Local Elections: Thetford Town Council Labour members to stand independently
The Thetford Labour Party will not field any town council candidates in next month's local elections in a move it says could benefit decision making around the political table.
Leader of the party, Dennis Sully, who is standing as an Independent candidate for the Saxon ward, said there was a perception within the town that party politics dominated the council chamber, in King Street.
The candidates will remain members of the Labour Party but will campaign independently and cover their own costs. The party will continue to field candidates at a district level.
Mr Sully said: 'We've been listening to the people and they think the town is controlled by politics, of course it isn't.
'There was a lot of talk about it over the winter and we decided this year we would go in as Independents. We believe Thetford Town Council should be free from political issues and political control.
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'Decisions should be made at all times for the benefit of the people and I think they would be prepared to try to change Breckland's minds more if they're Independent.'
But the move has not resonated favourably with current Conservative councillor for the Guildhall ward, Derek Mortimer, who called it 'hypocrisy at the highest level'.
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'I feel they lack the courage of their convictions and I trust the Thetford electorate will not be fooled by this political subterfuge,' he said.
'I've been on record before saying that, in general terms, the parties on the town council never vote as a party and don't vote en bloc for any issue. They are open minded on all subjects.'
Mr Sully added: 'We've stated categorically we're members of the Labour Party. We're not trying to con people but we're standing as Independents.
'I'm not a cloak and dagger man and I won't allow the party to be cloak and dagger. There are a lot of other Independents too and we hope people will come out and vote.'
? Nominations for Thetford Town Council (*denotes sitting councillor in the ward)
Abbey ward: *Mike Brindle (LD), Brenda Canham (Ind), Carl Clark (Ind), *Albert Paines (Ind), *Pauline Quadling (Ind), *Mike Spencer (C).
Castle ward: *Roy Brame (C), Corinne Fulford (Ind), Danny Jeffrey (LD), *Terence Lamb (Ind), Ronald Wood (Ind), Julia Yelloly (Green).
Guildhall ward: Ray Barker (Ind), *John Harding (Ind), Ray Key (Ind), *Robert Kybird (C), *Derek Mortimer (C), John Rutter (LD), Margaret Rutter (LD), *Bryan Skull (C), *Pam Spencer (C).
Saxon ward: Sylvia Armes (Ind), Denis Crawford (UKIP), *Terry Jermy (Ind), Paul Kybird (C), Mark Robinson (C), Yvonne Rout (Ind), Dennis Sully (Ind), Bob Waple (Ind), *Stuart Wright (Ind).