Stay connected

‘Welcome to the People’s Republic of Frome!’ – Independents take full house at election

The victorious IFF councillors

The victorious IFF councillors

THE Independents for Frome have won a landslide victory in the town council elections, winning all 17 seats.

In an almost unprecedented result, Frome did not elect any councillors from the main political parties with the sitting Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors all losing their seats.

There was, though, success for the Conservatives in the General Election with David Warburton winning the seat previously held by LibDem David Heath; and for the LibDems who won five seats in Frome on Mendip District Council.

The Greens also won three seats in Frome on Mendip District Council in a major breakthrough for the party.

Mel Usher from the Independents for Frome group, said, “Wow! This is an amazing result. Obviously we are surprised and delighted at the result. It was totally unexpected; at a light hearted sweepstake on the Wednesday evening before election day, only one candidate predicted all 17 seats and even that was tongue in cheek.

“I would really like to thank the people of Frome for voting for us in such large numbers. Obviously people have noticed what we have achieved over the last  four years and are happy to give us another go.

“I would say that many people like the idea of a non-party alternative at a local level and  consciously switched their vote in the polling booth after voting for the MP and the District (and congratulations to those elected at those levels too).

“We recognise that this is now a great responsibility and are only too well aware of the accountability concerns. 17 out of 17 brings new issues, but we intend to continue to  be as open and transparent as possible and will listen closely to the people of Frome. IfF councillors are drawn from all persuasions and I expect if anything, even more vigorous debate and public discussions of alternatives.”

The candidates elected on Thursday 7th May to form the new Frome Town Council were: • Gary Collinson (Berkley Down); • Ali Barclay (Berkley Down); • Colin Cobb (Berkley Down); • Richard Ackroyd (College); • Jean Boulton (College); • Nick White (College); • Tricia Golinksi (Highpoint); • Sheila Gore (Innox); • Kate Bielby (Keyford); • Pippa Goldfinger (Keyford); • Heather Wride (Keyford); • Tim O’Connor (Market); • Mel Usher (Market); • Toby Eliot (Oakfield); • Cath Puddick (Oakfield); • Peter Macfadyen (Park); • Al O’Kane (Park)

Most wards had at least one Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat candidate, but all were rejected in favour of the independents.

Comments quickly appeared on Facebook to express people’s delight at such an unusual result.

Chris Winter said, “Absolutely amazing! You have all worked so hard and deserve the support from your townsfellows. Congratulations.”

Nigel Felton said, “Magnificent effort by everyone including the voters of Frome!”

Dom Lane said, “Brilliant. Welcome to the People’s Republic of Frome!”