A new Oxford political party has been launched which says it is calling for "a return to real democracy" and councillors who "listen to residents' views on LTNs".

The Independent Oxford Alliance kickstarted its campaign today at the Oxford Academy in Littlemore where it introduced independent candidates from across the city. The school has made clear it does not support the party and was just hosting the event.

A "cooperative" of independents, some who have already campaigned in wards in previous elections and others who are new to politics, will come together as a pool of candidates.

Oxford Mail: Dr Anne Gwinnett, party chair.Dr Anne Gwinnett, party chair. (Image: IOA)

They say they will "make decisions based on concerns in their area rather than local politics driven by a national agenda".

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A member of the party's executive committee, Peter George, told the Oxford Mail: "There is already a desire when talking to people to have a real alternative.

"There seems to be a complete lack of democracy.

"If we pool our resources to grow a party then councillors can still be independent in office."

Oxford Mail: Independent candidate Mohammed Azad speaking at the launch.Independent candidate Mohammed Azad speaking at the launch. (Image: IOA)

Mr George added that the "genesis" of the party was partly brought about by a by-election for Rose Hill & Iffley where independent candidate Michael Evans "very nearly beat the incumbent Labour councillor".

"We have a real chance if we get organised—in not just one, but several wards in Oxford," Mr George said.

Speakers at the 7.30pm launch event today are listed as party chairman Anne Gwinnet and candidates Mohammed Azad, David Henwood, John Skinner and Anne Stares as well as Richard Parnham, of the transport campaign group 'Reconnecting Oxford'.

Oxford Mail: Richard Parnham speaking at the launch.Richard Parnham speaking at the launch. (Image: IOA)

A spokesman for the party has said it "believes it is wrong for councils deliberately to cause congestion with LTNs, and effectively tax all but the wealthy out of their cars with emission zones and parking charges".

He adds that the "councillors will challenge and undo these policies".

But Mr George emphasised: "We are not an anti-LTN party though this is one area where we have detected that a large majority of people in Oxford do not feel their views have been considered."

Oxford Mail: LTNs in Oxford have caused controversy LTNs in Oxford have caused controversy When asked about possible alternative measures that might be considered, he suggested the party might explore options such as increasing public transport if more buses reduced cars organically.

He also suggested moving cycle lanes off main roads into parallel roads.

The two key objectives listed on the party website are "upholding democracy" and "improving quality of life".

Formation of the IOA comes amid the resignation of 10 Oxford city councillors from the Labour party with the last couple of months.

"We want to find those people who don't think their vote counts and tell them there is a real alternative," the party representative concluded.