time I do hold conservative values and feel that it would be dishonest to stand as anything other than a Conservative candidate.
But I will never put party before our town and you, the people who I hope will vote for me on 2nd May.
I would not try and claim to be an independent-kind-of-Conservative, but I certainly have a mind of my own and will not be swayed by my political affiliation when I feel it conflicts with what is right for Leighton Buzzard.