One of my photos

Tories lose their majority

December 9th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 12 Comments · Politics

Today a letter came through our door from our councillor, Marcella Head, to tell us that she has left the Tory party and joined the Liberal Democrats. This was unexpected but not a huge shock. I knew she was not entirely happy in the the Tory party, which was why I gave her a membership form for Labour a couple of months ago.Smile

After the last local elections the balance of Crawley Borough Council was 19 Tories, 16 Labour and 2 Lib-Dems, so now the balance will be 18 Tories, 16 Labour and 3 Lib-Dems meaning that, although they still have the largest group in the council, the Tories no longer have an absolute majority and we have ended up with the sort of hung council that many people predicted for last May anyway.

This should make the rest of the year quite interesting for the council and puts a bit more pressure on the elections next year as it will be a fight for control rather than a right to regain/retain control.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • Gordon Seekings

    Nice factual posting Skuds (which is most definatly not a sarcastic comment as the level of poltical debate on your site here is probably the best in Crawley).

    For interest of your many readers (of all political pursuasions) I’ve copied the text of Marcella’s letter below. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to see you when I was out and about in Broadfield today.

    If anyone wants to read more about Marcella becoming a Lib Dem then (plug! plug!) go to 🙂

    Dear fellow Broadfield resident

    Why I have joined the Liberal Democrats

    I am writing to let you know that I have been representing Broadfield South residents as a Councillor on behalf of the Conservative party since May 2004. It has been a difficult decision to make but I feel I am no longer able to do so given my recent personal experiences as a Councillor and Broadfield resident.

    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 Conservatives 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.

    I pledge to continue to serve the residents of Broadfield firstly and foremost and promise to work alongside other Councillors, no matter from what party, for the residents here in Broadfield.

    Yours sincerely

  • Richard

    Marcella Head would have done better by becoming an Independent 🙂

  • Skuds

    Thanks Gordon. Debate here did once get a bit childish and nasty so I deleted all the comments to keep the standard up. Otherwise I don’t interfere.

    Having said that, I took the liberty of editing your comment to put the letter in blockquotes. I would not normally edit comments, but it made it look tidier.

    (I resisted the temptation to change your link so it pointed somewhere else)

  • Skuds

    Richard, I think Marcella probably is independent in all but name, and has been for a while.

  • Gordon Seekings

    “I took the liberty of editing your comment to put the letter in blockquotes.”

    That, my dear skuds, is worth my while buying you a pint the next time we meet – especially for leaving the website pointer to where it should be. (I have assumed, of course, that some of your colleagues will not think buying you a pint is a bribe to join us as well……although I can e-mail you a membership form if you want.) 🙂

  • Richard

    Become an Independent, Gordon – along with your wife – and I’ll buy you both a pint 🙂

  • Skuds

    All this talk of pints… I almost wish I actually enjoyed drinking alcohol still.

  • Gordon Seekings

    Richard. I am a liberal and a democrat. I have been a Liberal party, and now Liberal Democrat party member, since January 1974.

    An “independant” does not mean necessarily someone of independant thought – too many so called independants are nothing more than conservatives (small “c”) or Conservatives (large “C”) – or even someone lacking in rational thought. But being a Liberal Democrat for me does mean rational thought (although I accept skuds and others will disagree with me on this latter point).

    Incidently Skuds I’ve done a link from the latest Crawley Lib Dems website story on Marcella’s move to the Liberal Democrats to this website. Lets see what that does for your web stats. :-))

  • Martyn Smith

    Is anybody in a position to advise when the Crawley Conservative or Labour websites are likely to post comment on the changed political balance of the Council?

  • Skuds

    Good question Martyn.

    While I can spout whatever rubbish occurs to me as it occurs to me I imagine that official sites have an element of ‘decision by committee’ or needing some sort of approval before posting anything contentious.

    Obviously the Lib Dems had advance notice and time to think about it – and any sort of approval process will necessarily involve fewer people 😉

    I have suggested to the webmaster that we should get some sort of responseon our site.

  • Danivon

    Weird. I wonder if there will be calls for her to stand down and allow a bye-election, seeing that the Lib Dem vote in her ward is very low.

    I think that the ‘responses’ will be more visible in Wednesdays local papers. I do hope that none of the Tories get nasty.

  • Skuds

    Of course there will be calls for her to stand down. There always are, but nobody ever does.

    When Marcella was elected in 2004 there was not a Lib-Dem candidate, although this year they did stand and got 98 votes. I wonder what would happen if she stood again… would she take some personal votes from the Tories and let Labour in?

    Its all a bit uncertain – perhaps the Tories will be happier not to find out yet?