RESIDENTS could have the chance to represent Ascot on the council as a new party is looking for candidates.

The Borough First was created in September by a group of independent councillors and residents from Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead with the aim of “putting the needs of local people at the heart of local politics” and now it asking locals who do not belong to a national party to get involved.

Councillor Claire Stretton, one of the founding members of the party, said: “We are looking for community-minded people who are passionate about doing the right thing for their community and the Royal Borough as a whole.

“During my 7 years on the Council, I’ve learned to my dismay that working as part of a national party isn’t good for the local community.

“It just isn’t possible for a councillor elected under a national party banner to always put local people first and still remain loyal to their national party, because they are torn between local national priorities.

“That’s why I was excited about helping local people to set up the borough first.”

Residents who apply to be a candidate will be chosen after they first go through a “selection process to ensure they have integrity, ability and are of honest intent” before being “asked to sign an agreement confirming that they are not members of any national party”.

Former Royal Borough for Windsor and Maidenhead councillor Tom Denniford said: “No prior experience is needed.

“A training, support and mentoring programme will be available to the Borough first candidates, run by experienced current and past Councillors and with the support of the Local Government Association.

The party says it has candidates ready to stand for more than a third of the 41 seats that will be up for election in May 2019.

The Borough First is taking inspiration from similar movements in Epsom and Ewell where independent councillors have control of their councils.