TWO Morpeth traffic lights campaigners have been motivated by their brush with politics to stand for election.
Bob Robertson and David Clark, who were founder members of the Lights Out group, are going for seats on Morpeth Town Council.
The pair are standing as Independents in the Morpeth North ward, which has five seats up for grabs.
Mr Robertson, 63, who has recently retired after 35 years in the car industry, said: “I don’t think either of us would have considered it before the experience of the Lights Out campaign.
“We set out on the campaign to remove the Telford Bridge lights because they so irritated us, in common with a lot of other people. The process of trying to get the council to acknowledge the fact that it is supposed to represent the people proved more difficult than you would expect and that annoyed us, which is why we are standing.
“We are both very strong on the fact that we are not political. We live in the town, we love the town and we think that standing for election is the right thing to do.
“We both feel quite genuinely that the town isn’t getting a fair deal. Politics come into the decision-making process a bit too often and sometimes the council doesn’t move quite as fast as it could.”
He added: “Serving on the council is something I would like to do because I want to make a contribution to the community. I believe I can probably make a difference, not only with the traffic lights, which was the trigger, but there will be other issues. I want to be a focus for public opinion.”
Mr Clark, 47, who is self-employed, said: “I have always had a bit of an interest in what was going on around the town. The whole motive for becoming a founder member of Lights Out was because I was sick of hearing people moaning about the lights, but nobody was doing anything about them. We got everybody together and proved ourselves.
“Coming up against the administration of the council, I was so incensed by how much it didn’t listen to the people that it motivated me to take it to the next level and stand for election.
“It is much wider than the traffic lights. When we realised how much support there was for the Lights Out group we said we would go on and make it a Morpeth Matters group to pick up on anything that is bothering people and become a mouthpiece for them and make the little people’s voices heard. That is what we would do on the council.
“I have never had political aspirations or any interest in party politics, but at town council level I don’t think there is any place for that.
“We will listen to what people actually want and try to get it for them.”
Other candidates standing in the ward are: David Bawn (Cons), Nicola Bawn (Cons), Nic Best (Green), Les Cassie (LibDem), Ron Forster (Green), Richard Thompson (LibDem), Graeme Trotter (LibDem) and Johnny Wearmouth (Cons).