CRITICISM of the Greens’ plans to run three candidates in the coming City of Greater Bendigo council elections has continued.
Former mayor and local Greens convenor David Jones revealed last week the party would endorse one candidate in each of the three new wards.
Mr Jones said he would seek preselection to be one of those candidates.
The Greens faced criticism at the last council election in 2008 for a similar tactic, with none of the endorsed candidates winning a ward.
Last week, councillors James Reade and Lisa Ruffell attacked the move, concerned about the influence of political parties on Bendigo council.
This week, three more councillors added their voices attacking the move.
Strathfieldsaye Ward councillor Keith Reynard, who has a strong interest in environmental and sustainability issues, spoke out against the idea.
“I have always maintained councils are best kept free of party politics,” he said.
“I have never been a member of a political party.
“I’m not a supporter of parties being involved in local government at that level.”
North West Plains Ward councillor Bruce Phillips agreed.
“As far as I am concerned that sort of potential of having some sort of group together voting the same way on policy issues may not necessarily be the right direction,” he said.
“Sure they [candidates] might have affiliations or memberships, but I would prefer everyone acts independently and votes according to the merits of the proposal in front of us and how it fits in with where council thinks it should be going.”
Eaglehawk Ward councillor Peter Cox acknowledged it was the Greens’ right to endorse and run the candidates, but refused to support the idea.
“I think they are courageous because they have principles they want to stand up for and they are doing that,” he said.
“However, I would want pragmatic policy to influence the decision making of council.
“This council looks at issues on their merit and different councillors vote different ways depending on what they see on each issue.
“That is a credit to local government and I wouldn’t want to lose that. I prefer to keep politics out of local government.”