A few days ago I had the privilege of meeting Gary Jones who is standing as an Independent Councillor in Brighton and Hove in Hollingdean and Fiveways which is where I am based. Gary is a person I have known for many years because he was working in Sussex Police when I had become a member of the Sussex Independent Advisory Group (S-IAG). His details for the election can be obtained from here on this website which is covered in a group of “Friends of Brighton & Hove” which includes 8 people. He opens up the piece with the text below that I have provided. I have also had the privilege of knowing another Independent Councillor in Brighton a few years ago and she is some one I respect. Her name is Bridget Fishleigh and this item from the Brighton and Hove News entitled Brighton and Hove Independents to field nine candidates in local elections includes a focus on Bridget and some other Councillors. A couple of years ago I spotted this piece from the BBC which focused on the Surrey Council and then finally but in some respect aspect for Councillors is my friend Marianne Overton who is an Independent member of the Lincolnshire Council. I had the privilege to meet Marianne back in 2012 when I was planning to stand as the Independent Police and Crime Commissioner in Sussex. Marianne and her colleagues are covered in this website. Although I was not successful I did get 39,000 votes and many people supported me. Several other Independents did get elected back in 2012. I hope that many of the Independents will get elected in our Councils this year. Along with Councillors and PCCs there are some genuine Independent MPs including Martin Bell who was an Independent MP for Tatton in the North West from 1997 to 2001. I had the opportunity to meet him during the visit to Marianne Overton when I was preparing to become an Independent PCC. Along with Martin I have a good friend who lives in the Littlehampton who stood as the Independent MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton in 2017 and indeed I helped promote him in his area. He has a piece in this website and he also published this in Facebook.
“No one is aiming here for a government of independents. But even a small group of independents in the House of Commons would be a force for honest politics. The time is right for them. Their votes would be free votes: whipping independents is like herding cats, which is why no one ever tries. The non-party MPs would be accountable only to the people. They would help to restore public trust in public life. They might even know where their homes were.” – Martin Bell OBE
So here is the text for Gary Jones who is electing this year in Brighton
Standing in: Hollingdean and Fiveways
Profession: Health and Safety Officer
I am delighted to be standing as an Independent Councillor Candidate for Friends of Brighton and Hove in the Ward of Hollingdean and Fiveways. I am born and bred in Hollingdean, went to school in Hollingdean and played for the Hollingbury Hawks as a child and coached the Hollingbury Hawks as an adult.
I am a family man with a Trade Union background.
Over the years I have seen many changes to Hollingdean and to Brighton and Hove, most of them not beneficial to the people who live and work here or who visit.
Parking charges and parking permits are now among the highest in the country and driving tourism and trade away, which is also a disaster for our reputation as a prime seaside resort. Contractor permits are causing sole traders to move out of the city at up to £1,400 each for a van, more than ten times the council cost of a normal car permit.
Successive administrations have squabbled like children while Brighton and Hove becomes ever more neglected with its heritage falling down, its community areas and the most basic services such as rubbish collection, public toilets, pothole repairs, graffiti removal and street weeding not functioning as they should.
It has become clear to me that the party political system of council management has failed and is now broken.
I firmly believe that a new model of Independents who live in and care for their wards should stand for election to restore our city to what it once was, putting people and communities first and getting back to the basics in running the services that people expect, rely on and pay for.
I am committed to the priorities of Friends of Brighton and Hove that put serving citizens first and don’t ignore their needs in favour of wasteful vanity projects which result in budget cuts for the essentials.
If you are kind enough to elect me, I promise a new review and consultation process for parking permits in Hollingdean as the previous consultation was badly flawed. I also want to see a city-wide review of parking permit charges and possible capping to ensure fairness across the board.