The Mayor of Boston Coun Brian Rush, his deputy Coun Barrie Pierpoint and two other councillors have announced a new ‘independent group’ on the council.
Councillors Rush and Pierpoint are joined by former UKIP member Anton Dani, who will take the role of leader, and unaligned coun Stephen Ball on the Bostonian Independents Group (BiG).
The four councillors say they have a 20 point plan which they say forms an ‘ambitious programme to work on behalf of the residents in the Borough, to ensure that they are their first priority with regards to getting value for money, quality services, and making a difference to Boston’.
A statement from the group said that residents of Boston it spoke to were ‘getting fed up and tired of the main political party’s lacklustre Councillors’ which they accused of having ‘no ambition, are stale, lack direction and leadership, and put their party before the local people’.
Leader Coun Dani, said: “We embrace all communities and faiths within our group. We are here to serve the public of Boston, and we will challenge other councillors, officers, and some of the decisions taken by the Cabinet - which is a closed shop - on behalf of all the residents in Boston if it is not in their best interests.”
“It’s now time for change, transparency and openness – and put Boston back on the map, ensure local communities are confident about their future, and work with local people, groups and partnerships to promote a more positive, vibrant and flourishing Boston.”
The group’s statement says it will promote inward investment, look at a regeneration plan for the town centre, help to create new jobs, encourage new start-ups, make Boston a ‘must visit’ tourist destination, and ‘provide a platform for a voice on behalf of the people on all council matters’.
Coun Pierpoint added: “It’s time for change – new thinking, a new direction, a new beginning, giving Boston the chance of a bright new future.”
“The group welcomes like-minded people who share the same ambition and vision as us, to help us form either a majority or work with other groups to take control of Boston Borough Council at the next Borough elections in May 2019.”
All four of the councillors who have signed up to the new party were elected on UKIP tickets in the 2015 General Election.
Coun Pierpoint however, left the party just hours after it won an equal number of seats to the Conservatives. UKIP said he had failed to ‘gel’ with other members, however, he claimed he had disagreed with the way the party was run.
He later joined the Independent Group with Couns Richard and Alison Austin but stepped down from that group during Monday’s meeting.
Coun Brian Rush on Monday faced a call to resign from a majority of 21 councillors across all parties following accusations he made political posts on social media during his time as Mayor.
He has refused to step down from the post ‘until told otherwise’ and defended himself by saying that the posts were from before he took up the role.
Coun Rush stepped down from UKIP in May 2017. He had previously held the leader of the group but was replaced during an annual vote by Coun James Edwards.
Coun Stephen Ball left the party last January. A statement at the time said he ‘did not renew his membership in 2016 for his own personal reasons’. He has since been unaligned.
Coun Anton Dani, it appears, put in his resignation from the party to Boston Borough Council following Monday’s meeting. However, a spokesman for the Boston UKIP group said they had yet to hear from him to confirm this.
A spokesman for Boston Borough Council confirmed that Coun Dani had resigned from UKIP but not, yet, joined another political group.
They said they had not yet had notification of a group being formed called the Bostonian Independents Group.
The current political composition following Coun Pierpoint and Coun Dani leaving their respective groups is: Conservatives – 15, UKIP – 6, Independents – 4, Unaligned – 4 and one vacant.
They added that political proportionality would be recalculated after the Old Leake and Wrangle by election on Thursday, (February 22), based on the above, or any further notification they may receive prior to that.