A RESIDENTS’ association is hoping its coup d’état will destabilise the clasp of Conservative control within Arun District Council.
Members of the Arun District Residents’ Association (ADRA) have launched their own ‘non-political’ campaign, calling for a regime change at the council.
Among the group’s strategies is an appeal for rival political parties, including the Liberal Democrats, Labour and UKIP, to work together to ensure only one candidate is standing in opposition to the Conservatives and that votes aren’t split between opposing parties.
Gill Brown, head of the Tories and leader of Arun District Council, said she was not threatened by the move and found the overall approach of the association ‘baffling’.
“The group are reporting to be non-political yet they are clearly advocating political parties to unite against us,” Mrs Brown said. “I find that very strange.
“No, I’m not threatened by the move. Arun has been Conservative-controlled from its inception and it’s clearly how the residents want it to be,
“I think the Conservatives provide great value for money. We have frozen council tax for three years. We provide all our services on band D scale of council tax for £3 a week – that’s about as much as a pint of beer.”
The ADRA says it aims to attract more independent candidates to stand in the district elections in May, 2015.
A spokesman said the association would ‘exercise no political control’ over the candidates with the only overriding principle being that value for tax-payers money must be sought.
Hugh Coster of ADRA said: “Voters often vote locally according to their party preference at national level, paying little attention to their council’s actual record. As a result, under-performing councils and their councillors are rarely held to account for their performance. Councillors can be voted in time after time, simply because of the colour of the rosette they wear.”
He added ADRA does not oppose the Conservatives, only its style of conservatism in the district.
“All we ask of Conservative voters is that they scrutinise the council’s record carefully before voting in May 2015,” he said.