The new mayor of Littlehampton has resigned from the Lib Dems just seven weeks since the district and town council elections.
Tracey Baker, who represents Wick at town level and River at Arun, took over from Billy Blanchard-Cooper a month ago.
However in a Facebook post she described coming to the conclusion she ‘can no longer represent the Liberal Democrats here’.
She said: “In the short time I have been in the role, it has become clear to me that this town needs someone who is prepared to say enough is enough. Who is prepared to put all of you before party politics and self-interest. I no longer have confidence that I can do that within the existing system, and believe that there are very important things I need to do with only a year to do them.
“To all the people who campaigned for me and voted for me and supported me, please be assured, I continue to represent you as mayor, and I am always available to any resident who needs advice or support. It is precisely because I want to do everything I can for you, that I have taken this difficult decision to continue as an independent mayor.
“If we work together, have confidence in ourselves and our town, we can go from strength to strength. But power of any kind comes with responsibility and I take that responsibility very seriously.”
Her decision means the Lib Dems and Conservatives now have exactly the same number of councillors, 21 each, on Arun District Council.
A minority Lib Dem administration took over the running of the council last month.
There are now nine independents, with two Greens and one Labour councillor.