Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight council administration to be formed by independents

Isle of Wight Council sign
Image caption The cabinet and leadership roles will be decided on 15 May

A group of 20 independent councillors on Isle of Wight Council has said it intends to form an administration.

The independents defeated the sitting Conservative group in last week's election.

All the councillors have signed up to the Bell Principles of Independent Political Conduct, established by former independent MP Martin Bell.

A statement said the new arrangement would lead to "transparent, accountable and democratic governance".

Under the title Island Independents, the councillors said they would now embark on the programme of constitutional change and a review of services, set out in their Framework for Change document.

One of the independent councillors, Ian Stephens, said: "We hope to set in place a new era of leadership and collaborative decision-making that takes a more inclusive, transparent approach."

Former Conservative leader of the council, David Pugh was among those who lost his seat, beaten by independent Richard Priest in Shanklin South.

Cabinet positions and the roles of chairman and vice-chairman will be determined at the council's annual general meeting, on 15 May.

Councillor Dave Stewart has been selected as the new leader of the Conservative group.

He said: "We will be sounding the alarm if the new administration proceeds down roads that risk hiking up the council tax and placing further burdens on local families and businesses that are already having a tough time in the challenging economic climate."

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