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Former Cambridgeshire County Council leader Martin Curtis plans return to politics

Martin plans a return to politics in his home town of Whittlesey

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Martin Curtis resigned as a Conservative county councillor to enable his successor to be elected on the same day as the 2015 General Election. Now 9 years later, and again on the same day as the 2024 General Election, Martin hopes to return to politics as a district and town councillor.

The difference is this time he has abandoned the Conservatives to stand as an independent candidate for seats on both Whittlesey Town Council and Fenland District Council.

A by election is expected on July 4 following the resignation of former town mayor and district councillor Kay Mayor.

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“To be honest this has been coming for some time,” he said today of his decision to seek election again.

“I do a lot of work in and around councils and I know what a good one looks like,” he said.

“And one thing I have realised is that being run by a particular political party does not make the difference.

“What makes the difference is imagination, drive, and vision and a willingness to work with people of every political colour.”

Music loving politician Martin Curtis wants to return to politics because “frankly, Whittlesey and Fenland deserve better, and I want to use my knowledge to help both the town council and the district council improve so that we get the best out of them”.

Music loving politician Martin Curtis wants to return to politics because “frankly, Whittlesey and Fenland deserve better, and I want to use my knowledge to help both the town council and the district council improve so that we get the best out of them”.

He praised Kay Mayor for her service to the town and said it was “typical of Kay that she chose to stand down in the run up to the General Election because it would save costs.

“She has been a great servant to our town, and we should be grateful for everything she has done”.

But he hopes to win the by election because “frankly, Whittlesey and Fenland deserve better, and I want to use my knowledge to help both the town Council and the district council improve so that we get the best out of them.

“Over the next 5 weeks I have a ton of leaflets to deliver, which will set out some of my ideas and thoughts. If you are able to help deliver a few, please drop me a message”.

He said anyone wanting to “see a little bit more of me politically” he now appears regularly on the Coffee, Buses and Politics podcast which is broadcast live on YouTube at about 7.30am on a Friday.

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“So, you can find past podcasts on YouTube, or watch me tomorrow (Friday) when we hope to have the Combined Authority Mayor, Dr Nik Johnson answering questions,” he said.”

Martin was first elected to the town council in 1999 and within a few years had become both a district and county councillor.

Until the 2003 election he was leader of Cambridgeshire County Council but stood down prior to the switch to the committee system.

“I fear that we are about to rush headlong into a committee system that will be characterised by petty politics and infighting, with the needs of the people of Cambridgeshire coming a very poor last,” he told me at the time.

At the time he promised to “continue to devote time and energy to the Conservative Party” and has accepted a senior officer post within NE Cambs Conservative Association.

But disillusionment with the Conservatives has been evident for some time and through social media Martin and his blog https://www.changefromthecentre.org/  he has given vent to his political thinking.

In one article, shared with CambsNews, he wrote last year that “if the last couple of years has taught us one thing, it is that our political system is broken.

“Both major political parties are divided, parliament refuses to govern itself effectively and politicians are increasingly chasing select groups of individuals whilst largely ignoring the core voters that they believe they can rely on.

“One result of this last issue is that the focus is increasingly away from core issues to issues which those who engage in politics from the edge of the acceptable spectrum are interested in – whether that is immigration, punishing success and wealth or obsessing with low taxation”.

He also argued for a recall process, similar to that used for MPs, for councillors found to be behaving badly.

“There are a few councillors who have expressed some foul views about Covid (and other issues), and it is really hard to hold councillors to account for misinformation, when the only real punishment they receive is a slap on the wrist, an instruction to issue an apology and maybe some training,” he wrote.

“If councillors’ views are proven to be without foundation and likely to cause harm, they too should be accountable through recall.”

Martin also once stood as a Parliamentary Conservative candidate, achieving a 7.8 per cent swing to in the Labour stronghold of Nottingham North in 2010.

 

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