TWO incumbent town councillors have joined the South Devon Alliance ahead of the Local Government Elections in May.

Councillors Alex Hall and Mike Joyce of Newton Abbot Town Council are among the most recent elected representatives to have joined the group.

Cllr Hall, formerly of the Conservative Party and who represents Bradley Ward, said: ‘I was a Conservative party member for six years but I personally feel that from Teignbridge District Council there is a contempt for the people.

‘The Conservative Government nationally I think is the exact same – a refusal to listen to what people actually want and need.

‘I feel I can be more of my own voice in the South Devon Alliance.

‘I pushed the local Conservative Party to change their ways on Queen Street for example but nothing was happening, it was just “follow this or shut up”.’

Cllr Joyce, independent member for Bushell Ward, said: ‘I became an independent councillor because I would not toe the line of the previous party that I belonged to [Liberal Democrats].

‘I was concerned about giving up my independence as a person representing the residents of the town, I wanted them to have a voice without being constrained by party politics.

‘The South Devon Alliance offered me the chance to join them as an independent and therefore retain my independent voice.

‘They are an alliance of independents and I think that is what we have got to ensure happens at district council level and to some degree town council level so that the voices of the people of Newton Abbot are listened to and not just paid lip service to.’

Leader of the South Devon Alliance, Cllr Richard Daws, said: ‘The whole idea is that we are trying to provide an alliance for independent councillors and do that outside of the national party politics structure.

‘We have seen so many debates where groups of people all vote one way or the other and they are just told what to do.

‘We need people to represent the residents not political parties.’