THE former deputy leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has stepped away from her political party amidst frustrations with the administration.

Councillor Terri Reid will now stand as an independent after making the decision to step away from the Conservative Party group on the authority.

Cllr Reid, who represents Beggarwood and Hatch Warren, said the decision was tough, but had to be made after becoming ‘unsatisfied’ with how things were being run.

With her decision to stand as an independent councillor, it now means the Conservatives no longer have a voting majority on the borough council, holding 30 of the available 60 seats.

Cllr Reid: “Many members of the party have become unsatisfied with what has been going on with the party nationally.

“Locally, I was becoming disheartened there was no support for me for the increasing pressures being brought on with the developments in the west of Basingstoke. With the policies being brought forward, it just felt like the administration does not care.

“The final straw was when the new leader had a meeting with residents about the Dixon Road appeal, telling them that the Peak Copse [travellers site] would be used, without consulting residents that live in that area.

“I am heavily involved in a lot of activities in my community and have built up a good reputation with my residents, but I could no longer defend what has happening.”

Cllr Reid said that standing as an independent means she can be a loud voice to challenge things at the council.

Leader of the main opposition Basingstoke Labour Group, Cllr Paul Harvey, said Cllr Reid’s decision was ‘brave.’

He said: “She has done it off the back of planning chaos at the council and with hopes the new leader could get things under control it shows that things are already going wrong for the Conservatives.

"It is important to have voices that speak the truth against the administration and that is what Terri will do.”

Leader of the borough council, Cllr Ken Rhatigan, said: “It is with great sadness that I heard of the news of Terri Reid’s resignation from both the the Conservative group and the wider party. I would like to recognise the tremendous civic service Terri has given to arts in borough and more importantly in respect of our homeless.

“The administration will continue to act in the best interests of the whole of the borough despite the fact we no longer enjoy a majority on the council.

“The Peak Copse site was looked at in preliminary work done by officers, before the site was rejected by the cabinet last Wednesday, after which Cllr Reid was informed as the ward member and the matter was closed.”

“I hope that we can welcome Terri back at some stage but of course we as a council continue to build on her fine work.”