Conservatives lose control of council as Councillor Graham Chrystie joins Lib Dems in Woking

Graham Chrystie, a Pyrford Councillor for 8 years, has left the Conservative party and joined the Liberal Democrats. The move comes on the eve of May’s local elections. Cllr Chrystie is not up for election, but it now means that the Council is in No Overall Control, with 15 Conservatives facing 15 opposition councillors.

The current state of the parties is:

Conservative  15
Lib Dem           9
Lab                  3
Ind                   3

Cllr Chrystie said:

The Conservative Party in Woking is failing on openness, proper consultation and financial disclosure, The Leader of the Council, who has his main residence in Scotland, has curtailed debate within the Conservative group and has proceeded with projects which too often lack transparency. Residents have not been properly consulted on key decisions such as plans for a Pub/Restaurant on West Byfleet Recreation Ground, a site held by the Borough only as a Trustee for local residents.

I cannot in conscience remain a member of the Conservative Group. I now feel I can work more effectively for my ward residents and deliver what local people want, within the Liberal Democrat Group, where I can operate within an established, harmonious and effective team.

 

Welcoming Cllr Chrystie to the Liberal Democrat Group, Leader Cllr Ann-Marie Barker said:

Graham is an excellent councillor for Pyrford. He makes a huge contribution to the Council, planning committee in all aspects, overview and scrutiny committee and financial scrutiny together with the Joint Committee between the Borough and County Council. Beyond the Council he has been a representative on Voluntary Services and Community Transport, where he has worked closely with my deputy Cllr Deborah Hughes. Graham will be a fantastic addition to the Liberal Democrat group, bringing his finance and planning knowledge and his experience with neighbourhood forums.

Both nationally and locally, the Conservatives are a fiasco and the Lib Dems are the clear alternative.  Unlike the Tories, we are willing to take step back and think of the consequences, Local people have the opportunity to change Woking’s future on May 2nd by voting for change with the Lib Dems.

Cllr Graham Chrystie is not up for election in 2019. Having topped the ballot paper in 2016 his term of office runs until May 2020.

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One Comment

  • Lawrence Fullick 5th Apr '19 - 7:51am

    Excellent news. I joined the Liberal Party in 1962 as a founder member of the West Byfleet & Pyrford Young Liberals as the party took off after Orpington. We have at times controlled Woking Council. That was true at times in Bournemouth where I now live.

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