In a dramatic move at East Riding Council Annual General Meeting, Conservative Councillor Charlie Bayram crossed the floor at the start of the meeting to join the Liberal Democrats on the Opposition benches.
The defection has also prompted the local Lib Dems to say they think there will be a seismic shift from Conservative to Lib Dem at the next local elections.
Lib Dem Group Leader Councillor David Nolan said he was delighted to welcome Charlie into the group highlighting his experience.
Commenting on the defection Cllr Nolan said;
“I am delighted to welcome Charlie into the Liberal Democrat Group. He is a long-standing and experienced Councillor and works hard for his residents. He brings a lot of expertise on Planning matters to the Group.”
“This is the first time in the Council’s 26 year existence that a Conservative has crossed the floor to the Lib Dems, so it is a historic moment.”
Cllr Charlie Bayram explained his change by saying;
“I have given this much thought. I feel the Council is not democratic.”
“It is too dominated by a small number of Councillors taking all the decisions and the Officers just run rings around them. The recent LGA investigation into the Council highlighted that the Council is too inward-looking and letting down its residents. Change is needed and the Liberal Democrats are the only ones trying to hold the Council to account.”
“Locally I am unhappy at the way in which the Council is doubling the size of Howden by dumping thousands of houses on it. I am concerned that the congestion problems and pressure on services in Howden will become intolerable.”
Councillor David Nolan added;
“We know that one or two Conservative Councillors are feeling uneasy about elections next year and are putting out feelers.”
“The cost of living crisis, fuel poverty and the partygate dishonesty and deceit by Johnson is affecting their vote locally. In the elections last week, I was getting reports of Conservative Candidates not mentioning Johnson in their leaflets or saying it is nothing to do with them locally.”
“We could well see a seismic shift from Conservative to Lib Dem in the May 2023 Local Elections in the East Riding.”
The move by Cllr Bayram increases the opposition Lib Dem Group to 11 and reduces the ruling Conservative Group to 44. Others are 9. There are no Labour Councillors on the East Riding.
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