BEING independent of the restraints of any party whip allows me to align myself exclusively to the views and fears of local residents.

I am constantly dismayed by the boot across the throat, or ‘we know best’ attitude by Malvern Hills District Council leadership toward the anxieties of residents and their representatives, local councillors.

Malvern Wells residents in particular have endured many months of distress and misery in terms of housing development planning (Tory-led Malvern Hills District Council), and genuine fear that they would lose their buses (Tory-led Worcestershire County Council).

Housing: On the one hand it is suggested that building won’t be permitted in an area of outstanding natural beauty, on the other we are told by our Tory-dominated central government that planning applications must be considered in such areas or ‘special measures’ will be imposed.

On August 7, 2014, residents of Malvern Wells pass their verdict upon good governance or otherwise of Malvern Hills District Council's Tory leadership. Will 70 per cent of residents not vote, or will the swell of anger call for change in the ballot result. The former I fear.

If a Tory wins due to poor turnout, ‘back room deals’ will become legitimised.

Martin Lawrence

Malvern town councillor