In my view

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WHEN is an independent not an independent?

When he or she stands as such for a seat on Angus Council but then, when elected, joins an Alliance.

That’s exactly what happened last time round, when an alliance of Conservatives, Lib-Dems, Labour and Independent candidates took control of Angus Council.

Between them they managed to muster 15 members, to the Scottish National Party’s 12, with two members choosing to remain as they were elected - Independent.

How will things pan out come this spring, when all the councillors come up for election again?

Some big names - Ruth Leslie-Melville, Ian Mackintosh and Bill Middleton to name but three - are standing down come the end of the current term of office, so there will be a number of new faces up for election in May.

But, whoever decides to have a go and whatever the strategy of the various parties in their bid to win sufficient seats to take over-all control or muster a majority, I only hope that everyone is up front from the start - and explains in clear terms exactly what their position will be when nailing colours to the mast.

If you are independent and plan to remain exactly that if elected then spell it out. If you are to go into the election on an independent ticket but are prepared to join an alliance to form an administration then, again, let us, those who are casting a vote, know.

It matters, because the route you are prepared to go down may well determine how people will vote.

Personally, I would be happy if those who stood as independents remained exactly that in the next council. If nothing else, it would make for good copy!