AN independent councillor has announced that he is to join UKIP with immediate effect.

Coun John Short (Highworth) sits as an Independent on Swindon Council, having been elected as a Conservative in 2006.

He became disillusioned with the party and left them to become an Independent.

Coun Short holds a number of positions on the council, including chairman of the appeals committee.

“The Conservative faction of Swindon Council are not listening to the people they are supposed to represent,” he said.

“I have joined UKIP as they believe in putting people first, not politics.”

William Dartmouth MEP, one of UKIP’s south west MEPs, said: “I am delighted that a man of such great experience has decided to join us.

“His move shows that UKIP are a growing force in local politics.”