A RAFT of independent candidates have thrown their hats into the ring in the hope of winning seats on Bromsgrove District Council in the May 4 local election.

A total of 12 independent candidates, not affiliated to any political party, are vying for votes which they hope to snatch from the main parties.

The candidates believe the voting public are dissatisfied with mainstream party politics – especially when it comes to local matters affecting people’s everyday lives.

Veteran politician Steve Colella, a candidate for Hagley West, said: “Being prepared to stand as an independent candidate shows real commitment by each person to their local communities.

“We don’t have access to large sums of party funds or access to the big political bandwagons and national campaigns. However, I see that as a positive for the independents.

“The increase in independent candidates means that, with support, times have changed and there is no longer an automatic vote for the main parties.”

Lorraine Johnson, independent candidate for Hagley East, said: “Voting for a person rather than a party is the best way forward to ensure that it’s the people that benefit rather than the political parties.”

Susan Jones, independent candidate for Belbroughton and Romsley, added: “Many people are disillusioned with the main parties. We will be a group with autonomy, really questioning what’s going on, and challenging why decisions are being made.”

Bernard McEldowney, independent candidate for Catshill North, said: “With the support of independent, thinking people we can build stronger links across the Catshill community and district.”

Dave Pardoe, independent candidate for Sanders Park, said he’s really concerned with the demise of the town and the lack of repair, maintenance and vision for the district.

While Sue Baxter, independent candidate for Drakes Cross, said she’s fighting for more investment for Wythall Park and greater transparency from the district council administration.

Charlie Hotham, independent candidate for Barnt Green and Hopwood, said he would be seeking funding for local sports clubs and community centres, if elected, and keen to find out how Government grants have been spent.

The full list of candidates standing in the district can be seen on Bromsgrove District Council’s website in the elections section.