Monday, 16 July 2012

Rother Tories Defect Amidst 'Dictatorship' Claims

Two Conservative Councillors on Rother District Council have quit the party to sit as Independents.  The Bexhill-on-Sea Observer reports that Cllr Deirdre Williams (Bexhill Sackville) quit the party last week, followed shortly by Cllr Paul Lendon (Bexhill St. Stephen's).

Lendon pointed to problems on serving on the council's scrutiny committee, saying "To have been accused of voting for an opposition party member, in what was supposed to have been a secret vote, is suggestive of a form of dictatorship which I am not prepared to tolerate."

Council leader Cllr Carl Maynard (Brede Valley) responded, "Paul had issues with the fact that he didn’t want to be part of the strategic view of the district as a whole and very much had his interests in Bexhill."

Rother District Council covers the largely rural eastern parts of East Sussex, surrounding Hastings.  The Council is historically Conservative, who have held majority control since winning it back from No Overall Control in 1999.  The majority of the council lies in the ultra-safe Conservative constituency of Bexhill and Battle (Gregory Barker MP, 2010 Conservative majority of 12,880 over the Lib Dems), with a small part in the marginal Hastings and Rye seat (Amber Rudd MP, 2010 Conservative majority of 1,993 over Labour).

The Independents also overtake the Lib Dems to become the largest numerical opposition on the Council, although four of the Independents sit in one group while the other two sit as ungrouped members.  Overall however, the Council remains solidly Conservative and is unlikely to change hands in the foreseeable future.

Rother District Council
Conservative25-2
Independents6+2
Lib Dems5-
Labour2-

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