A PAIR of councillors who quit the Liberal Democrats last week said they have been inundated with messages of support from continuants and politicians.
Cllr Matt Knight and Cllr Julia Wassell handed back their Lib Dem registrations after becoming disillusioned with the way the party was being run locally.
It followed Cllr Wassell’s suspension from the party pending an investigation.
Cllr Knight told the BFP this week that residents and local politicians from across the different political parties had been in touch to wish them well.
He said: “A lot of people who voted for us say they are behind us and can see we have the best interests of the community at heart. We’ve had hundreds of messages – including from members of the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.
“We’ve invited all the people that are supporting us to join in with events and activities we have planned for the community.”
He added a number of former Wycombe Lib Dem officers had joined the duo’s political grouping – dubbed the Independents of East Wycombe.
The political pair met with Wycombe District Council’s solicitor this week for early discussions about whether IEW would become a fully-fledged political party, with a logo and agenda, or remain as an independent grouping.
Cllr Wassell has also retained the support of the Liberal Democrat Group on Buckinghamshire County Council – which is now made up of four Lib Dems, one Labour and an independent councillor – despite leaving the party.
The Lib Dem group leader Cllr Avril Davies said: “'The Bucks County Council Liberal Democrat group regret that Julia Wassell has felt it necessary to resign from the Liberal Democrats over local party issues, not national policy.
“Julia has our full support and, although now independent, she will remain a respected member of our group.”
Cllrs Knight and Wassell have been out cleaning graffiti off the walls of the Micklefield tunnel and cutting the over-grown grass in areas of east Wycombe.
They planned to deliver bags of the trimmed grass to BCC’s High Wycombe offices to show county officials they ‘were not doing a good enough job’.
Cllr Knight said: “The grass cutting situation is unacceptable. When it gets to the point where cyclists and drivers are visually impaired by over grown grass, and elderly residents cannot see out of their own windows, it’s gone too far.”
BCC Leader Cllr Martin Tett said the authority had to save £15m this year, with a reduction in grass cutting one of a number of ‘difficult decisions’ it has made.