Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Lockdown opponent stands in election

Lockdown opponent stands in election

A CAFE owner who opposes the coronavirus lockdown is standing for election.

Vivienne Lee is competing in the Henley division of Oxfordshire County Council for a new party called Freedom Alliance.

Ms Lee, who owns the Chocolate Café in Thames Side, Henley, is one of four people challenging for the seat at the council elections on Thursday, May 6.

She said: “The decision to stand is a direct result of the last 10 months, which have been very tough due to lockdown and covid rules.

“The lockdown has created such big disruption in Henley. This town relies so much on tourism and on its businesses people come to Henley for the regatta and for various festivals and all of that was devastated last year and the guidelines were sometimes very vague.

“Lockdown has also disrupted my own life and my business as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s lives.”

She said the Freedom Alliance party, which is a coalition of individuals from across the political spectrum opposed to the government restrictions, best reflected her position.

The party says it “prioritises personal liberty and the rights and responsibilities of the individual to make the choices that are right for them.”

Ms Lee said: “I am all about freedom of choice: freedom to decide whether your business can stay open, freedom to send your children to school and freedom to decide to get vaccinated. I believe it’s people’s right to a have the freedom to choose.

“I’ve always been passionate and involved in the local community so I felt that standing for election would be the right thing to do.

“What I’ve been doing with my business has always been about giving back to the Henley community.”

Born in Liverpool, Ms Lee lived in various parts of the country before coming to Henley in 2011 and opening the business.

In 2018, she opened two more Chocolate Cafés in Goring and at Holme Grange Craft Centre in Wokingham.

The other candidates are the incumbent Stefan Gawrysiak, who lives in Henley and represents Henley Residents Group, former South Oxfordshire district councillor Paul Harrison, from Sonning Common, for the Conservatives and Stephen Herbert, from Goring, for Labour.

More News:

POLL: Have your say