RECOVERING at home after an operation I re-watched Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, which features the “what have the Romans ever done for us?” sketch.

And it got me thinking: what has party politics ever done for us locally - and in particular Godmanchester? Unlike the Romans with their sewers, roads and baths, I came to the conclusion: not a great deal.

Partisan councillors, however well intentioned, find themselves gagged or ignored by their party hierarchy who are more interested in "the bigger picture" than local needs.

Party politics hasn't stop traffic problems in Godmanchester caused by the A14 and look set to fail in a bid to stop over-development on Bearscroft Farm.

Our roads and pavements are in a mess, parking an increasing problem and council officers ignore local views to impose the projects they want on us.

Having experienced a taste of local party politics I know that there are some good well-intentioned people involved as councillors.

But there are others who treat being a councillors a way of boosting their pensions thanks to over-generous allowances. In short, when it comes to some of our local representative, forget public service - they think we owe them a living.

Having worked as a journalist for over 20-years I've always tried to see all sides of the story - not an ideal ability when it comes to blinkered partisan party politics!

And so I've decided if I cannot join them I'll try to beat them - by standing as an Independent candidate at the district council elections in May.

As an Independent I aim simply to put Godmanchester - not party politics - first.

I don't expect to win - the two major parties have two very good candidates who I know and respect and believe will do a good job if elected.

But, unlike most candidates I'm happy to be a truly "people's candidate" who'll listen to residents and urge them to tell me what I should be campaigning on and to help decide my manifesto, not what a party official decides should be in it.

It's easy standing for a party, hiding behind their expensive campaign and policies, whether you truly believe in them or not. All I can offer is a pledge to do my utmost to push Godmanchester's cause and to vote to put the town first, rather than party political interests.

I believe residents, many who are disillusioned with party politics, deserve an alternative choice.

It would be nice if other people around the district decide to put their heads above the trenches and also take up the cause as Independents at the next election.

NIGEL PAULEY

Almond Close

Godmanchester