The fortunes of Winsford Salt of the Earth took another twist this week after one of its CWAC councillors quit to become an independent, yet still remains a member of the group's town council contingent.

Cllr Martin Beveridge was elected to both the town council and Cheshire West and Chester in the May local elections. Those elections saw Winsford Salt of the Earth – a group of residents who had come together to challenge the main parties in the town – sweep to victory, taking 14 of the town council’s 15 seats, and three Cheshire West and Chester seats.

However, an apparent breakdown in relations between some former allies means there are now effectively two Winsford Salt of the Earths, one on CWAC and one on the town council.

Recent weeks have been marked by apparent strife among former political allies played out on social media.

It was also announced last month that one of its town councillors had quit, triggering an upcoming by election in Dene ward.  While two others left the group to remain as independents, citing concerns over social media posts made around the town’s recent inaugural Pride parade.

The founder of the original Winsford Salt of the Earth group – Ernie Welch – then announced it was distancing itself from two Salt of the Earth CWAC councillors, Cllrs Simon Boone and Mandy Clare. The third and last remaining Salt of the Earth CWAC councillor, Cllr Beveridge, has now become an independent.

However, due to the mechanics of local government, despite the apparent breakdown in relations between the town council’s Winsford Salt of the Earth group and two of the CWAC councillors, they technically remain listed at CWAC as Winsford Salt of the Earth councillors too.

Because Winsford Salt of The Earth decided not to register as a political party and the name being a descriptor only, there are no restrictions or limitations on its use - meaning that there can be multiple Salt of the Earths. The situation has even prompted a warning on the group's Facebook page to would-be voters in the upcoming Dene by-election that other entities could be using its name on election day.

In another Facebook post, Winsford Salt of the Earth – representing its town council group – said: “To clear up any confusion regarding Councillor Martin Beveridge who is still a WSOTE councillor. Him becoming unaligned as CWAC councillor was in order to distance himself from former members of WSOTE who are still CWAC councillors.”

Cllr Beveridge's decision to become an independent on CWAC means the Salt of the Earth group are no longer the third largest group on CWAC and are now tied with the greens, independents, and unaligned independents with two councillors each.

Cllr Beveridge, who represents Winsford Gravel for CWAC and Gravel for the town council, was contacted for comment.