In a surprise announcement on the day following the General Election in which the Conservatives made major gains and Labour losses a number of local Borough Councillors have resigned their political party.
With Kit Malthouse retaining his seat for the Conservatives and major Tory gains nationwide, changes have started locally as a new Independent group has been launched.

In Whitchurch, Chloe Ashfield who was elected in 2016, has left the Labour Party to become an Independent alongside a number of other Basingstoke & Deane Borough Councillors.

Basingstoke and Deane CrestIn a Press Release issued this morning the new group named ‘Basingstoke @ Deane Independents (BDI)’ said:

“A collective of 11 Councillors from across the Borough have come together to provide representation to local communities free of party politics”.

Cllr Ian Tilbury, who represents Overton, has been announced as Leader and Cllr Paul Harvey as Deputy Leader.

Chloe Ashfield 2019

Cllr Chloe Ashfield

Cllr Chloe Ashfield said:

“Yesterday I voted Labour, I likely always will vote Labour nationally, but today I am leaving the membership of the Labour Party. Here is why…
I will forever be guided by principles of equality and community. I value our NHS and support well funded public services. I want to see great schools, affordable housing, a caring society with opportunity for all.
However, as a local councillor working within a small community, I am no longer convinced that party politics is the most effective way to get things done at ward and Borough level.”

and

“I am the same person who joined the Labour Party 20-something years ago, I have not changed who I am and how I feel about things.
I’m looking forward to continuing my role as ward Councillor for Whitchurch in an independent capacity, but with the support of like-minded Councillors who are also joining the Basingstoke and Deane Independents.”

BDI