WITH a growing tradition of independent representation on Chichester District Council in the Midhurst area, two candidates have set out their stalls for the coming election.
Sitting councillor Gordon McAra is standing again and alongside him fellow Midhurst town councillor Steve Morley has also pinned his colours to the mast.
There are two CDC seats in Midhurst, and the town’s current second sitting councillor Brian Weekes was elected as a Tory four years ago, but shortly afterwards announced he was defecting to the independent bench.
Announcing his intention to seek re-election, Cllr McAra said: “Midhurst in many ways is unrecognisable from four years ago. Our shops are busier, we have the new Grange, complete with library and hopefully soon, a Waitrose store.
“We have a new academy and the headquarters of the South Downs National Park.
“I hope it will continue to ‘punch above its weight’, helped by electing independent councillors, concerned not about politics but doing the best for Midhurst.
There is a strong tradition of electing independent councillors here and I expect we may also see them again in Harting and StedhamGordon McAra
“There is a strong tradition of electing independent councillors here and I expect we may also see them again in Harting and Stedham.
“Steve Morley brings considerable experience as well as years of service to the town. Neither of us belong to any political party.”
“In the 2011 election, I helped Gordon McAra get elected to CDC and now feel keen to join him in the good work he is doing on our behalf,” said Steve Morley.
“I feel together we could continue the evolving tradition of having Midhurst represented by people who care strongly about the future of our town but are not tied down by political dogma.
“Separated from Chichester as we are by the South Downs, there are often times when I feel we need to follow a different path from that which the district council deems relevant.
“There are many Midhurst-specific topics that need to be addressed and because a programme works in the city of Chichester doesn’t mean it will necessarily work in our town.
“I will continue to strongly support two hours of free parking which has been of real benefit for both shoppers and visitors alike, despite constant pressure for it to be scrapped.
“I already have a strong working relationship with our Town Team and if elected, I would work even more closely to ensure that Midhurst benefits further from future joint ventures with the district council.
All the candidates, including many from the main parties, will be announced next month.
Anyone wishes to stand as a candidate should contact Chichester District Council on 01243 521010 for more information.