Group of South Kesteven District Independent Councilors to form political group

A new political group of Independent Councilors at South Kesteven District Council wants to improve control and transparency within the authority.

The four members of Alliance SK include councilors Virginia Moran, Ashley Baxter and Phil Dilks, who represent all wards in Deepings, and Charmaine Morgan, who represents one ward in Grantham.

It is understood that there have been a number of ideological differences and a widening gap between the members of the independent group over the past few months.

Councilor Charmaine Morgan will join the alliance group. (58162645)

In a statement, the group’s leader, Councilor Baxter, said the group was “increasingly frustrated” with the conservative SKDC leadership, accusing them of a lack of cohesive strategy and calling out a “culture of complacency.” and secrecy” – referring in particular to a recent audit report which had remained behind closed doors until very recently.

“Our frustrations have been compounded by the absence of an organized opposition,” he said.

The Authority Labor group recently collapsed after the departure of two of its members, with Charmaine Morgan going independent and councilor Louise Clack asking to be considered a “union and co-op non-aligned councillor”.

Councilor Phil Dilks will join the alliance group.  (58162661)
Councilor Phil Dilks will join the alliance group. (58162661)

A full council meeting of South Kesteven District Council on Monday will consider the impact of the changes on the political balance and the distribution of seats on various committees.

“We have the greatest respect for other independents, as well as Labor and Lib Democrat advisers, but we had a fundamental difference of opinion with some of them over how to challenge the Tories.

“The Alliance SK Group intends to be far more vocal than other independents in our criticism of Conservative mistakes and missed opportunities.”

Councilor Virginia Moran will join the alliance group.  (58162639)
Councilor Virginia Moran will join the alliance group. (58162639)

The group said it will look in particular at the Housing Department’s solution to being in special measures, the drop in recycling rates, the independent consultancy firms EnvironmentSK and InvestSK, and the method by which leaders were elected.

The next SKDC elections are due in May 2023 and the alliance hopes to attract new members in time for nominations.

Councilor Baxter added: ‘Given the current shambles and scandals among politicians nationally and locally, there has never been a better time to stand as an independent,’

Councilor Ashley Baxter will join the alliance group.  (58162690)
Councilor Ashley Baxter will join the alliance group. (58162690)

“We hope Alliance SK inspires people of all ages and backgrounds to run for office…and win!”

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