AN independent councillor has announced that he is joining Labour.

Frank Carmichael, who was elected in 2011 to represent Hindley Green, will join Labour with immediate effect and was welcomed to the ranks by Leader of the Council, Lord Peter Smith.

Clr Carmichael cited the strong record of Wigan Council under the leadership of Lord Smith and his frustration at the poor behaviour of opposition councillors since his election.

Clr Carmichael said: “When I stood for election in 2011 it was because I am passionate about making a positive difference for my home town of Hindley Green.

“I would like to think that the residents within the ward will agree that I have done just that. However, it is not just community projects within the ward that can make a difference; it is also the crucial work that takes place within the town hall.

“For example, I have been very impressed with the Believe campaign that has generated a tremendous amount of positivity across the borough.

“It saddens me that some ‘opposition’ councillors have not shared in that optimism and have instead chosen to adopt a more negative approach.

“For that reason, it is now very clear to me that the residents of Hindley Green will be best served if I continue my hard work with from within the Labour group.”

Lord Smith said: "Frank has taken a principled decision to join the Labour Party, which he feels best reflects his political views and is best placed to serve the interests of his constituents in Hindley Green.

"I wholeheartedly welcome him as a member of our Labour Group.”