Elections 2021: The candidates who offer an alternative to main parties in Cambridge City Council elections
Five people are offering an alternative to the main four parties at the Cambridge City Council elections on May 6.
Two independent candidates, along with three others representing the parties Rebooting Democracy, UKIP and the Workers’ Party of Britain, will be vying for residents’ votes.
Elections will take place in all 14 wards of the city, and all 42 council seats will be up on Thursday, May 6 with each ward electing three councillors. Labour currently controls the council, but the Liberal Democrats, Greens and the Conservatives are hoping to make gains.
You can read about these four parties in our separate Q&A.
Independent candidates Sam Davies and Al Dixon will be standing in Queen Edith’s against candidates for the main parties. Ms Davies, who has lived in the ward for 20 years and in Cambridge for 30, is hoping to be elected to “speak up for our community’s interests without the compromises that inevitably come with adhering to wider party-political loyalties”.
She helped set up and runs the Queen Edith’s Community Forum and says she will “push hard on getting outcomes” with her absolute focus being on Queen Edith’s.
“We’ve seen over the last year the amazing things that we can achieve when we bring together all our strengths for the greater good, so I’m keen to implement innovative ideas which will foster that instinct, such as participatory budgeting; local seed funding for grassroots projects; and developing a community-led vision for a ‘Green Queen Edith’s’,” she said.
Mr Dixon, who is also standing in Queen Edith’s, grew up in the ward attending Queen Edith’s Primary School and then Netherhall School before later moving away and returning to look after his mother.
“I think it’s a fantastic area and it could be so much better,” he said in his election launch video. “I believe that we are inspired by one another and I very strongly believe that in an area like this where there are 3,500 homes all with people in with all their different experiences, with all their different knowledge and many of them don’t even know their talents – I think if we come together and when we start creating and thinking together we can come up with amazing ideas and projects. That’s my political philosophy. I think councillors should not be aligned with any national political parties. We should be solving and looking at the issues locally and not in the context of some other agenda.”
Keith Garrett, who has stood for MP on three occasions, is standing in Arbury for the first time for his own party Rebooting Democracy, which aims to give power to make decisions to those who are affected by those decisions.
The party’s manifesto puts forward a system where decisions are made by randomly selected members of the public who discuss the issues and hear from experts before coming to a decision. Mr Garrett said citizens assemblies are the way forward. He co-founded The Sortition Foundation, which works to do the selection process for citizens assemblies to ensure it is representative.
“Citizens’ Assemblies have been used around the world and across the UK to make decisions in a collaborative manner,” he said. “These use a randomly selected group of people who deliberate over a period of time, listening to evidence, before coming to an informed collective decision. No party politics, no lobbyists, no vested interests. Just evidence-based decision making by the people themselves.”
Lionel Vida is standing in King’s Hedges for The Workers’ Party of Britain, which aims to give a voice to people who are politically homeless with desire to put their talents, creativity and energies at the service of the working class.
Mr Vida said on the party’s website: “The Workers Party of Britain is that politically active trade unionist, socialist, party which aims to do away with wage-slavery, and which anchors its complete faith in the organised, collective power, of a live, participatory democratic community; with full rights to recall any stagnant representatives. This, the community’s imperative mandate, is paramount.”
Peter Burkinshaw is standing in East Chesterton for UKIP. The party was approached for comment but has yet to respond.