Two former Conservative councillors on West Lindsey District Council have formed a new political faction.
Cllr. Bernard Theobald, Independent (Wold View Ward), former West Lindsey District Council Leader, and Cllr. Stuart Kinch, Independent (Torksey Ward), have joined forces to establish a new Independent Group at the authority.
Cllr. Theobald quit his role as Leader of the Council in mid-December 2009, citing the Lincolnshire Echo investigating a planning application he submitted for a country house. Cllr. Kinch was part-owner of the land at South Owersby, near Market Rasen, included in the proposal, which was bought by the two members and their respective wives for £155,000.
The pair have been independent council members at West Lindsey since December, when Cllr. Theobald had his membership of the Gainsborough Conservative Association suspended for six months and Cllr. Kinch resigned from the Conservative party. Cllr. Kinch was Deputy Chairman (Political) of the Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association.
The Lincolnshire Echo reported at he time that Cllr. Kinch had said his decision to leave was 'in protest' for the way the Conservative Group had handled the issue and turned it into a 'witch hunt'.
The two councillors have enquired about whether they can hold committee positions at the authority, however, Cllr. Kinch said it remained unclear whether this would be allowed.
Mr. Martin Vickers, Agent for Gainsborough Constituency Conservative Association, said:
"With regard to Cllr. Theobald's relationship with the Conservative Party, it's unchanged. Bernard is suspended for six months while various inquiries go on and our association executive will review that in six months."It is understood that Cllr. Alan Caine, Independent (Caistor Ward), the only independent on the council before Cllrs. Theobald and Kinch left the Conservative Group's whip refused to form a grouping with them.