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.
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