First off, news from Portsmouth, scene of a defection from the Conservatives to independents over the summer. This time, it is the Liberal Democrats picking up an extra councillor:
Councillor Jennie Brent has today been welcomed into the Liberal Democrat Group on Portsmouth City Council. Councillor Brent was formerly a Conservative Party member before becoming an Independent earlier this year…
[She said,] “Whilst considering what I was going to do, I came across the introduction to the Lib Dem Constitution. It says: “The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty equality and community, and in which no-one is enslaved by ignorance poverty or conformity.
“This so closely aligns to how I feel about being a Councillor that I decided to speak to the Lib Dems and find out more about how they do things, and how they want to move our City forward.
“My core values are respect, authenticity, loyalty, and a genuine concern for each individual and knowing the importance of a person-centred, planned approach which is needed to achieve positive outcomes.
“I feel that my decades of experience working with homeless people, and those with disabilities and special educational needs, can be so much better utilised as part of a group who share my priorities and desire for people-centred change.”
Andy Wood has represented North Clacton at Essex County Council since 2013…
Mr Wood said: ‘‘I have spoken to lots of residents over the past weeks who are telling me they are unhappy with the way things are going in Clacton and the country as a whole – this is why I have resigned from the Conservatives.
“I no longer believe that the Conservatives are listening to the ordinary person on the street, you only have to look at what is happening to Brexit to see this.
‘‘I want a health service that works without people having to travel miles for an appointment, a police force that is able to do its job properly with more police on the street, a party that does not put housing before infrastructure and a highways department that works.
“You only have to take a look around to see all the potholes on our roads to see it that it does not.
“I want a council that puts the interest of my residents first.
“I believe the Liberal Democrat Party is that party and that is why I am joining them to fight for better services in Clacton and a town to be proud of. The people of Clacton deserve better.’’
There’s been a definite uptick in councillors switching to the party in the last few months, strengthening the recovery also recorded in the party’s rising poll ratings. Of course, not all switches are to the party, so for a systematic round-up each month which shows the overall trends, sign up for Liberal Democrat Newswire.