Candidate hoping to offer an alternative to “same old politics” for Lichfield residents

One of the candidates in the Staffordshire County Council elections says he is standing to offer an alternative to “the same old politics”.

Philip John will contest the Lichfield City North seat on May 4.

He will also be one of four candidates to contest the by-election for the Stowe ward on Lichfield City Council on May 4 after Conservative councillor Mike Thompson stepped down.

Philip John

Philip John

Mr John, who has lived and worked in the city for more than a decade,  said he had decided to stand for the Something New party in a bid to offer an alternative to the traditional political options.

“As part of Something New, I won’t be a member of the ruling party nor the ‘official’ opposition, so I’ll be making a determined effort to scrutinise all the other councillors and their respective parties – fighting for Lichfield – and Staffordshire as a whole – to get fair treatment.

“My first task will be battling to protect our public services. I’ll be opposing cuts forced on us by Westminster’s ruinous underfunding.

“No councillor should be implementing the ideological austerity agenda that is seeing our schools lose teachers, our communities lose libraries, and our health services ransacked for private profit.

“And while our public services are being cut, I’ll be opposing increases in council tax like the 3.95% rise the Conservatives forced on us all.”

The Something New party was founded in 2015 by the contributors to a web-based political manifesto project that crowdsources its policies. The party stood two candidates in the 2015 general election.

The group says it hopes to create an openness and accountability in local politics.

Mr John added: “We’re a small party and we don’t have the billionaire backers of the mainstream parties, but we’re encouraging people who are fed up of the old system to start Something New by joining us for free, and help us give more people better choices.

“I’m going to be using my blog and social media to publish every single detail about my campaign – and should I be elected I’ll be publishing everything about my activities as a councillor too, something no other councillor has offered to do.

“All of my expenses will be published by me before the official release, and I’ll be approachable in multiple ways so that the people I represent know they can easily get in touch.

“You won’t just hear from me around election time, either. As well as being approachable online I’ll be advertising my availability in Lichfield City centre on an almost weekly basis and I’m keen to make home visits to discuss any concerns or questions​ residents have.”

Full list of candidates for the Stowe ward Lichfield City Council by-election:

  • Jeyan Anketell – Liberal Democrats
  • Matthew Field – Labour
  • Jim McGrath – Conservatives
  • Philip John – Something New

Full list of candidates for the Lichfield City North ward on Staffordshire County Council:

  • Philip John – Something New
  • Natasha Pullen – Conservatives
  • Miles Trent – Lib Dems
  • Hilary Wolfenden – Green Party
  • Caroline Wood – Labour

Disclaimer: Philip John is a volunteer with Lichfield Live, dealing with all technical aspects of the site. He has no involvement in the editorial decisions, is treated the same as any other local election candidate and gets no special previews or advanced notice of articles about himself or anyone else.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

13 Comments

  1. Toast

    11th April, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Wait, I’ve seen this guy listed as Philip Peter elsewhere. Which is it: Philip John or Philip Peter?

  2. Philip John

    11th April, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Both :) “John” is my middle name. I’ve been known as “Philip John” by most people for almost 10 years now.

  3. Toast

    11th April, 2017 at 10:37 am

    So we should be looking out for Philip John on our Polling Card?

  4. Philip John

    11th April, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    You’ll see something like this:

    PETER
    Philip John

    …and the Something New logo (https://somethingnew.org.uk/images/logo.png)

    I like that you’re asking :)

  5. Toast

    11th April, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Best of luck, it’s refreshing to have an ‘other’ candidate that isn’t a complete p*sstake like we’ve had at some previous generals.

  6. Tyrone

    11th April, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Yes i will be voting for Phil and Something New as it certainly makes a refreshing change of the same old, same old parties.Good luck Phil.

  7. BoredofLabour

    11th April, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    FINALLY a proper alternative. I was going to stay at home rather than vote Labour… but I think I may just venture out on May 4th now!

  8. Philip John

    11th April, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks for your support folks!

  9. The Scribbler

    12th April, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Good luck.
    It is good to see someone prepared to stand up and (literally) be counted.
    There’s no doubt we do need something different in a council where 50% attendance records are seen as acceptable and childish “silent protests” at full council meetings are regarded as legitimate opposition tactics.

  10. Toast

    13th April, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Postal vote sent off this morning. Here’s hoping we get ‘Something New’ come May 4th!

  11. Not new

    24th April, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    All Philip John seems to be offering at the moment is same old. He spends half his time on this website attacking other candidates. Come on Philip, you are hardly presenting a new fresh approach. Good to have other candidates, but please consider seriously what you believe in. Currently your views are the peoples views. Where on the spectrum do you sit?

  12. Paul

    24th April, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    @ Not new

    Seriously? That’s your comment?

    If you’re going to whinge about him, can you atleast back-up your comment and tell us what you think he should be doing different?

    What is your idea of “a fresh approach?”

  13. Philip John

    25th April, 2017 at 9:25 am

    @”Not New”

    “Currently your views are the peoples views.” That’s correct, for the most part. The job of a local councillor is not to push their parties ideology, it’s to listen to residents, to hear what matters to them most, and then use their power at the council to make the changes that residents want.

    I would much rather ban political parties from local politics. I think every candidate should be independent of the influence of a political party. Unfortunately we still have that party system and have to work with it for the moment.

    As far “attacking” other candidates, that’s not how I see it – this is a preview of what you can expect from me as a councillor. Less than half of the candidates in this election – as I explained on my blog – live in the area they want to represent. I think that’s shameful, regardless of whether you’re affiliated to a party or independent, because a local councillor is there to represent. The candidates in this election demonstrate a party political power grab and I don’t believe that at all serves the residents so I will challenge any candidate or party who attempts to bolster their numbers just to get into power instead of focusing on the job of *representation*. I will, as a councillor, do my best to hold those in power to account to make sure they are serving residents, not their narrow party interests.

    If I’m light on policy it’s because my first job as a councillor will be to try and talk to as many residents as physically possible and gather a list of priorities that I need to focus on. Beyond that I do believe in ending the cuts forced on councils by Westminster and I oppose tax rises while services are cut – but I’ll be talking to residents about that too.

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