|Follow the leader|
Any councillor should know their own mind and vote according to their best judgement; I do not believe that belonging to a group of people with a broadly similar viewpoint robs you of the ability to make your own decisions. Indeed, if you are familiar with the facts and have established a good argument then it follows that you can persuade colleagues of the merits of your position and gain their support also.
What does frustrate me is someone claiming that they are the voice of independent thought whilst apparently taking direction on how to make such a claim! If you make duplicitous claims, you sometimes (metaphorically) get your fingers bitten.