South Norfolk Tory councillor goes independent

Conservative party chiefs in South Norfolk will try to persuade a long-serving councillor not to resign over his concerns about the government's Localism agenda.

For the last nine years, Keith Weeks has represented South Norfolk Council's Bressingham and Burston ward as a Tory councillor, but quit on October 22 to stand as an independent.

In a letter to association chairman Peter Stebbings, he said he was concerned about the government's Localism Bill which aimed to decentralise power to local communities, institutions and individuals.

In particular, he told the chairman he was concerned about the way the local party was following national policy.

However, Mr Stebbing said he was hoping to meet Mr Weeks to try to persuade him to return to the Tory fold.

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'I did speak to him to try to persuade him to reflect on his decision to resign from the party as a member, but the distinct impression I had was that he did not want to withdraw his resignation,' he added.

Mr Weeks' council colleague Christopher Kemp, who represents Cringleford, said one of his biggest successes as a Tory was in persuading the council to change its attitude towards brown signs advertising tourist attractions in the area, as the council had previously been hostile to them.

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'I am sorry that he has decided to leave us. I feel he would have achieved more if he had decided to stay,' Mr Kemp added.

Mr Weeks was unavailable for comment this week.

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