A NEW party has issued a “call to arms” to independent candidates in a bid to take control of Barnet Council at the upcoming elections.

The Residents' Association of Barnet (RAB) has been started as a reaction to what the party's founder and chairman Dorothy Badrick, calls a loss of democracy in local politics.

The aim of the party is to wrest control of Barnet Council with a group of independent candidates aligned under the RAB banner but elected on local issues.

Ms Badrick said: “The way we see it there's not a credible option for people to vote for with any of he big parties. We think the Conservatives have upset a lot of people with a string of very unpopular schemes locally.

“Labour have not been able to provide an effective opposition and the Lib Dems are not strong either.

“We felt people don't want to vote for a party, they need a credible alternative and that's what we're hoping to provide.”

Among the initial policies drawn up by the groups founders Ms Badrick, Morton Morris and Gina Emannuel, are to call in the Brent Cross Cricklewood plans for a public inquiry.

They have also pledged to stop controversial changes to warden services, which were blocked by the High Court last year, and scrap the Futureshape scheme, dubbed EasyCouncil.

Ms Badrick continued: “You can try all you like but it's very difficult to stand as an independent candidate against well organised parties.

“What we will do is offer support, advice and organisation to help them campaign effectively. If we do get a conflict of opinion in the party that would be great, as democracy is supposed to be about healthy debate.

“This is a call to arms to anyone who cares about their community to get involved. We have had enough of having a council run from national government which does not take concern of local issues.”

The three, who worked together on the campaign to save Hendon Football club's Claremont Road ground as a “community asset”, have been sounding out residents' associations across the borough about their idea.

Mr Morris, a former manager for HM Customs and Excise, said they had based their group model on similar groups who had been successful on other councils.

At a meeting last night in the Crown Moran Hotel in Cricklewood Broadway he told the Times Series: “We know what the issues are in our area but we need people to tell us what the problems are elsewhere.

“We have no political allegiances, we have no agenda other than the best interests of Barnet and the local communities.”

The group also want to introduce council sponsored Neighbourhood Officers to liaise with police and highlight areas for other council departments to tackle things like flytipping and graffiti.

RAB is holding an open public meeting next Wednesday for anyone interested in standing in the local elections on May 6 at 6.30pm at St. Michaels Church Hall, Golders Green Road.

Anyone interested can contact Ms Badrick on 0777 9690806 or e-mail barnet_rab@yahoo.com.