A LONG-STANDING Micklefield councillor has revealed she will stand as an Independent in a bid to win the Wycombe seat from the Tories.

In a last-minute announcement just before the Thursday deadline to register as a candidate, Cllr Julia Wassell told the Bucks Free Press she would stand against Labour, Conservatives, the Green Party and Lib Dems - with her top priority to be a “strong and independent voice” for the area.

Cllr Wassell, who represents the Totteridge ward for the district council and Ryemead and Micklefield at the county council, said if elected, she would prioritise the NHS and social care - saying: “Austerity has decimated our public services and yet the tax payer continues to pay while services deteriorate.”

She will also be tough on violent crime - adding: “Nobody should be carrying knives, guns and weapons on the streets and all measures possible must be used to prevent any further casualties and heartbreak.”

Telling the paper about her other priorities, Cllr Wassell said: “The beautiful town of High Wycombe has ongoing problems with traffic congestion, pollution and neglect.

“I would recruit a youth task force to improve every community in our area, removing graffiti, banishing litter and flytipping and making improvements. This would restore our civic pride.

“I am concerned about climate change and support the 2030 deadline for carbon neutrality and would encourage everyone to take practical steps.

“Public trust in our political system is broken and we need tougher regulation of politicians, political parties and elections to restore confidence in their integrity.”

Wycombe has been Cllr Wassell’s lifelong home - growing up in Hazlemere and Tylers Green and she has lived opposite The Rye for more than 30 years. She has also been a school governor and is the CEO of a mental health charity.