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Lincolnshire Independents ‘disappointed’ at breakaway coalition members

Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents Marianne Overton said she is disappointed three of her councillors broke away to form a coalition with the Conservatives to run the County Council.

As previously reported, the three Liberal democrats in Lincolnshire joined three independent councillors to form a coalition with Conservatives, who won just 36 seats in the the May 2 local elections, losing overall control of the council.

Independent Chris Brewis (Sutton Elloe) is entering the coalition, along with Bill Aron (Horncastle and Tetford) and Angela Newton (Spalding West).

Angela Newton is expected to lead the new group, and she could also get a spot on the council’s cabinet. The breakaway group will rename soon.

Marianne Overton, leader of the Independents, said: “I was disappointed to see three individuals leave us and join with the Conservatives on the Executive, giving Cllr Hill a slim majority. That made it unnecessary to consider any alternative leadership models.

“Other alternatives could have given a fairer representation of the public vote. This particular coalition, however, looks rather like business as usual, with little regard to the sweeping change demanded by the electorate,” added the Branston and Navenby councillor.

Independent Councillor Steve Palmer (Alford and Sutton) also said: “We will not be seduced by paid posts. We were given a mandate to be clearly Independent and put people first. We are determined to do just that.”

The makeup of the County Council cabinet is yet to be announced.

The Independents used to form the opposition at Lincolnshire County Council, but only won a total of 10 seats.

UKIP won 16 seats and are now the second largest party on the council. They chose Chris Pain as their leader in Lincolnshire.

Lincoln West councillor Rob Parker, leader of the Labour Group on the County Council, has stood down from his role and was replaced by Councillor for Louth South John Hough since the elections.

John Marriott also stepped down as leader of the Liberal Democrats in Lincolnshire and former MP candidate Reg Shore took over.

The Liberal Democrats in the coalition are: Reg Shore (Skellingthorpe and Hykeham South), John Marriot (Hykeham Forum) and Pat O’Connor (Gainsborough Trent).