A NEW group has been formed on Kirklees Council.
The five Greens and three independent councillors announced yesterday they would establish an alliance in an attempt to have greater influence on policy.
The move will cost taxpayers more than £7,000 a year in extra allowances to councillors.
As part of the change, Green councillors will take their positions on planning sub-committees for the first time.
And the head of the newly named Valley Independents revealed an ambition to expand into other rural areas around Huddersfield.
The five-strong Greens yesterday formally announced the formation of a new group with the three independent councillors for Holme Valley North.
Green leader Clr Andrew Cooper said: “It makes sense for us to pool our resources and give ourselves more influence on the council. We have a lot in common.”
But the Newsome man added that the two groups would not always vote together.
“We seek a consensus between councillors in the group on important issues coming before the council but fully support individual members to vote as they believe to be right.
“There is no requirement to toe the group line and there are no sanctions for not doing so.”
Clr Cooper and Holme Valley North independent Clr Terry Lyons will be co-leaders of the new alliance, entitling them to share an annual allowance of £9,820 for heading a group of more than seven councillors.
Both men had been entitled to £3,684 each as leaders of groups of six or fewer councillors.
Holme Valley North independent Clr Edgar Holroyd-Doveton will be the new group’s business manager, with an annual allowance of £4,911.
Neither the Greens or the independents were large enough on their own to qualify for a business manager under Kirklees rules.
Overall, the new group will be entitled to £14,731 a year in allowances – an increase of £7,363 from the amount the two individual groups could claim.