A councillor has made the "hugely difficult" decision to resigned from the Labour party because of changes in policies at a national level.

St Albans councillor Roma Mills will now serve on county and district councils as an independent.

Cllr Mills – who is a member of Hertfordshire County Council and St Albans City and District Council – first joined the Labour Party in 1984.

Over the past 30 years she has served for long periods as a Labour councillor but following the election of new national leader Keir Starmer and his shadow cabinet in April, she has quit the party.

Cllr Mills says it has been a “hugely difficult decision” to leave the Labour Party.

But she says that changes in policies – and the values that underpin them – meant she no longer felt comfortable within the Labour Party.

She says that during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, she had supported proposals to renationalise public transport and to invest in bus services and social housing.

And she also highlights plans that would have regenerated the public sector and brought the NHS entirely within the public sector.

But now she says new leader Keir Starmer is moving the party towards a centre point in politics. And she says she does not want to compromise.

Cllr Mills began her membership of the Labour Party began in the early years of the ‘Thatcher government’.

As a social worker, who has worked largely in the public and voluntary sector, she says she was struck by what was happening in the community and the public sector at this time.

And she says that rather than sitting at home moaning about it, she joined a political party to campaign for something better.

Cllr Mills was first elected to St Albans City and District Council in 1988. She has served almost continuously since then – with a brief break between May 2010 and January 2012.

She has also been elected to serve four terms on Hertfordshire County Council, in 1997, 2001, 2013 and 2018.

Her term as a county councillor is due to end next year (2021) and her term on St Albans City and District Council the year after (2022).

Cllr Mills says she says has not yet decided whether or not she intends to stand again, as an independent.

Cllr Mills’ decision to be an independent member of the county council was reported to the annual meeting of the council on Tuesday.

Following the meeting, leader of the Labour group on the county council Cllr Judi Billing said Roma Mills was a “marvellous councillor”. And she said it was “terribly sad” that she had made this decision.