Independents for Tunbridge Wells believe that Councillors should put their residents and communities first.

Too often, Councillors are tied to a Party whip that acts against the interests of the people they are supposed to represent and are required to vote for policies they do not support. Equally, the Council Chamber is simply one of confrontation where Councillors vote for or against proposals and ideas, not on their merits but because of which Party has proposed them.

​We believe this is not a sensible way to go about making decisions that are in the interests of all our residents.

Independents for Tunbridge Wells want all Councillors regardless of their Party, or their position in that Party, to have an input into the decision-making process, and a proper opportunity to put forward ideas and to reflect the concerns of their residents.

Local politics should not be about Partisan posturing or used as a step on a political career. It should be about Councillors working together in the best interests of the local people. It should not be about keeping your nose clean and your head down, pleasing your Party bosses so that you can get a lucrative job in the Cabinet. These sinecures must be abolished, and responsibility shared amongst all Councillors, regardless of any Party affiliation or lack of.

There will be 39 Councillors after the boundary changes, and everyone represented by those Councillors should know that their Councillor has an equal voice in the Council. All Councillors should be involved in the formulation of policy, at the start of the process.

We also strongly feel that residents should be properly consulted BEFORE reports are compiled, and their suggestions and concerns incorporated within the reports. It is misleading to simply ask residents what they think of a policy after it has already been decided and then ignore the responses.

We also want to see more decisions being made by Councillors who have a direct interest in the local area, in order that local residents can raise their concerns and put forward their ideas directly to those Councillors who have the power to influence the decisions.