Monday, 23 July 2012

Plymouth Tory Cllr Leaves Party Over Citybus Sale

Cllr Jill Dolan (Stoke) has left the Conservative group on Plymouth City Council after saying she wished to vote independently from the party whip on matters.  The Plymouth Herald reports that she emphasised the 2009 sale of Plymouth Citybus to a private operator as a major factor in her decision.

Plymouth Citybus was established in 1986 as a limited company, entirely owned by Plymouth City Council, after the Transport Act 1985 brought in deregulation in bus services across the country.  It remained as an arms-length public organisation until 2009 when it was sold off to the Go-Ahead group in a locally controversial decision.  Cllr Dolan formerly sat on the board of directors of Citybus before the sale, and her decision to leave her party seems to be have been driven by differences first wedged open by that event.

Labour regained control of Plymouth City Council back in May after five years of a Conservative majority.  The council has swung back and forth between Labour and Conservative control for some time, with few independents or third parties ever winning seats.  At present, Cllr Dolan is the only councillor outside of the main two political groups, with the new composition of the council being:

Plymouth City Council
Labour31-
Conservative25-1
Independents1+1

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