Derby City Council

Alex Dann : Independent Candidate for Oakwood – “taking a chance on change”

Alex Dann, Independent Candidate for Oakwood, reflects back on her 2018 campaign:

Previous article about Alex as she set off on her bid to be elected : “Can you be an Independent Councillor in May 2018 elections – Oakwood’s Alex Dann can!”


As we approach the final few days before the election, I look back at the key aspects of my campaign as an independent candidate.

Having stood as a candidate 2 years ago I felt much more prepared for the task this time round. I had already mastered the use of the electoral imprint (printed, published and promoted by… seen on all publicity); I knew about the submission of expenses and limits; I had a brand, a blog and Facebook page already in place; and a small team of people who would support me.

This time round my circumstances had changed significantly. Over the two-year period since the last election, I had got to know a lot more people within the community and I had more flexibility with time due to my move to supply teaching.

I set out early, with help for a small band of volunteers, delivering personalised letters to all the households with postal voters, in the hope that some of the early returners would get a sense of what I was trying to achieve. Searching out some of the addresses was tricky… Oakwood is a bit of a rabbit warren and has a great many different styles of house – some tucked away.

I arranged 4 meet and greet sessions – two at the busy Community Centre Café on Wednesday mornings; one at Springwood Leisure Centre; and one outside Chaddesden Wood (located in Oakwood) on a sunny Saturday morning. In this way, I managed to meet and chat to many Oakwood residents about my aims and ideas and they were able to share with me their concerns about the local area.

The response I got was really encouraging. People genuinely seemed interested in the idea of party free representation for the ward. They are fed up of the lack of common sense, cross-party working and compromise in the Council Chamber. Many people said they would look carefully at my information before voting and I have had a steady stream of emails and messages of support from different people, mostly from people I don’t know.

The most common question I was asked was ‘what would be different if Oakwood had an Independent Councillor compared with a Conservative one?’ My detailed answer can be found on this blog article.

Essentially, if people are fed up of party politics then the only way to run the city is by having a fully independent council – that isn’t going to happen overnight – but certainly won’t happen unless people take a chance on change.

The last week has seen a big push to deliver to every house in Oakwood Ward – including those houses in Chaddesden which fall within the ward boundary. It has taken a massive amount of effort and time from my loyal supporters but it is important to me that residents are able to make an informed choice. I cannot expect them to vote for me if I haven’t given them any information as to why they should. Every vote has to be earned – after all the role of councillor is to serve the ward residents and to work for them in the running of the council.

Most of my campaign tasks are now complete. The next few days will see me running a Facebook campaign and writing on the blog in the run up to election day on Thursday 3rd May. I am looking forward to seeing the outcome on Friday morning. Maybe times are changing for both myself and Derby City.

For more about my thoughts and ideas for Oakwood Ward and Derby City  please take a look around my blog at:

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