New independents group established at South Norfolk Council

Independent voices on South Norfolk Council are set to get more of a say following the formation of a new political group.

Keith Weeks, who resigned from the Conservative group in 2011, and Jon Herbert, who became an independent last month, have joined forces to create the South Norfolk Independents group.

The new group has been formed to enable independents to have a certain number of seats on council committees.

Mr Weeks, a councillor for Bressingham and Burston ward, who will be leader of the new group, said its formation would give the independent councillors more clout. He added that members would continue to vote independently and there would be no party line or whip.

'I know there are a number of disenchanted people in the Conservative group in South Norfolk, but whether they are willing to declare themselves is another thing,' he said.

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Mr Herbert, who will be deputy of the South Norfolk Independents, resigned from the Conservative party after Norfolk County Councillor Derrick Murphy was chosen to represent the Forehoe division at this year's county council elections.

The county and district councillor, who lives in Mulbarton, added that he had become 'increasingly disillusioned' with the way that Conservatives in Norfolk had represented their residents in local government.

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Mr Weeks resigned from the South Norfolk Conservative group over concerns about the government's Localism Bill and the way the local party was following national policy.

South Norfolk Council now has 36 Conservative members, eight Liberal Democrats, and two independents.

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