Mayor quits party over coalition
NEWTON Abbot's mayor has resigned from her party.
Cllr Anne Fry served as Lib Dem councillor on Teignbridge Council and Newton Abbot Town Council for 18 years.
She will now sit as an independent councillor to continue her work.
Cllr Fry said she's been thinking about making the break for around three months
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"I'm not happy with the national scene and I'm not a fan of coalition and that's why I've done this," she said.
"I have concerns about the way the government is dealing with education. I'm a school governor at Highweek Primary School in Newton Abbot, so it's a subject close to me. I am also am concerned about how the NHS is being dealt with and there seems to be cutback after cutback."
Cllr Fry (pictured) added: "I have served as a Lib Dem until now, but increasingly I have felt I will be able to better serve residents in my area as an independent councillor.
"The role of a councillor is very varied and over some time now I have come to the view that perhaps I can better serve the local community and the town of Newton Abbot as an independent voice."
Cllr Alan Connett, leader of the Lib Dem group at Teignbridge Council, said Cllr Fry was a valued member of the party.
"We're both sorry and sad Anne has left," he said. "She's been talking about it with me for a long time. I have every respect for Anne and wish her all the best and will look forward to working alongside her at the council.
"She's really passionate about Newton Abbot and I'm sure she'll continue to focus her efforts on what's best for the town."
Cllr Mike Haines, leader of the independent group at Teignbridge Council was unavailable to comment, but his colleague Cllr Richard Keeling welcomed Anne. "We welcome her with open arms," said Cllr Keeling.
"We know she is a good district, county and town councillor who will bring experience and has a wealth of local knowledge."