Bedford elections: Independent candidate for Wixams and Wilstead pledges to be voice of the community

Lee MelvilleLee Melville
Lee Melville

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Lee’s main focus for his campaign is the borough council’s Local Plan 2040

An independent candidate for the new Wixams and Wilstead Ward said if elected he will act as the voice of the community and not as the voice of a political party.

Lee Melville added that he will work “as elected and not for self-glory photo opportunities”.

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“I hate glory photos, you don’t need to stand by the road showing that you got a pothole filled in,” he said. “That’s just you doing what you’re been elected to do.

“I’m more concerned about working with the local community and listening to what their concerns are,” he said.

Lee moved to the borough eight years ago, and he soon volunteered to help the Stewartby and Kempston Hardwick community.

“When I moved here it was at the start of the No Covanta Incinerator campaign, and being involved with that started my whole interest in local politics,” he said.

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“And I soon became a member of the parish council, and I became the chair a couple of years ago.

“Through this I have been involved in borough council committees and other meetings, and I’m also on the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel,” he said.

Lee’s main focus for his campaign is the borough council’s Local Plan 2040.

“Just for Kempston Hardwick there’s 4,000 more homes planned, but there’s no real substance behind the Plan of how the infrastructure is going to change,” he said.

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GP surgeries, schooling, shops, the roads, they’re my biggest driver for the campaign.

“That’s what affects everybody that lives here, they’re the real things that affect people day to day.”

“To stand as an independent is not an easy thing but I believe that I’m doing it for the right reasons and not for party politics.

“I’m doing it because I’m passionate about the local area and doing right for the residents.

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“And I actually enjoy seeing that change that you’ve can make to people’slives.

“As an independent I may not have the strongest voice when it comes to full council, but I will have the choice to say no if I don’t agree with something.

“Whereas party members have to follow their whip and toe the party line, so they’re not really representing the residents that they serve,” he said.

The Wixams and Wilstead Ward is a new ward following an electoral review of Bedford borough by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

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It includes the parishes of Stewartby & Kempston Hardwick and Elstow.

Residents can follow Lee’s campaign activities on Facebook, or they can message him via WhatsApp on 07774 914 999 or email [email protected].