"we have a strong sense of fairness and equality."
In Plymouth, the political landscape is changing as three of the city’s most well-known Councillors have joined forces on Plymouth City Council, to form the Independent Alliance Group.
Founding members Chaz Singh, Terri Beer and Nick Kelly have over 33 years of experience on the council.
Councillor Beer has been the Deputy Lord Mayor, the Lord Mayor and the Cabinet Member for Children.
Councillor Singh has been the Deputy Lord Mayor, Chair of Taxi Licensing and Chair of the Equalities Working Group.
Councillor Kelly has been the Leader of Plymouth City Council, Deputy Lord Mayor, Chair of the Performance and Finance Scrutiny Committee, Chair of Taxi Licencing, and Chair of Chief Officer Appointments Panel.
Between them, the trio has held a number of Shadow Cabinet positions, appointments to outside bodies and sat on nearly all of the Council’s various committees.
They are passionate about Plymouth and have worked tirelessly on local ward issues and improving the lives of children, the most vulnerable, and the minority groups within the city.
These along with making Plymouth a fantastic place to live, work or visit and improving civic pride will remain key priorities they will campaign on.
Councillor Beer said: “Promoting the safeguarding of our children and vulnerable adults will continue to be a priority area to focus on, moving forward.”
All three Councillors are active on social media with their work.
They have decided to form an official group to allow them to represent their residents on the various PCC Committees.
This is something that was not done by previous Independent members as they already had a close working relationship and shared values.
Councillor Beer added: “Despite coming from very different backgrounds, we have a strong sense of fairness and equality.”
Councillor Kelly said: “During the past 18 months, the three of us have worked very closely together.
“We share common beliefs and values, and simply want the very best for Plymouth’s residents and businesses.
“Councillor Terri Beer was the Lord Mayor when I was the Leader, and we attended many civic events together in our respective capacities, no more so than offering support to the community following the Keyham tragedy.
“We also awarded Freedom of the City three times during our terms of office, to deserving recipients Mark Ormrod, Tom Daley and the Falklands Veterans.
“Councillor Singh was appointed to Chair the new Equalities Working Group and in conjunction with us both, really reached out to the minority communities within our city, that he has championed for over a decade.
“The Lord Mayor hosted many events in the Parlour where we invited different communities into PCC, especially the Romanian, Jewish and Asian communities in our city.”
Councillor Singh explained: “As a city that is changing visually, and culturally, it’s important that all residents and visitors feel that Plymouth is a warm and welcoming city.”
All three believe now is the right time to offer Plymouth something different.
The national political backdrop of chaos has been mirrored in Plymouth over the past six months.
They believe large party politics is dead for the foreseeable future, with so many of the electorate totally disillusioned.
Plymouth has never had an elected Independent Councillor, but in May 2023, when all three are up for election this may change.
They are in conversation with other Councillors who have become disillusioned with their own party’s conduct broken promises, and policies for Plymouth.
Councillor Kelly stated: “Others within the Council may join us in the coming weeks and months, that will be their choice.
“However, since my resignation, I have been inundated with people urging me to stand as an Independent and form an Alliance.
“Previous Councillors and Councillor Candidates have contacted me in the past few days wanting to stand and be part of this Alliance in May 2023.
“We already have enough candidates to stand in each of the 19 wards.
“This is something new and exciting, although a lot more work and planning will now start to truly offer the residents of Plymouth a real and credible alternative to the mainstream parties.
“I am excited about leading this initiative and hope to share more details in the coming months.”
After Councillor Kelly resigned from the Conservative Party, Plymouth City Council is in a state of no overall control.
Therefore, the new Independent Group will have a big role to play in any council vote that may affect policies for running the city.
Their objective is to hold any Administration to account whilst also being proactive in offering solutions to the city’s challenges.
Councillor Singh added: “We feel liberated that we can do the very best for Plymouth and our residents, and not be concerned about going against any national party policies or having disciplinary action taken against us, we are truly independent.”