A TORFAEN councillor has resigned from the Liberal Democrats after becoming "increasingly worried" about the impact of government cuts.

Panteg councillor Kathleen Williams announced her resignation from the party last week and has become an Independent.

Cllr Williams, who has been a councillor and Liberal Democrat since 2002, said: "I've become increasingly worried about the impact central government and Welsh Assembly cuts are having on the people within my ward.

“For that reason I have decided to resign from a political party to be Independent so that I can represent my residents free from party politics."

Cllr Williams said she came to her decision after being approached by more and more residents with concerns about coalition cuts to things such as the health service, social care and the benefits system.

She added: "It's going to be a struggle for all of us, and I want to be able to speak for the people - for my residents - and not the party I'm in. I wanted a free voice to represent their opinions."

Cllr Williams said she now looks forward to working with the Independent Group in Torfaen council.

Leader of the Independent Group, councillor Elizabeth Haynes, said: "Kathleen has made the right choice for her electorate.

She is understandably worried about them and her decision is based on that concern. We are pleased to welcome such an effective councillor into our group. “ The Independent Group is the largest opposition group and now has eight members.

Llanyrafon North councillor Veronica German is now the only Liberal Democrat councillor within Torfaen council.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats declined to comment yesterday when approached by the Argus.