THE Independent Group on Wigan Council have formed a new group which will be the official opposition to the ruling Labour Group.

The new group is called “Win” ( Wigan Independent Network ) with Councillor Gary Wilkes as its first leader, Councillor John Donald Hodgkinson as treasurer, Councillor Norman Bradbury nominations officer, Councillor Jim Ellis campaigns officer, and Councillor Jamie Hodgkinson press officer.

The objectives of the Wigan Independent Network are the pursuit and promotion of efficient and cost effective governance of Wigan MBC in the interests of the people of Wigan and Leigh.

Councillor Jim Ellis said: “At the last local election there were various wards in which more than one Independent Councillor competed for a seat, this caused bizarre results such as a Labour Councillor being returned as the Councillor for a Ward with the minority of the electorate voting for them.

"This result was despite an over 50% swing to the Independents and we deserved to win.”

He said the Wigan Independent Network has been set up to avoid any confusion in future as to which Independent candidate to vote for. Independent “Win” Candidates will have the benefit of standing under the “Win” banner, but will still be able to act independently as they do now, representing their wards at the Council, and free from any political party.