TWO councillors resigned today as members of the ruling Conservative group on Stratford District Council and joined the Independents.
The shock announcement by Cllr Helen Hayter (Snitterfield) and Cllr Dave Wise (Southam) was followed by the disclosure that a former Conservative district councillor, Sue Main—who had represented Wellesbourne— will be acting as agent and secretary to the Independent group.
Both Cllr Hayter and Cllr Wise cite disillusionment with politics in local government and, in particular, a requirement to always toe the party line irrespective of their individual views or community needs.
Cllr Roger Wright (Ind, Wellesbourne), the leader of the Independent group on the district council, said: “I welcome Dave and Helen joining the Independent group and I am not surprised by the actions, considering that this is now happening countrywide as the wave of change away from the three main political parties is taking place.
“Like the electorate, many elected members are beginning to recognise the shortcomings of ‘ping pong’ politics between the three main parties and the effect it has on their role as local councillors.”
Cllr Wright said the Independents saw this as a vanguard to a larger working group of Independent councillors on Stratford District Council, and they would be working to increase their group numbers at the next district council elections.
Cllr Chris Saint (Cons, Tredington), the leader of the district council, told the Herald: “This has come as a complete surprise. I am hugely disappointed.” On the issue of “toeing the party line”, he said: “Effectively the Conservative Party under my leadership gives them all an opportunity to come and debate issues to contribute to the party line. They are moving themselves into a position where they will have less influence on policy.”
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