Almost 30 people attended a public meeting looking for independent councillors to stand for a town council seat.

Open Hexham held its first public meeting on Zoom, with the aim of ‘looking for change’ on Hexham Town Council.

The aim is to gauge support for non-party political, independent candidates to stand for election on to the town council at the upcoming elections in May.

The group brings together locals who helped persuade Hexham Town Council to declare a Climate Emergency in 2019, others who worked on agreeing a sustainability plan for Hexham and those concerned about safer roads for walking and cycling, particularly for students attending the new high and middle school campus.

The group’s ethos is aligned to the Flatpack Democracy movement, whose success began in 2011 with Frome Town Council, and who have a firm belief that party politics does not best serve a town.

The meeting was attended by Peter Macfadyen, founder of Flatpack Democracy and the author of two books of the same title, who offered his experience as part of Frome Town Council to illustrate the council’s ‘can do’ attitude.

Mr Mcfadyen said: “’Post-Brexit, post-Covid, in times of climate change - unless our own communities sort things themselves, we are going to be stuffed. Unless we do it, nobody else will - our regional politicians will be too busy dealing sorting out their affairs and central government has enough on its plate.’’

Open Hexham is seeking more interest and is holding another public Zoom meeting on Saturday February 20 at 11am.

Members of the public are invited to request a Zoom link for the one hour event or to send in any questions by emailing