Long-standing Lib Dem councillors leave party to create ‘Broxtowe Independents’
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Coun Steve Carr and Coun Barbara Carr, members for Beeston North, have set up a new group called Broxtowe Independents, with the slogan “for the people, by the people”.
Coun Steve Carr, also Nottinghamshire Council member for Bramcote and Beeston North, said he wanted to represent people “without the shackles of party politics”.
He joined the Social Democratic Party, which later became the Lib Dems, in 1983.
Coun Barbara Carr has been part of the Lib Dems since 1992.
At the local elections in May, five Lib Dems were elected to sit on the council. Now only three remain as councillors, all representing Bramcote – Coun David Watts, Coun Hannah Land and Coun Andy Kingdon.
Coun Steve Carr said: “For some time, local politics have been getting in the way of us being able to represent the people in our wards.
“We took the decision to leave a political party so we could act as independents, without interference of party politics.
“I am letting residents know and we’ve not had any adverse reactions to it.
“We’ve not fallen out with the Lib Dems nationally and would still support their aims. Locally, we feel it is imperative we are able to represent the people without the shackles of party politics.”
Coun Watts said: “It is always disappointing when people leave a party they have been elected to represent, but I know Steve and Barbara have had difficulty for some time with the collective responsibility and discipline of a political party.
“They have, however, been friends for many years and that hasn’t changed, so I look forward to continuing to work with them on many issues in the future.”
Coun Land said the Lib Dems “aim to maintain a constructive relationship with our independent colleagues”.
She said: “We are disappointed to see them leave the party. The Broxtowe Liberal Democrats remain committed to representing residents and will continue campaigning across the borough.”
Since the 2019 elections, Broxtowe Council has been run by a coalition, including Labour, the Lib Dems and Independents. The elections saw Labour take control of the authority for the first time since 2003. Nationally, the Lib Dems gained 407 councillors in the local elections while the Conservatives lost 1,063.