A war of words has erupted after the founder of Winsford Salt of the Earth moved to distance the group from two of its borough councillors.

The group, which was formed earlier this year with the intention of putting ‘people before politics’, swept to victory in May’s local elections, taking 14 of 15 town council seats, and three seats on Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC).

But posting on the group’s official Facebook page, Ernie Welch, founder and leader of Winsford Salt Of The Earth (WSOTE), town councillor for Dene and the current mayor of Winsford, said the group would no longer be working with two of its CWAC borough councillors.

He said: “It has been decided by the majority of members of our group that we cannot continue to work with Simon Boone and Mandy Clare , therefore moving forward they will no longer be part of Winsford Salt of The Earth.

“I will not be commenting further on this matter as it is time to move on and get on with what we set out to do.”

In a response to Cllr Welch’s comments, Cllr Clare posted on Facebook saying: "Cllr Simon Boone and myself are still CWAC councillors and still exec members of WSOTE.

"WSOTE town councillors that were encouraged to cut their own furrow by disruptive forces are still not working with us."

In his own Facebook post, Cllr Boone said his 40 year friendship with Cllr Welch had been ‘severely damaged’.

He said: “This spilt actually started to take place 48 hours after the local elections and has been kept hidden from public view all this time.”

In another post, he added: “To clarify, I remain the same CWAC councillor I’ve been since being elected in May. I also remain as the leader of WSOTE CWAC councillors.

“I have never been a Winsford town councillor and therefore cannot be removed as a councillor by Winsford town councillors. Winsford town councillors also have no say in my position as a CWAC councillor.”

It has been a difficult few weeks for the group, with two town councillors quitting to become independents over alleged online remarks made about the town’s upcoming Pride event.

And last month it was revealed Christina Smith, who had been elected to the town council in May, had stood down, triggering an upcoming by-election in the Dene ward.

Cllr Boone added he would be standing in that by-election, he said: “There is clearly a lot that needs to be put right with how Winsford Town Council is being run right now.”