A rallying call has gone out to the people of Norfolk to help make politics in the county more open and democratic and accountable to the community.

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The inaugural meeting of Ketts Independents Party was held at the Fairland United Reformed Church in Wymondham on Saturday, during which Andy Gardiner, who has helped set up the party, outlined his plan to set up “Chapters” in towns and villages across Norfolk made up of independent party members who would engage with the community and ensure the voices of residents were heard at council level.

The Chapter would also be responsible for selecting candidates to stand at council elections and organising their election campaigns, with the aim being to end party politics on authorities such as Norfolk County Council and district and parish councils, which Mr Gardiner said had led to decisions being taken without first consulting the public.

A number of speakers addressed the audience of over 70 people about the need for more democratic councils, including Mr Gardiner himself, Wymondham town councillor Alison Taylor, Derek Ward, a member of Wymondham Asks Why action group and Wymondham College pupil Aaron Symonds.

Teenager Aaron said he became interested in politics in Wymondham because of the “disregard” the town council had shown to the people of the town during the Kings Head Meadow affair when the council planned to sell the recreation area in the town for a new Asda development.

He said he wanted the town council to listen to youngsters in the town and follow the example of Wymondham High school where staff listened to what the school council had to say even though the councillors did not always get what they wanted.

“I would like to see more events outside of school for my age group and the development of a better and more democratic Wymondham,” Aaron said.

Mr Gardiner said he was not just concerned about the meadow affair, but other matters at a county and district level which had seemingly been conducted without full public consultation, including the King’s Lynn waste incinerator, the sale of the former RAF Coltishall site and plans for travellers sites at Wymondham and Spooner Row.

He said independents needed to form themselves into a party otherwise members of the mainstream parties would simply stand instead as independents.

He added: “We have taken the trouble to come here today because we want change and know that what is happening right now is not right. Lets leave with the belief that we can rebuild community spirit and a belief that we can make Norfolk an attractive place to live with a community spirit.”

12 comments

  • el84, it is not a party (wrongly reported) but a co-operative there is a difference! As Ingo points out the cowardly threats have started so the conservatives are rattled! As they should be because the people are no longer going to allow themselves to be railroaded by cllrs who are only out for personal gain or glory. Cllr Gardiner has the right values, care for his community before politics or personal gain! Shame people like Sprat, Wilby, Fuller, Mooney,Foulger, Savage don't give a stuff about ordinary people who they should speak up for. The idiot that wrote the letter has damaged conservative credibility even more, so well done!

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    Canary Boy

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

  • I congratulate Andy Gardiner for what he has done. Let us hope that this is a first step on the way to a much greater level of local democracy. That said, it is shameful that those who disagree with him should behave in the way that they have. And in the meantime, could I urge all independently minded people – whether or not they intend to seek election – to be aware of the ongoing need for public scrutiny of the acts and omissions of our local councils and their members. I have in mind in particular Norfolk County Council, where the opposition members between them hold only 21 seats to the 63 held by the Tories and accordingly are relatively powerless.

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    John Martin

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • It was refreshing to see so many people attend yesterdays meeting feeling that change has to come from ourselves. Far too many decisions are taken behind closed doors without any mandate whatsoever, dare I mention Coltishall or the unwanted incinerator. The meeting started with a hilarious unsigned cowards letter being read out, send to Cllr. Gardiner in the dead of night and anonymous, the only tactic left to those who failed us for so long. This movement of Independents agreeing on mutual principles, a new mandated democracy, will grow. Ketts Independents will take care of young people's concerns, voters or not, far too little has been done for this age group in the past and their future matters to us all.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

  • I am taking a leaf out of Pauline Johnson’s book. I will not be voting Tory. At the stage managed planning meeting concerning the incinerator at Kings Lynn she had a message to the anti-incinerator supporters. She said “Norfolk People are like sheep”.

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    Choice

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

  • Young Mr. Symonds, who spoke up eloquently for the needs of our young generation and why he has only confidence in Independents, had his parents car vandalised the night after he spoke up in front of 70 people. Anonymous smear letters and criminal vandalism are the responses of cowards. They have failed and will be held to account next year.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • The next general election will probably be the last one in which over 50% of the electorate actually votes.The Police Commissioner elections in november,whether we agree with them or not,are likely to produce 20% turnout if the elections in may for elected mayors is a guide.In my experience,more and more citizens proudly proclaim they do not vote."Anti-politics" has become acceptable and ,for many,the norm.After the expenses scandal in Parliament is it any wonder people feel "they are all out for themselves"?The Norfolk County Council fiasco over its discredited plans to incinerate waste can only fuel cynicism too.Overall with Norfolk County Council,any resident of Norwich can expect the level of attention that the Tory county councillors give to the city.Norwich,to them,is a place to drive past.The Conservative hegemony of Norfolk,our local Establishment,has to come to an end.

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    Peter Watson

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • I think that if other Independents speak as honestly as Cllr Gardiner did on Saturday many who do not normally vote may be moved to do so. That man really cares about people and wants to improve their lives! That is what standing for public office should be about, plain and simple, doing what is right for those who live in your community not doing what is right for yourself, your business and your business contacts. It is worrying that intimidation, and vandalism appear to be payment for Cllr Gardiners attempt to try and start changing things. I am pleased the police are involved, this is a man who will not be put off by such tactics, ultimately the person responsible will regret his actions as exposure via the press will be highly embarrasing.

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    Joy, King's Lynn

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Thanks for the encouraging words and healthy advice John Martin, you were sorely missed. Cllr. wicks made the very same points and we'll do well to engage more, with local people and the councils business. Nemesis, how right you are and everyone knows about the interloping steps of desperation by the current leader of NCC, including those who live in the constituency. I'm sure that he will be opposed, as day follows night. One also must not forget the police commissioners election in November. This is a top down position that would, if it should exist, be perfectly fitting for a strong minded and fair independent candidate, with a very large constituency. She would get a lot of support from Ketts independents and I'm sure that Norfolk people would want a person in the job that is orientated by our communities and their needs. The NCC elections are already on, they happen in each and everyone's locality. The sooner we all organise in our respective areas, the more time to prepare and listen to people, all people, not just voters.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Alan Allan, Cllr Derrick Murphy and his wife have already secured nominations for safe divisions in South Norfolk. I suspect that they decided to cut and run months ago.

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    Nemesis

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • Over at West Norfolk virtually every seat will be up for grabs if the incinerator gets built. The problem is no matter how hard many Tory MPs and Councillors have worked their socks off to fight the burner the public are not very forgiving. I expect next County election at least five wards will be vulnerable especially south and east of Kings Lynn. The leader of NCC Derrick Murphy may end up losing his deposit if he has the brass nerve to stand for Freebridge ward next year.

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    Alan Allan

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

  • This is not a party. It is a loose amalgamation of like minded people who can exchange and gain information on how to stand in the forthcoming elections. This is one of the most intimidating aspects of standing for office and one of the reasons why the parties succeed as they spoon feed their candidates with the information needed. Their are agents on standby to help any independent who wants to stand.

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    alecto

    Monday, July 16, 2012

  • A political party for independents!!!! How about the Misnomer party?

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    el84

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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