Wednesday June 20 2018

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In Full . . .

Independents’ day

Posted on May 30 2017 at 4:52:03

Charlie and Kate

A large part of the Village area could soon by represented by independent councillors after a stunning result in the county elections and an enthralling by-election in Alvechurch.

Coun Charlie Hotham, who took the Barnt Green and Hopwood district council seat at Bromsgrove from the Tories as an independent two years ago, repeated his success in the elections to Worcestershire County Council last month.

He won the Alvechurch Division, beating the incumbent Tory June Griffiths by 1,174 votes to 1,101. Coun Griffiths fell ill at the count and was taken to hospital.

Now Coun Hotham is backing independent candidate Kate Van der Plank in the by-election for the Alve­church Village ward at Bromsgrove, called after Conservative councillor Roger Smith gave up the seat.

Before his resignation there had been complaints by Alvechurch Parish Council that Coun Smith, of Catshill, had not engaged with them and at their March meeting they even distributed a large picture of him so councillors “would know what he looks like”.

Against this backdrop, there are high hopes among those who feel there is no place for party politics in local government that a local, active independent candidate can repeat Coun Hotham’s successes and wrest Alvechurch Village away from the Conservatives.

Mrs Van der Plank is well known around Alvechurch and was instrumental in the launch of The Lounge youth project and café in the village.

Coun Hotham told The Village: “I was thrilled to win the Alvechurch seat at county and give a big thank-you to all who voted for me. It is great that independent voices will still be heard at County Hall, bringing reason and balance to the sometimes entrenched political views of the main parties.

“I’d like to thank Councillor June Griffiths for her work in the area and wish her a speedy and full recovery.”

Coun Hotham added: “After years of little or no representation in Alvechurch Village ward it is tremendous that Kate Van der Plank is standing as an independent.

“Kate is Alvechurch through and through and will do a brilliant job. So if you care – like I care and Kate cares – please vote for her.”

Above: Coun Charlie Hotham with Alvechurch Village independent candidate Kate Van der Plank outside The Lounge.

Voting takes place on June 8 at the same time as the General Election. Click here for a full list of by-election candidates and a General Election round-up.

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