On Your Side

On 13 November 2014 I launched my campaign to become the MP for Taunton Deane. You can read my first campaign leaflet here and you can listen to a wide-ranging interview with me here

You can read my recently-adopted health policy here

Why am I standing? Because we need an MP free to speak up for our area without party interference. That’s why I’m standing as an Independent.

The long established model is broken, with the old stranglehold of the two party system fading before our eyes and If you thought voting Lib Dem was a good idea in 2010, what are you thinking now? It’s silly to claim that everything done by the three main Westminster parties has been wrong, but what is wrong with their policies, is that Party interests come first and the interests of local people – us – come a poor second.

I’ve lived in and around Taunton for over 20 years and feel a strong affinity with the Taunton area and have been dismayed at the relative decline in the town’s commercial fortunes. Taunton is the County town of Somerset and needs fresh leadership for a vibrant 21st century future that ensures prosperity, jobs and trade. That is why I became a founder member of Taunton Forward, a collection of businesspeople looking to put Taunton at the heart of our region for business, shopping, tourism, the arts and entertainment.

I intend to put Taunton Deane first, free from party orders. Did you know that along with Jeremy Browne, not one Somerset MP, Conservative or Liberal Democrat, voted to bring Government funding for Somerset up to the same as that given to urban areas? Again, party orders prevented them. That’s no good. We need a fresh approach, a Member of Parliament elected solely to put the interests of the people of Taunton Deane first rather than someone who will be whipped into voting along party lines.

Martin Bell and Dr Richard Taylor are both shining examples of what motivated, Independent MPs can achieve for their constituencies, for their counties and for this Country. They were free from the corrupting influence of lobbyists and the sleaze that has dogged party politics for too many years.

As an independent County Councillor I was surprised that the Conservative administration at County Hall wanted to close the library in my village, slash funding for our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sell off the West Somerset Railway and close a local Children’s Centre. Being independent meant that I was able to campaign, successfully, against all of these. I also pressed successfully for the early installation of superfast broadband for my County Council constituency.

Taunton Deane needs a Champion.

Keep checking back here for details of what I’m up to or follow the links above to my Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Why I’m Voting Mike Rigby

May 4th, 2015

This is an email I received from Independent Borough Councillor Steve Ross from Wiveliscombe. I thought I’d share it with you.


Why I’m voting Mike Rigby for our MP.
When I am campaigning for the District Council elections many people are asking me about you. I tell them I think you will be a great constituency MP and are what we need.

We have all suffered from the impacts of party politics. In my area we have been very lucky to keep our library and public toilets but our calls for common sense on social care, youth provision and other issues have been ignored by politicians putting party before the people who elected them. As an Independent I have to use my judgement about what is best for all of Taunton Deane. The uncertainty of the national outcome (or the near certainty of a hung Parliament) means we need a strong MP. Though other candidates might have similar strengths, I think the constituency will benefit most from an MP who won’t be obliged or forced to take a party line. That’s why we need you as our MP. Nationally we will benefit from having someone who is not aligned to any party.

Tactical Voting for Taunton Deane
Local people are seeing through the party smoke screen. People are on to the fact that Rebecca and Rachel don’t dare mention you in any of their election material. The Conservatives’ Lord Ashcroft has avoided repeating his opinion poll in Taunton Deane since you entered the race. The parties aren’t giving you any press because they are scared. The Tories knew they had the Lib Dems beat as soon as Jeremy stood down and they don’t consider Labour and the Greens as posing any risk. You are a credible threat to them because of the power of tactical voting, because people are struggling with the fact that their heartfelt ideological vote, though made with integrity, would be wasted on their own party and will mean the party they don’t like wins. People want to know how to vote to achieve the tactical result they want for Taunton Deane. Continue reading “Why I’m Voting Mike Rigby” »