AN Abergavenny man disillusioned with politicians on both sides of the Conservative and Labour divide has decided to take matters into his own hands and hopes to stand as an independent candidate in the forthcoming elections.

Local author and campaigner Owen Lewis, who was instrumental in the Save Tudor Street Day Centre campaign, told the Chronicle, “As someone who used to work with vulnerable adults who attended the day centre I saw firsthand how much the service had been cut to the bone since COVID struck in 2020.

Owen admits that the success of the campaign was overwhelming. He explained, “I was told in the beginning we were on a highway to nothing. Yet here we are, still fighting our corner and the jury is still out on the future of the building. If the campaign has taught me anything, it’s reminded me of the importance of people power and how it’s vital for everyone to use their voice to fight for what’s right.”

Owen’s work with the campaign eventually led to the founding of community group, The Gathering, an organisation which strives to replace some of the services the council has cut.

He has since become involved with other local issues such as opposition to the cattle grid proposals in Castle Meadows and the closure of Abergavenny’s Halifax.

Owen now believes there is room and a need for an independent candidate fighting on behalf of the voiceless and disenfranchised.

Owen said, “I've dealt with politicians on all sides of the political spectrum, but I've been quite disillusioned with both the Conservative and Labour parties, and I've come to feel that the party system is just not fit for purpose.

"Representatives, even if they're well-intentioned, are more loyal to their party machinery than they are to local people. I wanted to give people in Monmouthshire an opportunity to get away from all the party politics - to vote for an independent candidate who has their best interests at heart.”

He added, “I would love to give people the opportunity to vote for me at the 2024 General Election. To stand, I need a deposit of £500 - if as many people as possible chip in, we can do this!”

You can find Owen's GoFund me page here!