Pender well positioned to keep up independent tradition

It was no surprise to note in your article last week that Norman Pender has been approached with a view to becoming a candidate at the local government elections in May.

I am pleased that he does not totally rule himself out and states he is “highly unlikely” to put his name forward.

Norman is a colourful character with strong views so if he has a change of heart and decides to become a candidate the run up to the election will be lively and interesting. So I hope he does.

He is right to call for more independent councillors and I feel that local government should not be about party politics. Those with a national party affiliation have a conflict of loyalties which on occasion makes it difficult to act solely in the interests of local people.

In my experience as an independent councillor, while I was able to represent my ward effectively, it was difficult to develop a coherent platform for real change because I was operating alone. Independents are also disadvantaged by the new voting system.

That’s why I feel the Borders Party is an important development at a time when many people like Norman Pender have become disenchanted with party politics. It’s basically a group of independents getting together to provide cohesion and has the potential to reinvigorate the tradition of independent local politics in the Borders.

Andrew I. Farquhar