MOBBERLEY councillor Hannah Moss has quit the Conservative group on Cheshire East Council saying she needs to put the people in her ward before party politics.

Cllr Moss, who was elected to the council in May 2023, is now sitting as a non-grouped Independent.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service today: “My decision to leave the Conservative group and become ungrouped at Cheshire East Council is one I haven’t taken lightly.

“I put my name on the ballot paper back in May 2023 local elections because I wanted to make a difference locally and support residents in my local area, an area I was born in and have lived and breathed for the last 35 years.

“After being in Cheshire East for almost 12 months now, I can see that to make this fully possible, I need to be able to vote freely and keep an open mind when tackling difficult decisions which impact residents.

“To do this, I need to work outside of a political group.

“I need to put the people of Mobberley ward before politics and strive for an outcome which puts them first and not the Conservative party.”

She added: “I have had the pleasure of working with some fantastic people in the Conservative group, along with some interesting characters.

“I won’t deny certain behaviours over the last 12 months have contributed to my decision along with the opinions given around a change in my personal circumstances recently, which, in my opinion, is personal and shouldn’t have an impact on politics.

“I appreciate not everyone will agree or be happy about this change, but, no decision is liked by everyone.

"Politics is such a grey area with so many opinions.

“I hope over time, along with work I have already done, the work I will continue to do week in week out as the Cheshire East councillor for Mobberley ward, people will understand why I have made this decision today.

“I believe this decision is in the interests of all residents within Mobberley ward and one which allows me to put all opinions regardless of political party forward.”

Knutsford Guardian: Cllr Janet ClowesCllr Janet Clowes (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Conservative group leader Janet Clowes told the LDRS: “Following conversations with myself and the group last week, and due to changes in her personal life, Hannah felt there was potentially now an insurmountable conflict of political interest.

“Whilst we felt it was manageable, we respect her decision and wish her well.”

Cllr Moss is the second Cheshire East councillor within a couple of months to quit party politics.

Last month former Crewe and Nantwich MP Laura Smith, who is a Cheshire East councillor for the Crewe South ward, quit Labour after being suspended for not backing the Labour/Independent administration’s budget in February.

Despite Cllr Moss' decision to leave the group, the Conservatives still have 33 councillors - the same number they had following last May's elections.

This is because they picked up the Crewe Central seat from Labour in the February by-election this year after Anthony Critchley decided to stand down from the council.

Labour – which had 31 seats after last year’s election – now has 29, following the loss of the Crewe Central seat and Cllr Laura Smith’s decision to quit the group and sit as an Independent Socialist.

The Independent group has 14 councillors and the Liberal Democrats, two.

The remaining four seats are held by what the council terms as non-grouped councillors – and these include councillors Hannah Moss and Laura Smith.