Independent candidates hope to put Chippenham before party allegiance

This Is Wiltshire: Chippenham Champions’ Melody Thompson, centre, and Ben Gregory, far right Chippenham Champions’ Melody Thompson, centre, and Ben Gregory, far right

Two businesspeople in Chippenham have set up a new party pledging to put the town before politics.

Chippenham Champions, the brainchild of Melody Thompson and Ben Gregory, are standing in the town council election for Hardenhuish – one of the town’s most hotly contested wards – alongside Liberal Democrats Nick Watts and David Powell and Conservatives David Lenderyou, Ken Kennedy and Elizabeth Kennedy.

Mrs Thompson, 37, and Mr Gregory, 35, said they believe people do not want national politics to overshadow local elections.

Mother-of-three Mrs Thompson, who runs 24/7 Staffing and co-chairs Cherish Chippenham Town team, said: “We had been thinking about standing for a while and organising the Chippenham Business Awards just convinced us to get involved where we can make a lasting difference, because we can see how much potential Chippenham has.”

She is also a Wiltshire Council candidate for Chippenham Hardenhuish.

Mr Gregory, owner of Digiprint and co-chairman of Cherish Chippenham, said: “I am fed up with Chippenham being a political football caught between the Lib Dems in the town hall and the Conservatives in county hall.

“Let’s leave politics out of it and do what is best for Chippenham.”

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