IT’S with considerable regret I read of Cllr Johnny Hayes’ decision to stand down after doing so much to benefit this city.

But as is so often the case, those with good intentions often don’t like the brutal nature of conflict that comes with being involved in politics.

There was a better way to save Clifford’s Tower, however.

Just 24 more like-minded independent members of council could have struck down that planning application at the first vote.

No court case, no money wasted, no threat to York’s heritage and perhaps we might have retained a fine member of council at next year’s elections.

My message to all who are saddened by this news; do as I intend to and join in the fight against the failing party system in York.

A few dozen well-meaning citizens is all it takes to reach the best choices for this city with co-operation and respect for other individuals’ views rather than the petty conflicts that come from tribal party divisions.

Don’t just agree with people like Cllr Hayes, stand up yourselves or we’re all in for a further four years of incompetence from our local government driven by the bickering of warring factions.

I’m setting up a group to encourage and support more independents standing for election so anybody who is considering taking the political fight to the failed incumbents can contact me at

Dr Scott Marmion,