AS local elections approach, the Oxford Mail has been speaking to the different candidates vying for votes on May 6. Today, the independents and smaller political parties set out their stall.

In the city council elections, there are eight independent candidates.

One of them described being an independent as being able to 'speak for the people and residents and what they really want'.

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There are also three Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates, one candidate for the For Britain Movement, and one candidate for the Freedom Alliance.


The eight independent candidates standing for election in the city council are Chaka Artwell (Barton and Sandhills ward), Alex Evangelou-Shingler (Churchill ward), David Henwood (Cowley ward), Hakeem Yousaf (Donnington ward), Mick Haines (Marston ward), Anthony Houghton (Osney and St Thomas ward), Saj Malik (Temple Cowley ward), and Judith Harley (Temple Cowley ward).

Chaka Artwell has produced a manifesto for both the city and county council elections, in which he is also standing.

In it, Mr Artwell criticises current council policy on £65 car parking passes, and the unaffordable nature of housing.and reads: 'Oxford City and County Council needs Politically Independent Councillors' and adds 'Anti-Car, Anti-Business, false-Green Policies hurt working people'.

Alex Evangelou-Shingler. Picture: Ed Nix.

Alex Evangelou-Shingler. Picture: Ed Nix.

Alex Evangelou-Shingler is a 24-year-old Oxford Brookes student.

She said: “My main ethos is to make South Park safe, there’s been fights and assaults there, and it’s a huge safety concern.

“I’m doing this as a single issue campaign and will stand down when that is resolved.”

She is also competing for the title of Miss England this year.

David Henwood. Picture: Ed Nix

David Henwood. Picture: Ed Nix

David Henwood was elected as a Labour councillor for Cowley in 2014, and is standing independently after resigning from the party.

He said his main issue was making sure that Cowley's new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods worked for everyone.

Mr Henwood said: "I have been an advocate of the LTN scheme. Clearly there have been many successes like Beauchamp Lane and Salegate Lane, which have been well received and improved the quality of life for people in this area, but I have to be the first person to hold my hands up and say there have been failings like on Littlemore Road."

Mick Haines. Picture: Ric Mellis.

Mick Haines. Picture: Ric Mellis.

Mick Haines, first elected to the city council in 2012, said he would continue to represent his residents needs in Marston if he wins again.

Mr Haines said: "Being independent, you don't have to follow the party line. You can speak up for the people and the residents and what they really want." He said his record included improvements to the Croft Road recreation ground and reviving the Marston Road post office.

Saj Malik, centre. Picture by Ed Nix.

Saj Malik, centre. Picture by Ed Nix.

Saj Malik, elected as a Labour councillor in 2004, is standing as an independent after being suspended from the party in 2019.

He said his record as a councillor 'speaks for itself', including installing memorial benches to Captain Sir Tom Moore and PC Andrew Harper in Marsh Park.

He said he wants to tackle rat run speeding at Wilkins Road and Fern Hill Road, and make the subway at the bottom of Fern Hill Road 'welcoming' by commissioning a mural of car manufacturing.

ELECTIONS 2021: The candidates for Oxford listed

Judith Harley is standing on two main pledges in the city council elections: to carry out a full consultation on the Cowley LTNs, and to protect public spaces.

She said: "I want protection for public spaces, services, and community facilities and as a resident I have long campaigned locally on these. St Gregory the Great school will receive funds for community recreation to 'compensate' the loss of William Morris sports field; the Cowley Marsh wildflower meadow, taken by the Marsh Depot, must be restored by 2022. I will pursue to ensure these happen."

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition

The three candidates for TUSC are Agnieszka Kowalska (Blackbird Leys ward), Adam Powell-Davies (Carfax and Jericho ward), and James Morbin (Northfield Brook ward).

TUSC is demanding a 'needs budget' and is opposing further council cuts as a result of Central Government austerity policies.

It is also calling rent caps and rent freezes and demanding the city council build more council homes, but not for sale.

TUSC is also calling for a parking permit scheme in Oxford, Controlled Parking Zones, to be scrapped.

However this is administered by Oxfordshire County Council.

If elected, TUSC candidates would 'refuse to take any expenses for representing the local community'.

For Britain Movement

Lorenzo de Gregori is the only candidate for the far-right party the For Britain Movement. He is standing in Northfield Brook ward.

Mr de Gregori, who moved to the UK from Italy in 2005 and works in IT, said the council needed to 'cut the waste and make councillors responsible for their mistakes'.

Freedom Alliance

John McCann is the only candidate standing for the anti-lockdown party called the Freedom Alliance 'No Lockdowns, No Curfews'.

He is standing in the Rose Hill and Iffley ward.