THE town’s Independent Group has renamed itself ‘Bromsgrove Alliance’ following Coun Michael Thompson’s decision to join.
With the ex-Labour leader’s inclusion, Bromsgrove Alliance is now the largest opposition group on Bromsgrove District Council.
Alliance Deputy leader, Coun Kate Van der Plank, said the new name reflects the group’s approach.
“We strongly believe to make the best decisions, councils need to draw on a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge.
“In our group we have our own views on what is needed locally and we really value these differences.
“Our strength comes from working together, respectful and collaboratively, in the best interest of the communities we serve.”
Group leader Sue Baxter said she is delighted to welcome Coun Thompson to the Alliance because he is ‘hardworking, dedicated and has many years of experience’.
She is also keen welcome other councillors who ‘may see the benefit of collaborative working’ but ‘without being forced to vote in a particular way’ to join the group.
Bromsgrove Alliance now has seven members, which includes both Alvechurch wards, Barnt Green and Hopwood, Hagley, Drakes Cross in Wythall and Charford.
Coun Thompson said: “There is a lot of apathy in politics. I believe this is partly to do with the way we, as politicians, have conducted ourselves.
“Our language, our eagerness to blame other parties and, primarily, our unwillingness to see the good in those we are not politically aligned to has left a sour taste in the mouths of the electorate.
“The newly formed Bromsgrove Alliance seeks to find a new, kinder, compassionate and cooperative way of doing politics.
“We will benefit from a broad range of perspectives, knowledge and skills, with a collective goal of making Bromsgrove a better place.
“We look forward to working with the Labour, Liberal and Conservative groups to achieve this goal.”
Rachel Jenkins, another independent on Bromsgrove District, is also standing in the Worcestershire County Council Bromsgrove South by-election which has been called following the departure of Chris Bloore.
She is hoping to build on her work on the district council by providing an independent voice at county level.