A COUNCILLOR is bidding to become the first UKIP member of Tendring Council.

John Brown’s move comes just two months before the local elections.

Mr Brown, 58, an independent representing Ramsey and Parkeston, announced he would stand in May’s poll as a UK Independence Party candidate.

Husband and wife Martyn and Lesley Donn, members of Ramsey and Parkeston Parish Council, have also joined the anti-EU party.

It is Mr Brown’s second change of party in 16 months. The retired crane driver was elected a district councillor four years ago as a member of Harwich Community Representatives.

He left in December, 2009, claiming the party was not allowing him to be independent.

Mr Brown said: “I am by nature an independent who believes in putting the needs of the people ahead of party politics.

“I have been a strong supporter of many of UKIP’s policies. I believe they are my natural home because they allow free thinking and their whole cause is about independence.”

Mr Brown will remain part of Tendring’s independent group until he vacates his seat ahead of the elections.

He said joining UKIP would not alter his work as a councillor.

He said: “My values won’t change.

“It would have been nice to remain one of the community reps, but I couldn’t.”

Mr Donn, who runs Leams Laces in Dovercourt, said: “My wife and I are very pleased to be joining UKIP. “They have the sort of policies the country badly needs.”

Stuart Agnew, UKIP’s Euro MP for the East of England, said: “We are a party which strongly supports local government in every sense.

“Micro-management of local government, both by the EU and central government, doesn’t work. Local councils need their independence, too.”