A FORMER mayor of Bournemouth is to stand as an independent after failing to win selection as a Conservative candidate to the new council.

Cllr John Adams has voiced his dissatisfaction with a raft of Bournemouth council policies, including building a new A338 slip road on green belt land and selling off town centre car parks.

He is the second high-profile Conservative to announce he will stand as an independent for the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council in May.

He follows cabinet member Cllr David Smith, who quit the Tory group after failing to win selection in the town centre.

Cllr Adams, who currently represents Strouden Park, intends to stand in the new Muscliff and Strouden Park ward.

Cllr Adams was first a councillor in the 1970s but stood down to become a justice of the peace. He returned to politics eight years ago and was mayor of Bournemouth in 2014-15.

He said: “I am actively against the threat that the A338 is invading the heritage hamlet of Holdenhurst and the building of a roundabout on the green belt. The flyover is being built to service a development, not assist the traffic entering and leaving the hospital regrettably, as an estimated 1,200 extra cars a day are planned to use the new site.

“I continue to be concerned with the Bournemouth Development Company’s remit to build on our car parks. We are a tourist town, with a magnificent beach, but with insufficient car parking spaces. Apartment blocks are being planned that have no car parking. Surely slums of the future.

“I am a regular cyclist, yet there are actually few safe cycling lanes and they don’t join up. It seems to me that the feelings and views of the public are being ignored.

“I grew up in Bournemouth, I want the town to be financially successful, but why reduce people’s standards of living? Shops are closing in the centre, homelessness abounds and being on the police panel, I am fully aware that crime is rising.”

He said it was “about time we had honest debates without the party restrictions” and that “the cabinet system prevents full interaction with the council”.

He added: “I knew that I could not effectively serve my residents while I was still under the control of any political restraints.”