'Interference' the reason for councillor's defection

THE Conservatives majority on Huntingdon Town Council has been cut by two with the defection of its group leader to the Liberal Democrats. Councillor Dave Dransfield blamed interference from the constituency organisation in the way he was allowed to lead

THE Conservatives' majority on Huntingdon Town Council has been cut by two with the defection of its group leader to the Liberal Democrats.

Councillor Dave Dransfield blamed interference from the constituency organisation in the way he was allowed to lead the party group on the council.

"I was promised a free hand to manage, but that was usurped. I found some of that hard to deal with," he told The Hunts Post.

The issue came to a head over how to deal with one Tory councillor with a poor attendance record. Councillor Dransfield had wanted simply to remind the councillor that his membership would lapse. But the constituency office had persuaded him to attend one meeting to avoid a by-election, he said.


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"The town council should be non-political in the best interests of the people of Huntingdon. We always seem to agree with the Lib Dems in the ultimate outcome, because we all know what the electors want us to do.

"I contemplated resigning totally, but I still wanted to be part of the decision-making process for the town."

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Councillor John Morgan, Lib Dem leader on the town council, said: "I am pleased that Dave has decided to join our group and increase it from three to four. Dave has impressed me over the last 15 months by his determination to put the interests of residents first.

"He is hard-working and committed and he shares many of the aspirations that we have for a better Huntingdon."

Tory agent Sir Peter Brown shrugged off the defection. "We are sorry to lose him, but it seems a shame he has decided to do this when more people are supporting the Conservative Party."

Town mayor Councillor Saeed Akthar would not comment. "I'm non-political in this office. He has written to me and I have written back. That's about it. As chairman, I can't really comment."

There are now 12 Conservative councillors and four Liberal Democrats.

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