Recently-resigned NNC Conservative councillors join former council leaders in Independent Alliance of 'community champions'

The four councillors will name their leader at tonight’s full council meeting
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A quartet of North Northants councillors have joined together to create a new Independent Alliance following a mass resignation from the Conservative Party.

Conservative Rothwell and Mawsley ward councillors on North Northamptonshire Council (NNC), Cedwien Brown and Joseph Smyth, chose to stand as independents after a bust-up with the Tories.

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Cllr Brown and Cllr Smyth have been working closely with fellow ward councillor Jim Hakewill – and have been joined in the new group by Cllr Martin Griffiths (Irchester, Ind).

L-r Cllrs Cedwien Brown, Joseph Smyth, Jim Hakewill and Martin Griffiths who have formed an alliance/National WorldL-r Cllrs Cedwien Brown, Joseph Smyth, Jim Hakewill and Martin Griffiths who have formed an alliance/National World
L-r Cllrs Cedwien Brown, Joseph Smyth, Jim Hakewill and Martin Griffiths who have formed an alliance/National World

The four, who at one time have been elected as Conservative candidates on local councils, have formed the Independent Alliance.

Cllr Brown said: “Having been a local councillor for over 20 years, I’ve become an independent as I firmly believe that one of the most important roles as a councillor is to listen to your constituents and to find the best resolution possible for their needs and the area that you represent. I am looking forward to working together in our new Independent Alliance.”

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Cllr Smyth said: “We need to have local councillors who want best value for taxpayers money, and who work for their constituents with openness and honesty and that’s why I am looking forward to our new Independent Alliance.”

Cllr Cedwien Brown (centre) and Cllr Joseph Smyth (right) with Cllr Jim HakewillCllr Cedwien Brown (centre) and Cllr Joseph Smyth (right) with Cllr Jim Hakewill
Cllr Cedwien Brown (centre) and Cllr Joseph Smyth (right) with Cllr Jim Hakewill
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Cllr Griffiths said: “My inbox is full of complaints from council taxpayers in North Northamptonshire who say they are not getting value for money on many of the services that this council provide.

“In other parts of the country independent councillors, as community champions, hold the political balance and control a number of councils, ensuring that residents concerns are prioritised.

“That is what I want to see happen here in our wonderful county.”

Cllr Hakewill will now leave the Green Alliance group formed with the three Green and sole Liberal Democrat councillors. He said: “I have enjoyed being a local councillor for many years and I have particularly enjoyed being an Independent working with Green and Liberal Democrat colleagues on NNC.“The best thing about being independent is that we put community engagement first. We want better representation for our communities, without being told what to do by an MP or national party. I am looking forward to working with councillor friends in our new Independent Alliance.”

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Cllr Emily Fedorowycz (Green, Clover Hill), leader of the Green Alliance group on NNC, said: “We have been so grateful to have Jim as part of the Green Alliance, for the wealth of experience that he brings, his keen eye for scrutiny, and his passion for saving the planet.

"We are without a doubt sad to lose him from our team, however, we completely understand the need to unite with his local Independents over the Rothwell green space issue, as this is incredibly important - and will always be there to support one another. This is the start of a new kind of partnership, and the chance to hold the council to account from two strong angles rather than one.”

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