THREE independent election candidates in Northwood Hills have urged voters to ditch the three main parties when they go to the local polls in May.
Current councillor, David Bishop; landlady of Woody's Bar in Joel Street, Natalie Coleshill; and IT consultant Steve Pink, of Tolcarne Drive; say squabbling over party politics is hindering improvement of the area.
Ms Coleshill, 30, has set up a Facebook protest group called Sick of Party Politics, Action for Northwood Hills, which currently has 35 members.
She said: "We are living in a 'hoodie' culture and many youngsters are not as confident or optimistic as they should be. They need to feel like they have a purpose but instead, many feel they have nothing to look forward to.
"Apathy is a nationwide problem but Northwood Hills is no exception and young people here need someone to listen and galvanise them – I think my age will really help me connect.
"Social cohesion is hugely important but the community here is really broken down and we have a lot of work to do to get everyone involved again."
The trio insist that they – not the Conservatives, Lib Democrats or Labour – can transform Northwood Hills because they have greater freedom without having to toe the party line.
They say the area has been 'forgotten' in favour of others in the borough and is not doing as well as it should be.
Mr Pink, 58, a married father-of-two, said: "This is only area in Hillingdon that doesn't have a bank, supermarket or effective CCTV. We are one of the last areas to have a stop and shop scheme approved, despite campaigning for it for two years, and residents' parking is also still an issue.
"There are always initiatives in the south of the borough, which admittedly is deprived, but there are 9,000 people here in Northwood Hills who are paying their council tax and yet being neglected."
This is the first time Mr Pink and Ms Coleshill, who is also the secretary for the Northwood Hills Chamber of Commerce, have entered the world of politics, although Cllr Bishop, 77, has been serving the community for more than 20 years.
Cllr Bishop said: "Being independent means you are not obliged to tow the party line.
"Residents and businesses want someone with integrity to stand up for them and fight for the issues that matter to them – not councillors who are only interested in political point scoring.
"Had I been a Conservative councillor, I would not have been able to achieve as much here, particularly in terms of helping to set up the chamber of commerce."
Cllr Bishop, Ms Coleshill and Mr Pink will meet voters at Fairfield in Windsor Close, Northwood Hills on Thursday, April 15 from 7.30pm – 9.30pm. Please note political matters will not be discussed or considered during the meeting.