Councillor quits Lib Dem group over 'lack of direction'

Greg Hayman, Liberal Democrat councillor for Trunch, pictured during the 2019 North Norfolk District

Councillor Greg Hayman has quit the cabinet and Lib Dem group at North Norfolk District Council.  - Credit: Archant

A member of North Norfolk District Council has quit the Liberal Democrats group over a "lack of direction".

Greg Hayman, who was the council's portfolio holder for housing and benefits, announced his resignation from the group and said he was "in active talks" with other political groups about his next step.

Mr Hayman said: "The lack of vision and strategic direction is disappointing both locally and nationally. 

"The party is not a happy place with colleagues leaving the county and district councils and its a pity that no local meetings have taken place to develop and support policy in these fast changing times in which we find ourselves.  

The North Norfolk District Council offices at Cromer. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Norfolk District Council leader Sarah Bütikofer.  - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

"That failure is a huge disappointment to me."

Mr Hayman continues as ward councillor for Trunch, which includes the parishes of Antingham, Felmingham, Knapton, Suffield, Swafield and Trunch.

He said the environment, business and housing were all areas where the council needed to do more.

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Mr Hayman said: "I want to see an agenda that advances solutions to the climate change catastrophe that is developing; an authority which puts all its assets to good use; supports local businesses; does more to provide homes quickly and affordably, and works on partnerships with all stakeholders and across the political divide to deliver solutions that benefit the whole community."  

Liberal Democrat council leader Sarah Bütikofer. Picture: North Norfolk District Council

North Norfolk District Council leader Sarah Bütikofer.  - Credit: North Norfolk District Council

Sarah Bütikofer, council leader, said the Lib Dem group had a meeting via Zoom on May 22 where its councillors voted on the make-up of the cabinet.

She said Mr Hayman was voted off the cabinet, and his successor was to be confirmed at a full council meeting on the evening of May 26.

Mrs Bütikofer said: "It is very disappointing that councillor Hayman never expressed any of these views prior to making this announcement or decision."

Mrs Bütikofer said none of the other current cabinet members had been voted out at the group's meeting, and would continue to serve in their current roles. 

The Lib Dems have councillors representing 26 of the council's 40 wards, and, aside from Mr Hayman who is now an non-aligned independent, there are four Independent group councillors and nine Conservatives.