Long standing Liberal Democrat councillors leave party to become ‘Broxtowe Independents’

Broxtowe Borough Council offices.
By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

Two Liberal Democrat councillors have left the party to become Independents on Broxtowe Borough Council.

Steve and Barbara Carr, who both represent Beeston North, have become ‘Broxtowe Independents’.

The Broxtowe Independents slogan is ‘for the people, by the people’.

Cllr Steve Carr, who is a Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Bramcote and Beeston North, said he wanted to represent people “without the shackles of party politics”.

He joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which later became the Liberal Democrats, in 1983.

Cllr Steve Carr

Cllr Barbara Carr has been part of the Liberal Democrats since 1992.

At the local elections in May 2023, five Liberal Democrats were elected to sit on the council – marking a loss of two seats since the 2019 elections.

Now only three remain as councillors, all representing Bramcote: David Watts, Hannah Land and Andy Kingdon.

Cllr Steve Carr told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “For some time now, local political politics have been getting in the way of us being able to represent the people in our wards.

“We took the decision to leave a political party so that we could act as independents without interference of party politics.

“I am letting residents know what we’ve done and we’ve not had any adverse reactions to it.

“We’ve not fallen out with the Lib Dems nationally and would still support their aims. Locally we feel it is imperative that we are able to represent the people without the shackles of party politics.”

Cllr Watts said: “It is always disappointing when people leave a party that they have been elected to represent, but I know that Steve and Barbara have had difficulty for some time with the collective responsibility and discipline of a political party.

“They have, however, been friends for many years and that hasn’t changed so I look forward to continuing to work with them on many issues in the future.”

Cllr Land added that the Lib Dems “aim to maintain a constructive relationship with our independent colleagues”.

She said: “We are disappointed to see them leave the party. The Broxtowe Liberal Democrats remain committed to representing residents and will continue campaigning across the borough.”

Since the 2019 elections, Broxtowe Borough Council has been run by a coalition, including the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and Independents.

The elections saw Labour take control of the authority for the first time since 2003.

Nationally, the Liberal Democrats gained 407 councillors in the local elections while the Conservatives lost 1,063. 

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