Lewes Lib Dem councillor defects to Tories

by Stephen Tall on May 27, 2009

Yesterday, my LDV colleague Mark Pack blogged of Labour-to-Lib Dem defector in Merseyside. Alas, this week’s defection news isn’t all cheery for the party:

A Liberal Democrat councillor defected to the Conservatives saying his dedication to his town was not recognised by his old party. Robbie Robertson, who represents Newhaven Valley on Lewes District Council, announced his decision to cross the floor after his party raised council tax by 16% in Newhaven.

He said: “I am a dedicated and hard working councillor but sadly in my present position my skills are not utilised.

“Becoming a councillor was for me driven by the desire to involve myself in the Newhaven and district community and be instrumental in driving forward change and improvements.

“Unfortunately I can only be of use to the community if I am given the opportunity and this has certainly not been the case in recent times. The time has come I believe for me to associate myself with a party which hopefully will recognise my dedication to the community of Newhaven and district and give me the chance to work effectively on their behalf.”

Reading between the lines (I have no personal knowledge of any of the individuals) it sounds as though Cllr Robertson feels over-looked and sleighted – probably the most common trigger for most political defections.

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Two weeks late 🙂 http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/05/norman-baker-suffers-double-blow.html

Even if I did get his name wrong 🙂

by Iain Dale on May 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm. Reply #

Unfortunately one of the major consequences of New Labour’s changes to the way local government operates has been the marginalisation of all councillors other than cabinet members. And if Robbie feels his abilities are under-used now then he should wait and see what it will be like when his new leader Mr Cameron imposes an elected mayor on the people of Newhaven as is his announced preference. I hope at that point Robbie will see the light and we will welcome him back.

by tony hill on May 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm. Reply #

Robbie was made mayor for a term by the Liberal Democrats a few years ago.

It sounds like he has thrown his toys out of his pram.

The superb Carla Butler has just become Newhaven’s mayor after finishing her term Chair of the District Council (at age 28, the youngest ever Chair of a local authority I think)

by Antony Hook on May 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm. Reply #

“Unfortunately I can only be of use to the community if I am given the opportunity”

Eh, no, you can be of use if you use the opportunities availible. Or does he mean only something “important” like Cabinet member will do ?

by Mouse on May 28, 2009 at 8:08 am. Reply #

Many years ago John F Kennedy famously said; “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
Whilst it is certainly true that we should value our councillors and those who stand as councillors, we all need to have the mentality that politics is what you decide to make of it, and you cannot always rely on your colleagues to do it for you. After all, they are in the same situation themselves.

by Geoffrey Payne on May 30, 2009 at 11:39 am. Reply #

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