Another Councillor defects: Tories lose majority on Crawley BC

Crawley Borough Councillor Marcella Head has left the Conservatives and joined the Liberal Democrats according to local Lib Dem Councillor Gordon Seekings.

The defection means the Tories’ lose their majority on the Council which is now 18 Con, 16 Lab and 3 Lib Dem and becomes NOC with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power.

This comes just days after a defection by a Conservative on Dover District Council led to the Tories losing their majority on that Council which is now 22 Con, 17 Lab, 3 Lib Dem and 3 Ind.

Marcella is distributing a letter to all her constituents and writes:

I am now certain I can best represent the community here in Broadfield and the town as a Liberal Democrat member.

On local issues I believe that we should retain the Council housing stock without unnecessary cuts to any resident of Crawley – whether these are tenants, leaseholders, or private owner. I support better NHS facilities. Locally we should reinstate full services at Crawley Hospital, and both nationally and locally put patients first.

Over the last 7 months I have found that the present Conservative run Council is no better at dealing with problems than the previous Labour controlled one. I believe for example that every resident, including those in the Courts area of Broadfield, should have an equal opportunity to recycle using the red top-bins. These are not available there, so we are told, ‘because of funding’.

On national issues I totally disagree with Britain going to war in Iraq – an issue that I have always agreed with the Liberal Democrats on.

We need to restore trust both in national and local government and that everyone should have an equal opportunity to be heard and treated fairly whatever their background or situation.

To serve the people of Broadfield – who I continue to be proud to represent – can better be done within the Liberal Democrats than as a Conservative or Labour member. We may be a minority group but together we will speak out fairly and truthfully for the local people on the issues that others may try to sweep under the carpet.

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13 Comments

  • RichardBurr 8th Dec '06 - 11:21pm

    I think the recent defections by Tory Councillors and the two resignations by Tory PPCs highlight a problem for Mr Cameron. His new progressive image might succeed in attracting a few new people to his party but as soon as they come into contact with the existing membership they don’t feel at home!

    The more Cameron talks about “liberal” values, the more he brings the philosophy and our Party into the spotlight. For if he continues to give credence to our ideas, people might say why vote for the shallow ones who are just saying it to get a few more votes, why not vote for the people who’ve been saying and campaigning on these ideas (eg civil liberties and the environment) for years? :-)

  • Angus J Huck 8th Dec '06 - 11:53pm

    Cameron is particularly adept at appealling to women, partly because he is better looking than his three predecessors (not difficult, admittedly), but also because he affects a less confrontational, more inclusive style. Conversely, Neil Kinnock consistently polled poorly among women, on account of his “Welsh boyo” persona and penchant for getting involved in punch-ups.

    For all I know, Neil Kinnock is a better man than David Cameron. Having never spoken to either of them, I would not have a clue. Sadly, though, superficialities are increasingly what counts. Cameron LOOKS nice, even though he might not be behind the veneer. Synethetic media creations like Cameron and Blair do have a record of success. It is extremely hard to get people to see them for what they are. Very worrying. The Washington power-brokers who talent-spotted Cameron (as they had Blair) and sent Frank Luntz to hype him, made a savvy choice.

    The Tory Party on the ground, of course, remains the same vile concoction of blue-rinse matrons, blimps, used car dealers, racists and birchers it always has been.

  • RichardBurr 9th Dec '06 - 12:17am

    Ha, ha. I like your description of Tory members. I think it IS possible to get people to see through the other parties’ spin and shallowness and vote Lib Dem but it requires a very high level of campaigning such as that seen in the recent Kentish Town by-election. Bromley too showed it CAN be done but it does require significant human and financial resources which outside by-elections it can be difficult for us to muster.

  • Mark Pack Doesn't Always Win Elections 9th Dec '06 - 1:00pm

    “The Tory Party on the ground, of course, remains the same vile concoction of blue-rinse matrons, blimps, used car dealers, racists and birchers it always has been”

    Absolute rubbish!

  • Antony Hook 9th Dec '06 - 1:32pm

    A Tory Candidate has also defected to us in Lewes in the last few days, I believe.

    See doverlibdems.org.uk for information on ours in Dover.

  • I am a conservative councillor from Broadfield (Alongside Marcella) she did what was right for her and that is great but to make comments such as
    “The Tory Party on the ground, of course, remains the same vile concoction of blue-rinse matrons, blimps, used car dealers, racists and birchers it always has been.”

    shows a complete lack of respect for anyones opinions other than your own, and since when was that libralism? I accept and respect your right to have your views it is a shame you can not do the same.

    True I have never heard of “hexham” so can’t comment on their club, but the tory party are changing, and from the inside we are trying to remove the old guard and effect change, obvoiuosly change does not come naturally to conservatives but we are getting there!

  • Angus J Huck 10th Dec '06 - 12:47am

    Adam Brown, it is possible that a new breed of Tory might have emerged since I was last actively involved in politics, but I will need some convincing. (David Attenborough might have found one in Papua New Guinea.)

    Believe me, I have met a lot of Tories, and they are a rather evil lot.

    But there are one or two decent Tories, and they really do shine out like jewels dropped on a dung heap.

    (1) Barry Phelps, councillor for Earls Court ward, RBK&C. (2) Richard Ostler, ex-CID man and Portsmouth City councillor in the 70s and 80s. Richard deeply regrets letting Neil Hamilton on to the approved candidates list.

  • Phelps, a jewel? When were you last involved in politics, HUCKS? The thirties?

  • You are right Adam.
    A bit rich from representatives of a party which is now best known for its alcoholics, perjurers and rabid anti-Semites!

  • Angus J Huck 19th Dec '06 - 7:11pm

    I see poor old Anonymous has dragged himself out of bed and he still isn’t sober!

    Barry Phelps is recognisably a member of the human race, that’s his secret; unlike some of the flotsam that invades this forum.

  • Sieg, sieg, sieg, sieg heil, mein ANGUS !

  • Angus J Huck 19th Dec '06 - 8:03pm

    Go on, take your medication, Anonymous. The men in white coats are coming to get you. They’ll stick you in the looney bin with all the other cowards who hide behind the cloak of anonymity. I bet you couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding!

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