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Former MPs urge Norfolk to vote independent in county council elections

13:45 10 April 2013

Former MPs Martin Bell and Ian Gibson. The pair are urging people to vote for independent candidates in next month

Former MPs Martin Bell and Ian Gibson. The pair are urging people to vote for independent candidates in next month's Norfolk County Council elections. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

Two former MPs have urged voters to turn their backs on the main political parties at next month’s Norfolk County Council elections.

Former BBC war correspondent Martin Bell, who spent a term as an independent MP for Tatton and former Norwich North Labour MP Ian Gibson said it was time for independents to challenge the party system.

The pair made their comments at a meeting organised by the Green Party, which was attended by a number of candidates standing as independents in the county council elections.

Mr Bell, who started his career with the BBC in Norwich, said: “My only pitch is to encourage people to go out and vote and to think positively about voting independent to ensure the party system no longer has its arthritic grip on the windpipe of local government.

“It was never my ambition to be an MP, but I found Parliament to be more shocking than any war zone. What shocked me was the extent of the control by the whips and MPs voting for measures they did not believe in. “Of MPs, more and more come from the political classes and have seldom had a proper job. Mine was a bit weird in that I was getting shot at a lot, but at least it was a proper job.”

The Conservatives currently have a majority of 34 at County Hall and Mr Bell said having one party with such control was not good for the people or for the party.

He said: “I do believe we have an opportunity on May 2 to break the mould and independents are very well placed to do that as they are only answerable to their consciences and to their electorate.”

Dr Gibson referred to “grey-faced people” at County Hall and said it was time for people to challenge the established parties.

He said: “We need people to stand up. I wish there was an independent standing in every seat, because the public is groaning under the weight of this coalition and it is going to get worse.

“We need a group of people who will stand up to those grey-faced people at County Hall. Let’s replace them and get people in who have ambition.”

37 comments

  • My experience is that Independents are usually members of a political party.I have known one Independent who was a member of 2.In the past most Independents were Conservatives,latterly the odd LibDem in disguise too and now a few Greens seemingly.One thing I would ask.Every Independent candidate should disclose their membership of a political party.The public has a right to know if they are voting for a sheep or a lamb.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Believe me everyone the Independents I know, and you have probably guessed by now I know them rather well, are all Independents. One tried to gain my blessing but then said he would, if he won, support Borratt. Would imagine he is still picking those fleas out of his ears even now. People like Mike Knights, Stephen Heard and Andy Gardiner have never had any political allegiance. They, like so many others are doing it pro bono publico. They care passionately about their local areas and the people. Andy of course has to put up with two dodgy Independents in Wymondham but they are about as genuine as a six bob note. One of them is a Tory activist for heaven's sake so Sweet Cheeks dont make the mistake of thinking that he will be punished. They asked him to stand. Thanksyou Martin and Ian. As expected your decency and independent spirits shine through as ever.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • I suspect Gibson's daughter is in need of an extension to her paid for taxpayers house, so has asked daddy to get back into politics so that he can put his nose in the expenses trough again..... Don't trust any of them... how soon we forget

    Report this comment

    BOBBY

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • Why do we listen to all these national politians? This is our County and we can take a decision about the many hardworking councillors who look after our interests on a daily basis. Forget the colour and look which councillors work hard for your community whether they are Conservatives, Labour, UKIP, Green or Lib Dem. We are talking local issues and local people ae representing us.

    Report this comment

    namaste

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • What's wrong with having a Conservative majority in Norfolk? Look at the jobs the new incinerator will generate, that's all thanks to the Conservatives.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • Electra im well aware of the rules and most associations have adopted CCHQ's rules, but i do agree its South Norfolk we are talking about who should of removed a certain person but they were to weak

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Friday, April 12, 2013

  • The committee allocation system for Councillors is proportionate to their number;Independents would have to form a group to stand any chance of influencing policy.Maeningful debate is dead at County Hall, and at District level too.

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    bedoomed

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • A vote for UKIP is a vote for an independent candidate as UKIP do not believe in the whipping system on local councils.

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    The man on the Clapham Omnibus

    Saturday, April 13, 2013

  • Party politics does not represent the people. Common sense is what is required. Vote independent, it could be more than just a protest vote if enough of us do it! If you are in Necton & Launditch, check out; http:nectonlaunditch.weebly.com

    Report this comment

    Norfolk-Tours

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Oh Thicky - how funny you are, what comical mileage you are giving us all - you should work for Ms Hannam as you continue to desperately spin the unspinnable. How self-assured and arrogant you were when you told us all that black was white yet no-one was remotely convinced. Mr Bellingham has been in the game too long to pay heed to your miserable platitudes and he made his position abundantly clear when Cllr Reed stuck his head over the parapet and started throwing wild accusations around. Let's face it Th.ickens - you may think you're Rumpole but you're coming across as Ronald McDonald. My hearty thanks.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Poor old Th.ickens. Despite writing "Poor old Bellingham never saw it coming. Fear not though I have made sure that he has been wised up and [...] he will keep well away now" and "The important thing is that Bellingham is on notice now and will give this load of leftie crack pots a wide berth." it appears that Mr Bellingham made it to the Inquiry as he promised to do. Plus you also made an arch comment about "Bellingham has gone quiet. Has he gone on a long holiday? Is he lost in Westminster? Has he been on an extended shopping trip?" too. What was that about own goals, custard pies, drivel, and all the other things you were ranting on about? You must be feeling pretty humiliated today, eh? In your own words; "You never saw it coming".

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Henry this morning was inspirational he knows his electorate and stands with them as he always has! Di.ckens can say what he likes but Henry has my vote in the next parliamentary elections. As for the county elections, as an ex conservative, I will vote either independent or UKIP I will not support the self serving, deceitful con members who have put themselves forward for the benefit only of themselves and their business partners!

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Th.ickens - keyboard warrior and nothing more. Was he there? No. Does he think he can bully from afar? Yes. Will it have any effect? None whatsoever....

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • Electra, contact any Conservative office or officer, if a conservative member stands as an independent against a fellow conservative the association should revoke his membership. Its in the rules

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    Sweet cheeks

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • It took till the 25th comment for someone to bring out the tired old saw about Ian and "the expenses" I do wish he had stayed and defended himself against that spurious charge but he had clearly had a basinful of the Labour creeps in Westminster who hated his independent mind. And I am fascinated to know how chairing a meeting in Norwich brings untold political riches. Please let me know and I will sign myself up for a couple of public speaking spots. Never realised how easy it was to make dosh. Or is our Bobby living in the same cloud cuckoo land as Fenscape's best pal, Dickens the Thickens.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • Actually South Norfolk did try and expel someone who wasnt a member of the Tory party from their Association last year. Oopsy daisy! Red faces all round. Caused vast quantities of amusement throughout the entire county.

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    Electra

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • What an unmitigated disaster for own goal scorer Fens.cr.a.p. Another custard pie slams in. Bellingham gave a few half hearted words following a ticking off no doubt from his local party campaigners. Nothing of substance in his speech but a few emotive sentences to keep a few irritating people quiet which they all fell for. He will give nothing more to these left wing anti incinerator activists and could not get away fast enough today after Fens.cr.a.p. and the gang tried to buttonhole him yet again. These people never learn. Leave the man alone. He is not interested in you or your silly leftie incinerator campaign to break to Tory Party. He knows what you are up to now.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • I'm still not sure what sin Gibson committed. He needed a house when in London and let his daughter live in it as well. He later sold it to her I believe, all declared etc. What father wouldn't? BOBBY are you jealous you can't do the same for your family? Anyway look at the wonderful representative we got in his place.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • I shal be voting UKIP for the first time. They are our only chance.

    Report this comment

    Johnny Norfolk

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Come on UKIP. Lets start having your leaflets put through doors in Bradwell, as we dont know who your candidate is nor the thoughts of UKIP. All we have got are the same old, tired, useless, dont want to know, once in, candidates. Bradwell needs a new rep in NCC, so lets hear what the candidate has got to say !.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, April 12, 2013

  • Watson you are talking rubbish yet again, if any Conservative stands as an independent they are thrown out of the the Conservative party. As for Labour members well they are welcomed back to Labour with open arms. Like Ken Livingstone did when he won the London Mayor.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Sorry, just remembered Gibson's sin, disagreed with both Gordon and Tony, hang him.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • PS Joe Mooney better start looking for a new job, Wymondham will be taken by Andy Gardiner who has the backing of the ordinary man in the street he has worked for his community instead of for himself, virtually unknown at County unless you are LibDem, Green or Labours excellent Alexandra Kemp who MUST not be confused with the idiot Cllr Dr Christopher Kemp, soon to be ex conservative election agent.

    Report this comment

    Canary Boy

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Another left wing attempt to split the vote. The other current leftie agenda is over the incinerator which has been hijacked by left wing activists trying to get the Conservatives out. They have even managed to convince Henry Bellingham to support them which he did thinking it was all about waste and incineration. Poor Henry is not as sharp as he used to be it seems and never saw that one coming.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • UKIP please save us, I'm scared of foreigners.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Friday, April 12, 2013

  • The 'split the vote' works both ways, Dickens, left and right!

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Sweet Cheeks. It is actually to do with the Constitution of the local Association whether a person is expelled from the Party. They then have the right to appeal to CCHQ. This lot wont expel him despite the vast amounts of evidence. It suits them therefore the rules dont apply. Dont you realise this is the Tory Party in South Norfolk we are talking about? Rules do not apply.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • UKIP for every election for me from now on.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • Shortly after the Standards Committee meeting on 1st February, Cllr Derrick Murphy was reported in the EDP as saying "My first loyalty has always been to the Conservative Party". What does that tell you about his kind? Surely if your are privileged enough to be elected as a member of NCC, your first loyalty lies to the residents of your division. Your constitutional role is to represent their best interests at all times. How many of the present Conservative members can honestly claim that this is what they have done?

    Report this comment

    Nemesis

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Too right namaste, look at all the councillors working hard for their self interest, wearing their twin hats, looking after vested interests, forcing unwanted schemes onto the public, failing the county's children, frittering away money on assets that no one wants, not picking our noses for us. Did I miss one of them?

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Own goal scorer Fens.cr.a.p. continues to create friction and destroy the anti campaigns last chances in a futile personal war which has brought havoc and destruction to their cause. A perfect example of one who is locked in battle yet has forgotten what started the war. You picked the fight pal for no good reason but rest assured you will lose.

    Report this comment

    Dickens

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • I welcome this clarion call by Dr. Ian Gibson and Martin Bell who off course served his constituents as an Independent and to answer Peter Watsons concern, some of us stood as Independents before and we are not alone. I have left party politics in 2008, because it has failed to serve its basic democratic brief and in many times ignores its own policies and membership.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Well put, John. Your comment encourages me to believe that I did the right thing in organising this meeting yesterday. Police Commissioner: Where there is no Independent standing, then I'd urge you to vote Green. Electra: you're right, though it should be said that there are also a couple of 'fake' Independents standing in this election, to try to mess up the chances of the real Independents. The most striking case is probably the recently-Conservative activist who is standing against Andy Gardiner to try to muddy the waters in Wymondham.

    Report this comment

    Rupert Read

    Thursday, April 11, 2013

  • These two gentlemen are absolutely right. Norfolk simply cannot afford another four years of a Conservative administration in County Hall. In that time, there have been two changes of Leader and ten Cabinet reshuffles. Now the Chief Executive is leaving, and a replacement will not be in post for at least three months. The attempt to see a waste incinerator built in Saddlebow has been a disaster, and even if planning permission is ultimately granted later this year, the incinerator will not be operational until mid-2016. By then, more acceptable forms of technology will abound. They are appearing now. The purchase of the former RAF base at Coltishall was purely speculative, and unsupported by any kind of business plan. The NDR could well turn out to be no more than a service road for new residential development. There have been more conduct complaints against elected members than ever, and we have seen one Leader found guilty of seeking to persuade a junior employee to lie for him. Relations between officers and members are apparently at their lowest. The present administration has shown that it is entirely opposed to all notions of transparency and accountability. I suspect that the only reason why we are not seeing a true independent standing in each division is that the job is an entirely daunting one without an election agent and up against the finances and machinery available to the main political parties. I know at least one exceptional and committed individual who chose not to stand for those very reasons. If you do not have an independent standing in your division, then think seriously about supporting any candidate other than one fielded by the Conservative party.

    Report this comment

    John Martin

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Are UKIP more into spanking than whipping?

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

  • How will people do that with so few Ind candidates? Evening news on tv at the moment with more non-stop gushing hippocrites, who must be hoping for a tidal wave of sentimental public stupidity following T's timely demise. There have been some genuinely excellent Inds in Norfolk, like Terry Lamb, but a lot more who fly it as a flag of convenience for whatever reason, maybe because the tories are not right wing enough for them.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  • Poor old Dickens. Unaware that the whole Independence movement was started and driven by annoyed real Conservatives. If members of the Labour party want to stand they'll stand as Labour candidates. Duh!! As for Johnny, you are absolutely right. If you don't have a good local independent then vote for the successors to Margaret Thatcher, UKIP. Believe you me she wouldn't be a Tory if she were in politics today. Not with this bunch of weeds.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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