YORK'S only Independent councillor says she wants to continue "working for the people and the community in York."

Upper Poppleton councillor Janet Hopton, pictured, is seeking election to the new Rural West York Ward.

She said a voice on City of York Council that is free of party political influence is healthy for local democracy.

"Independents can be very effective," Coun Hopton said.

"I take each issue as it comes and make a decision on what I think is best for York or the ward."

Major issues Coun Hopton has been involved with include the proposed A59 Park&Ride site, in which she stressed the need for full evaluation of the sites before any decision, and secondary school links for villages in her ward.

She also spoke against the proposed Coppergate development at the public inquiry into the plans.

Coun Hopton said she would expect some co-operation with the Clifton-based Independent group if she or any of the three Clifton candidates are elected. She added: "If there are several Independents that does not mean there is a party, but obviously you encourage each other and work together.

"I would work with any other councillor in forwarding something we believe to be right."

Other Independent candidates in York are Victor Paylor, in Skelton, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without, Gordon Campbell-Thomas, fighting Hull Road, and Osbaldwick candidate Gerald Grisdale.

Updated: 10:53 Saturday, April 19, 2003