Independents for Bristol to contest local elections

A new political group has announced its intention to field candidates at the May local elections in Bristol.

The organisation, Independents for Bristol, hopes to build on the success of independents in the 2012 elections for mayor and police commissioner.

It believes party politics has failed in the city and is to hold a public meeting on 29 January at City Hall to sound out potential candidates.

Analysis

After the election results in November this comes as little surprise.

Independents for Bristol (IfB) have also been inspired by a town council in Frome now run by a group of independents.

But Bristol is over 17 times the size of Frome and IfB have little in the way of financial backing yet.

Trying to reach so many voters on limited resources will be a huge challenge for them and IfB cannot yet say how many of the 23 seats they will contest.

Twenty-three of the 70 seats on Bristol City Council are up for election.

'New animal'

"We think the time is right for a whole fresh wave of new councillors in our city," said Chris Sunderland, spokesman for the group.

"National party politics is losing its grip over people - it no longer connects well with issues and I think it's not worked well at the local level for some time.

"I think there are a whole lot of people waiting in the wings with fresh expertise who would get involved in politics if they did not have to go through the party political system.

"Our aim is to be a political association of a new type but with the law at the moment we probably would have to register as a political party but we are a new animal with no party whip."

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