An independent, according to my dictionary, is a person who supports no particular political party, a person who is not dependent on or subject to the authority of others.
The Independent politician has an important role to play in local politics. He/she is not swayed by party political dogma. He/she is free to rely upon their own conscience and intuition and to vote upon any political proposal in the way which they perceive to be in the best interests of those living in the political constituency.
All political parties at national government, and at county and district council levels have, in my view, fundamental defects.
They need votes to retain power. In my view they concentrate their resources in their respective ‘heartland’ to the detriment of the remaining parts of their region.
Most of us would agree that the Midlands and the north are not in the national government heartland. Fewer people realise that Nottinghamshire County Council and Mansfield District Council act in the same way.
The edges of the Nottinghamshire political area, e.g. the Meden Valley, are not in the county council ‘heartland’. I feel Mansfield District Council does not include Warsop in its heartland. Is there any wonder that people living outside these heartlands feel let down?
A quarter of a century ago one Independent and five market traders were candidates to hold office as parish councillors on Warsop Parish Council.
They were fed up with Warsop being treated as the poor relation, following the reform of local government legislation in the early 1970s, by a Labour Party which controlled both Mansfield District and Warsop Parish Councils.
Three of the market traders were successfully elected as parish councillors. The Independent politician in the Mansfield District Council area was born, and has subsequently expanded and flourished.
The frequent battles royal between the Independents and Labour at Mansfield Civic Centre during the last decade beg the question: have the Independent politicians morphed into a political party?
The fact that the four Mansfield Independent county councillors have entered into a coalition with the Conservative party to form the majority group at Nottinghamshire County Council does not lead to the conclusion that all Mansfield Independent councillors are closet Tories. All it does is give Mansfield District Council a stronger voice, and, with political skill, increased county council funding for our area.
That funding must be used towards the building of a new sports centre in Warsop, rather than on entertainments on Mansfield Market Place.
If Warsop continues to be ignored the obvious conclusion is that Independent councillors who do not meet the definition of an Independent politician set out above will forfeit the right to use the word ‘Independent’ in their political party name. This, in turn, could lead to the demise of this political party altogether.