A FOUNDING member of an independent group has joined the Liberal Democrats in a bid become a borough councillor and cut the scale of a proposed new town.

Andrea Luxford-Vaughan, a founding member of the Wivenhoe Independents, has joined the party with immediate effect.

A member of Wivenhoe Town Council for ten years, Mrs Luxford-Vaughan has led campaigns on subjects such as home-to-school transport, improved train access and curbing excessive housing development.

The married mum-of-two - who will join forces with fellow Lib Dem Mark Cory, a member of Colchester Council’s ruling cabinet - said: “Winning the election in May requires the support of an experienced team.

“Having worked very closely with Mark over the last few years, it became clear that my views on local issues would be welcomed by the Liberal Democrats.

“Together, we will win the Wivenhoe seat by focusing on the specific needs of our local residents and working tirelessly to help shape Colchester Council policy for the good of our town.”

Mr Cory said: “I have represented Wivenhoe for over ten years now, and during that time Andrea has been a tenacious campaigner, achieving many great things for Wivenhoe.

“I am independent minded myself - I put Wivenhoe first - and this is exactly what Andrea does.

“She has a proven track record and is popular in Wivenhoe as a result of years of hard work.

“For this reason, I think she has an excellent chance of being elected by Wivenhoe residents who see her genuine passion for the role.”

Wivenhoe is one of 17 Colchester Council seats up for grabs in May.

The seat is currently held by Labour's Rosalind Scott, who will have her own sights set on regaining it.