West Windsor Residents Association has been officially registered as a political party.

But its officers insist this will not affect its independence.

The decision to apply for political status was agreed by a large majority of members at the association's annual meeting earlier this year. But there was strong opposition from some of those present who believed it was surrendering its traditional independence from the political system.

The change means the association can put its logo on ballot papers in future elections. Members believe that some of their supporters mistakenly voted for candidates who were not WWRA members in the last election, splitting the independent vote and allowing the Conservatives to regain the Clewer North ward for the first time in 28 years.

Association chairman Kevin Chapman said: "I'm pleased that our members can easily identify WWRA candidates in future elections. This will be critical in restoring our three members to the council."

Vice-chairman Richard Endacott said: "The decision in no way undermines the impartiality of the organisation and its willingness to work with all the secure the best possible future for West Windsor residents."

In the past the WWRA has formed joint administrations with both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties to run the Royal Borough.

WWRA secretary Carole Da Costa, whose husband Wisdom is a WWRA councillor on the borough, said: "Although this was never the route the West Windsor Residents Association had planned to take, it became necessary after the confusion of the 2015 local election. I am delighted that residents will now be able to identify our candidates in future elections."