Fenland couple who led road safety campaign to stand as independent candidates for election

A FORMER Labour Party stalwart is standing as an independent candidate for both Wisbech Town and Fenland District Councils.

Virginia Bucknor is seeking election in the Waterlees ward in May along with her husband, Michael, also an indpendent candidate.

The couple, who live in the ward, believe local councils are not the place for party politics.

Mrs Bucknor said: “The local people and not the political party should come first. That’s why I have decided to stand with my husband, Michael, as a councillor, independent of any political party.

“I’ve lived in the ward for more than 25 years and decided to stand as I’m frustrated at the decline of our local infrastructure and services.”

Mrs Bucknor, a town and district councillor in the 1990s, was also the Labour candidate in the 1997 general election for North East Cambs when she polled 18,754 votes, coming second to Malcolm Moss who retained the seat with 23,855.

Mr Bucknor agrees that local government can be hampered by party politics. He said: “Standing as an independent will allow me to support the best ideas from any party dealing with the concerns of local people.

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“Party politics can often prevent councils functioning with flexibility and can polarize and stifle free debate.”

The couple, who headed a successful campaign for major safety improvements along the A1101 at the Gypsy Bends, are keen to point out that there has been no falling out between them and the Labour Party.

Mrs Bucknor said: “We have certainly not fallen out with the Labour Party. We feel very strongly that we want to be truly independent and we don’t want to be associated with any political party.”

She said recent problems surrounding the Waterlees Adventure Playground showed that serving councillors were not listening to residents or acting upon their concerns.

• Two councillors will be elected for the Waterlees ward in the council elections on May 5.