A newly-created Derby political party will appear on ballot papers for next year’s city council elections.
Five city councillors who currently represent the Brexit Party on Derby council, will from now on be representing the Reform Derby party, which has been created just for the city.
As a result, the search is on for members to join and candidates to stand in next year’s Derby City Council elections as members of the new party.
The Reform Derby party is led by Councillor Alan Graves senior and he says that together the councillors believe “we need to reform Derby”.
He said: “The party is inclusive and focuses on being independent from the mainstream political parties.
“For many years, Derby City Council has suffered from links to the national London-centric political parties that have become remote from what Derby needs.
“Now voters will have the choice of parties that follow their national political masters under the whip system or an independent Reform Derby party that only answers to the residents that elect them.
“We will be seeking membership from people who have an interest in Derby and suitable candidates with a passion for Derby for next year’s local elections.”
Mr Graves said that a major deciding factor for the change was a lack of movement on changing the governance system of the city council.
At present it is cabinet led, which comprises of members of the majority party – currently Conservatives – meaning that decisions are taken by its eight cabinet members.
The city council’s Liberal Democrats group and the former city Brexit Party group, now the Reform Derby party, want to see a committee system introduced which would give more councillors a chance to debate and decide issues.
Mr Graves said: “In 2018, the Conservatives also wanted to change our cabinet system to the democratic committee system but the council still remains under the elitist cabinet system.
“We believe this has prolonged work on the A52, delayed work on Moorways, and scrapped plans for the Assembly Rooms. This has wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.”
He added: “Our first major objective is to campaign to change the council governance system from the dictatorial cabinet system to the more democratic committee system.
“Whilst the members are still passionate about Brexit, this new party will focus on Derby now this issue has united our country by deciding to leave the EU.
“The new party will be focusing on what is right for Derby and will be seeking the views of anyone and everyone that is interested in taking Derby forward.”
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The other new Reform Derby party members are: councillors John Evans, Paul Bettany, Kirk Kus and Alan Graves Junior.
Deputy leader Mr Evans added: “We have been planning this for the last four months but had to delay this announcement due to the coronavirus pandemic”
Reform Derby councillors were formerly all Brexit Party councillors and before that some of them represented the UKIP Party. The decision to change name to the Reform Derby party was made by all councillors through a unanimous democratic vote.
No city council elections, which should have taken place in May, have been held because of the coronavirus pandemic. The next elections are scheduled for May 2021.