A network of independents in Bedfordshire

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The new Independent councillors took their seats in the main chamber for the first full council meeting since their remarkable victory at the May election.

Thirteen councillors, including five from Chronicle country, representing wards across Central Bedfordshire, sat in opposition to the reduced Conservative majority, alongside three Lib Dems, one Labour and one UKIP.

They sit as the Independent Network, an alliance which allows the members to share information and advice, but maintain their independence to work on behalf of their ward.

Network leader Councillor Adam Zerny said: “The new Independent councillors have hit the ground running and are already involved in many issues, fighting for local residents.

“While the network does not have policies, and does not tell councillors how to vote, many of the Independent councillors have shared interests and find it useful to pool ideas and knowledge.”

He added: “New councillors can also take advantage of the wealth of experience of those councillors who have served CBC for many years.”

The first full council meeting was held at Chicksands, Shefford, on Thursday, May 16.

Pictured from left to right from back row:

Simon Ford (Sandy), Mark Smith (Ampthill)

Victoria Harvey (Linslade), Hayley Whitaker (Biggleswade South), Tracey Wye (Potton), Silvia Collins (Toddington)

Ian Shingler (Barton le Clay), Adam Zerny (Potton), Mary Walsh (Toddington)

Garath Mackey (Flitwick)

Alison Graham (Silsoe and Shillington), John Baker (Aspley and Woburn), Bec Hares (Houghton Conquest & Haynes)