INDEPENDENT candidates have broken their silence following the May local elections in which some narrowly missed out on winning a seat at East Riding Council.
The East Yorkshire Independent Party (EYIP), which is based in Pocklington, fielded 10 candidates across six wards in a bid to topple what they saw as a Conservative stranglehold over the region.
However, the majority fell short as the Tory Party in the Pocklington Provincial ward, Wolds Weighton and Howdenshire retained their nine seats. Only one EYIP candidate, Josie Head, who stood for Goole North ward, was elected.
Now, two months after their defeat, the candidates- many of which were local town councillors- have spoken out.
They felt that the alternative voting referendum, which was held on the same day as the local election, brought out more voters than usual which they claim had a knock-on effect against the Independents.
They also felt the Conservatives had made a bigger effort than usual, which they said was due to the threat of the Independents.
Party leader, and Pocklington town councillor, Tony Marron said: “Although we did not pick up all the seats we contested, we now present the only viable opposition to the Conservatives coming within a few votes of them in most wards and splitting the Labour vote in Goole.
“I would like to thank everyone that voted for our candidates and helped with our campaign, we are now looking to the future and planning to do better at the next election.”
Another candidate, Peter Hemmerman, who is also the Mayor of Market Weighton said:” We would like to thank all the voters across East Yorkshire who turned out and voted for change, but regret that we will be unable to officially represent them for another four years, however we will continue to listen to residents views and address their concerns to ward members and council officers without prejudice.
“Of the 12,000 votes in each ward, around 10,000 didn’t vote at all, that should send a clear message to the main parties.”
Launched in September last year at the KP Club at Kilnwick Percy, the EYIP was create in reaction to local councillors’ frustration at what they see as a lack of representation for the region at County Hall. They cited the uproar over car parking charges in 2009 as one reason.
And while they failed to oust the Tories during the recent elections, they came a close second with Pocklington councillor Jeff Shepherd faring the best- falling short of a seat by just 235 votes.