Councillor admits he was fed up with 'party politics' as he is reelected as an independent

A councillor who quit the SNP just three months before the elections has this week revealed he was fed up of “party politics”.

By Marc McLean - Local Democracy Reporting Service
Friday, 13th May 2022, 9:35 pm
Dougie Campbell was reelected in the Dee and Glenkens ward as an independent
Dougie Campbell was reelected in the Dee and Glenkens ward as an independent

Dougie Campbell announced in March he was taking the risky step of trying to get reelected to Dumfries and Galloway Council as an independent candidate.

Standing once again to represent Dee and Glenkens, his campaigning paid off – claiming the third councillor seat in the three member ward.

Councillor Campbell said: “There’s no doubt that it’s much more difficult to be elected as an independent candidate, without the support of party finances and activists.

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“I was apprehensive about whether people would place their trust in me as an individual rather representing a party.

“However, I learned quickly when speaking to folk that there was support for me based on my track record, my promise to focus entirely on the issues affecting them, and not be constrained or directed by party politics.”

Asked why he decided to leave the SNP after being part of the previous Labour-SNP administration, the councillor replied: “Over the previous five years I’ve learned that party politics in local government can sometimes do more harm than good.

"What people want is for their councillors to work together and be champions for the communities they represent.

“Trust in politicians is pretty low at the moment and the last thing people want is their councillors trying to score political points against each other.

“My views on the future independence of Scotland haven’t changed. I still believe Scotland can flourish as an independent nation in the EU, however current local government arrangements need reform with more power and control over decisions returned to local communities.

“First and foremost, my priority will be what’s in the best interests of the people who elected me.

“I don’t intend to join any administration, however I want progressive policies which will protect the most vulnerable during the cost of living crisis and will support a green economic recovery.

“This will dictate how I vote on council policies brought forward by an administration.”