In a surprise move, Flackwell Heath resident Larisa Townsend is set to stand as an independent candidate in the Buckinghamshire Council elections in May 2025.

She will vie for the Flackwell Heath & The Wooburns ward, campaigning alongside Penny Drayton and Stuart Wilson, who are currently Independent councillors.

Larisa’s decision to join the race comes in as councillor Sophie Kayani steps back, spurred by new career opportunities.

Rich in experiences, Townsend has led a versatile life.

A former lawyer and mother of three, she presently operates her own micro-bakery.

Tinted with the vibrancy of her diverse roles, her dedication to her community has been evident in the plethora of local activities she's led for the people of Flackwell Heath since she moved there a few years ago.

Speaking up about her decision, Larisa said: "I listen to the residents and get things done - party politics has got in the way of action for too long at both a national and local level.

"With the number of councillors reducing from 147 to 97 in May 2025, it’s time for change across Buckinghamshire and I want to be part of that."

For her, being entrenched in local issues and understanding their nuances are paramount to improving the local community.

Councillors Penny Drayton and Stuart Wilson extended their warmest welcome to Larisa.

Speaking of their joy in Larisa's decision, they revealed: "We are absolutely delighted that Larisa is going to stand as an Independent in the new Flackwell Heath & The Wooburns ward.

"She has the energy and resilience to be a real voice for Flackwell Heath and all ward residents in the years to come.

"We very much look forward to campaigning as Independents together in Flackwell Heath, The Wooburns, Bourne End and Hedsor.

"We understand Sophie’s decision and thank her for being part of this great team since May 2021."

Looking ahead to the May 2025 elections, the goal is for at least 25 bucks seats to be held by Independent candidates.

However, such a lofty ambition requires a significant increase in Independent candidates standing for election across the entire county.

To join this rising Independent movement, aspiring councillors are urged to come forward, ready to amplify the causes that matter most to their local communities.

To register an interest or get more information on standing as an Independent candidate in the upcoming 2025 elections, potential candidates should reach out via email to