Independent councillor 'ready to fight' for Mid Beds seat at next general election

Cuncillor Gareth Mackey is aiming to become Mid Beds MP
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A Flitwick councillor said he is “ready to fight” for Mid Bedfordshire at the next general election, whenever the government is ready to call it.

Gareth Mackey, an Independent councillor with Central Bedfordshire and Flitwick Council is aiming to become an Independent MP for Mid Bedfordshire at the next general election.

“I think anyone that’s lived in Mid Beds for long enough has probably become incredibly frustrated with a lack of attention the incumbent MP has shown,” he said.

Gareth MackeyGareth Mackey
Gareth Mackey

“I think I can deliver the kind of focussed service to the people that live here.

“I know Mid Beds, I’ve lived here, my wife works here, I work here and my kids have grown up here.

“I think I understand Mid Beds better than most people, and I’ve got a political pedigree that I hope will show people that I can do it competently,” he said.

Councillor Mackey was first elected to Flitwick Town Council in 2011, has been the town’s mayor three times, and became one of the town’s ward councillors in 2019.

But Mid Bedfordshire is more than just Flitwick. Councillor Mackey said his campaigns as a councillor and media appearances have helped boost his profile as a “credible candidate” across the constituency.

“But at the end of the day nothing beats wearing out a bit of shoe leather knocking on doors,” he said.

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If elected, councillor Mackey said he would take a “common sense” approach to voting in the chamber.

“The biggest thing for me is going back to basics, and I think the first care of the government in any form is to do for the people what they can’t do for themselves, because they’re too busy conducting their lives and working,” he said.

“So providing decent schools, a police force that works, a judiciary that metes out justice in the proper way, making sure the transport links work, making sure that businesses can operate without being taxed into insolvency.

“Making sure that the lives of ordinary people are better when you leave office surely has to be the biggest concern and I would vote in such a way as to make sure that the people’s priorities are what I am about.

I’m not beholden to a particular political party, I wouldn’t have to vote on a manifesto, I wouldn’t have to toe the party line.

“There’ll be no whip so I could vote in a common sense way, if the left had an idea which I think would benefit my constituents so be it, and the same with the right.

“I’m not bound to have to support any ideology, so I would do what’s best for the people of Mid Beds,” he said.

Councillor Mackey said he knows the campaign will be tough for an Independent with no party backing, but he will be supported by other Independent councillors.

“I’ve got someone who’s going to help me with my campaign and many,many volunteers,” he said.

“But I have to believe that I am credible, and I can beat the big boys, now more than ever.

“The parties have let you down, Independent is the only way forward,” he said.