A STALWART councillor, the first female group leader in Basildon, is set to resign.

The former Labour group leader, Lynda Gordon, who represents Lee Chapel North, is to step down after growing “disillusioned” after 30 years in politics.

Mrs Gordon, who left the Basildon Labour group and was expelled by the national Labour Party in acrimonious circumstances, claims she has no regrets in forming an Independent Labour Group with Phil and Pat Rackley last year.

She is fed up with the council she believes doesn’t care about people and is hell bent on being a “cut-throat business”.

A by-election is likely to take place for Mrs Gordon’s seat, which she has held since 2004, during the borough elections on May 22, with all the main parties likely to field candidates.

Mrs Gordon, who led the opposition Labour Party between 2008 and 2012, said: “Over the years, I’ve built up relationships with many residents and I’ll certainly miss them, but I won’t miss politics.

“Having been a member of the Labour Party for more than 30 years, I now find myself in the unenviable position of not actually feeling there is any party I can vote for.

“I’ve not viewed being a councillor as a career move. I see it as empowering ordinary people to have a voice within an authority where they are not always listened to.

“Basildon Council is no longer a caring council and seems to pride itself more on the fact it’s turning itself into a cut-throat business where people matter very little.”

Mrs Gordon said another reason for leaving is she is moving out of the borough, after living in Basildon all her life.

Mrs Gordon was replaced by current Labour group leader Nigel Smith in May 2012, and resigned from the party in January 2013.

She added: “My resignation was the right thing to do and I have no regrets. I don’t think it was fair I was criticised for it, but I did expect it.”

She says her proudest moment was when she led Labour’s opposition to the Dale Farm evictions in 2011.

If her seat is contested in May, it will be one of 15 wards. Lee Chapel North is seen as a Labour stronghold, with Mr Smith and the party’s whip Alan Bennett holding the other seats.

If the Tories lose three of the other 14 seats the party is defending, the group will lose overall control of the council.