Welcome aboard to Cllr Paul Waring, who represents Newchapel Ward on Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and has joined the Conservatives. He will stand as a Conservative candidate in the local elections in May.

Cllr Waring quit the Labour Party last month and so briefly sat as an independent. He had been deselected by Labour and claims it has become “dysfunctional” and that he felt “intimidated”.

He said:

“I have had a number of conversations with the Conservative members recently, and I like what I am hearing. They seem to be sensible with the interests of the Newcastle and Kidsgrove people uppermost in their minds.”

“If they are fortunate enough to regain control in May, there are some improvements that will need to be made particularly in relation to planning and I would like to play a part in this process. Consequently, I am proud to announce that as of now I am joining the Conservative group.

“I will be continuing the work that I do for local residents here in Newchapel and on the council, and with the support of the people of Newchapel I hope to return for a further 4 years to carry on the good work.”

The Conservative Group leader Cllr Stephen Sweeney said:

“As we enter an important local election, with all areas across North Staffordshire going to the polls, it is the Conservatives who are united in supporting our communities and have a positive plan for our towns. I am delighted that Paul has chosen to join us.”

There are currently 29 Labour councillors, 16 Conservatives, six Lib Dems, five UKIP councillors, two independents and one Green councillor. So there is minority Labour administration.