AN INDEPENDENT councillor has announced she is establishing a new political group ahead of local elections next year.

Councillor Bridget Fishleigh, who became Brighton and Hove's first elected independent councillor for eight years in 2019, said that the city needs people with real-life experience running the city.

The group, currently with the working title of 'Brighton and Hove Independents', aims to welcome and encourage people who love the city and are not part of a political party to stand as councillors at the next election.

She said: "My concern is ensuring that the councillors who are elected in 2023 are up to the job.

"We need to stop the city lurching from self-made disaster to disaster.

"We need people with cool, calm heads, real-life experience and sound financial judgement running our city.

"We need to take the politics out of local politics and start putting the needs of residents and our city first."

Cllr Fishleigh said that the group plans to stand independent candidates across the city "who will put the needs of residents above the needs of political parties".

"Several very capable local people have already signed up - these are residents who are passionate about our city and would make amazing councillors," she said.

She said more information about the group will be announced in the next few months ahead of the local elections in Brighton and Hove next year.

Her announcement comes after proposals for boundary changes for the city's council wards were unveiled.

The proposals will see Brunswick and Adelaide - a ward currently represented by the leader and deputy leader of the council - axed, as well as a ward controversially stretching across the current boundary between Brighton and Hove, and the creation of a new ward specifically for Kemp Town.

A spokeswoman for the Brighton and Hove Green Party said: "We are disappointed to see that the historic Hove boundary has not been retained.

"We feel strongly that the commission must visit the city to get a clearer sense of the communities that define the geographical areas of the city that simply won't have been possible in a virtual 'tour' of the city."

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.