A NEW political group of councillors has been formed from four independent members.

The group on Redcar and Cleveland Council, comprising of two East Cleveland Independents and two Independents, will be called The Independent Group.

The members are Steve Kay and Barry Hunt (both ECI), together with Stuart Smith and Mary Lanigan, both Independent.

Councillor Kay has been elected Leader and Councillor Lanigan is Deputy Leader of the new group.

Coun Kay said: “We have come together as councillors who can think for ourselves and who are sick of big party politics in local government. None of us is ideological and instead prefer to put the interests first of those we represent. Above all, we shall listen to our constituents and vote accordingly at Council meetings.

“We reject the party whip and members of the new group will have a free vote on all matters. However, on most issues, we expect to me mutually supportive.

“There is much dissatisfaction amongst members of the large party groups and we feel our new group could well be a haven for the many councillors who have had enough of big party tyranny. Our message to them is: Come and join us.”