Independent councillors urged to unite to form ruling group on Central Bedfordshire Council

They face new challenges as process of trying to form ruling group continues
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Independent councillors will be urged to unite to form the ruling group on Central Bedfordshire Council in the aftermath of the local elections.

There are now 27 Independents, 20 Conservatives, ten Liberal Democrats, five Labour members and one Green Party representative on the local authority.

The leader of the Independents in opposition and Potton councillor Adam Zerny said: “I’m delighted with the election results. The Independents worked tirelessly and deserved their success.

Central Bedfordshire Council headquarters, Chicksands.Central Bedfordshire Council headquarters, Chicksands.
Central Bedfordshire Council headquarters, Chicksands.

“We’ll settle down to getting the best for all the residents who gave up their time to tell us what they wanted. We’re grateful to those who lent us their votes. We intend to make you proud.”

He vowed previously on social media to “work with other like-minded councillors to ensure the council is run more effectively”.

He promised “the best possible outcome for the residents who’ve voted for us”, adding: “We want the issues you care about to be high on the local authority’s priorities.

“Whatever happens in the weeks ahead, we’ll see a new approach with you the resident put first.”

Liberal Democrat group leader and Leighton Linslade South councillor Shaun Roberts said: “The Independent network won the most seats of any grouping and it’s over to them to see if they can form an administration.

“Liberal Democrat councillors will work constructively with all parties to secure a better deal for residents, which is what we’ve been elected to do.

“The voters have spoken very clearly about not wanting the Conservatives in charge any more, which is something we agree with strongly.

“The Liberal Democrats fought a positive campaign offering change for local people, after more than a decade of Conservative rule in Leighton-Linslade.

“People were fed up with broken Tory promises on policing, GP services and on local infrastructure. Worst of all was the feeling that in places, such as Leighton-Linslade, residents have been ignored by CBC for too long.

“We want to change this, and they responded positively to that message. The Conservatives final budget was more about trying to win votes at the election, rather than doing what was right for council finances.

“CBC needs to show it’s listening and taking action on the concerns of residents in every town and village. More needs doing to address the infrastructure deficit which exists, after so much development across the district in recent years.

“It’ll be interesting to see how the Independent group operates,” he added. “The electorate has spoken and given them a chance to lead the local authority.

“Time will tell if they cope with the challenges of moving from opposition to running the council and having to deliver services for people.

“Our priority is to serve residents to the best of our ability, to champion their views and keep in touch all year round.

“We want the council to use every ounce of its power and influence to deliver a better deal on policing, GP services and local infrastructure. We must end the pothole chaos that blights our roads.”