Joanna Parry: We can achieve more as residents together, independent from national party politics

In 2013 a by-election in Newport gave me the chance to stand for election for Uttlesford District Council. I stood as an Independent against the three main political parties and was successful in taking the seat previously held by the Liberal Democrats. At the time my primary aim was to be able to attend meetings held by the Local Plan Working Group, to which members of the public are barred, but any District Councillor can attend.

Once I began attending full Council meetings, I quickly became appalled at the way in which Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors preferred to take cheap political shots at each other instead of working together as a Council for the benefit of the District. Month after month I have seen that point scoring is clearly of far more importance to them than local residents!

This situation can only be improved by the election of non-political members to the Council. And this is therefore the main reason I am joining the Residents-for-Uttlesford campaign in a bid to take control of UDC in 2015 – it can only be of benefit to the residents of the District.