Two Liberal Democrat councillors quit party to become Independents
PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:52 01 August 2013
TWO Liberal Democrat councillors have resigned from the party and become Independents.
Fenland District Councillor David Patrick and Wisbech Town Councillor Robert McLaren, who both represent Kirkgate, will be known as The Fenland Independent Alliance.
Cllr Patrick said: “We’ve been thinking about this decision over the past two or three months because a chasm has developed between us and the Liberal Democrats.
“Both Robert and myself feel we can no longer support national policies while locally we feel that support has been lacking in certain areas.
“We have taken the view and a very strong belief that councillors should strongly represent their local community rather than a political party which is why Robert and myself have decided to become independent.
“We have the utmost respect for some people within the Liberal Democrats and wish them the best for their future campaigns.”
Cllr Patrick was elected to Fenland District Council in a by-election in April 2010.
He secured a swing of 30 per cent towards the Liberal Democrats and achieved 51.4 per cent of the vote.
He added: “Cllr McLaren and myself will work with anybody from any party for the betterment of Wisbech and particularly Walsoken.
“By becoming an Independent, we believe we can serve people best as we can put their views first.
“We appreciate it’s far harder as an Independent as you don’t have the party machine behind you but equally you can vote with your conscience on what you believe is right.”
Cllr Partrick’s defection has altered the make-up of Fenland District Council.
It is now formed of 33 Conservatives, two Truly Independent councillors (Councillors Michael and Virginia Bucknor), two Liberal Democrat Alliance councillors (Liberal Democrat Councillor Gavin Booth and Independent Councillor Mark Archer), one Independent councillor (Councillor Rob Skoulding), the unaligned Councillor Kit Owen and Cllr Patrick, who has chosen to be known as a Fenland Independent.