The BBC reports:
A Conservative councillor has defected to the Liberal Democrats due to concerns over how the council is run.
Charlie Bayram, who represents Howden on East Riding Council, said the Liberal Democrats were the only party “holding the council to account”…
The Conservative group said it was “saddened” by his decision, but said it came after he was not re-selected to stand in his ward.
Mr Bayram won re-election in Howden in 2019, with 41.6% of the vote.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Bayram was concerned about a Local Government Association report into East Riding Council.
It included claims the authority was inward looking and senior officers had too much control.
“I have given this much thought and I feel the council is not democratic,” he said.
“It is too dominated by a small number of councillors taking all the decisions and the officers just run rings around them.”
East Riding was also the scene of a rather bizarre failure apparently by Conservative councillors to understand what ‘abstain’ means, as The Scarborough News reports:
East Riding Council’s annual general meeting saw ruling Conservative group members abstain on a vote to elect Liberal Democrat Cllr Phil Davison vice chair, the authority’s equivalent of a deputy mayor.
Conservative Group Secretary Cllr Michael Lee said its members had been confused and did not realise Cllr Davison would be elected if it went through.
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr David Nolan called for the vote to stand, but Conservative candidate Cllr Pauline Greenwood won after Chair Cllr John Whittle allowed it to be held again.