Tories step down from party
Published on: 11 Jan 2013
Independents biggest ‘party’ after pair leave Conservatives
Independents are now the biggest ‘party’ in Filton Town Council after two councillors said they were standing down from the Conservatives.
Cllrs Rikki Teml and Kieran Hyde told a meeting of the council that "if we are ever to achieve positive change during the remainder of our term, we believe that party politics must be put to one side".
They also said that "(political) agendas" had been dominating proceedings of the council.
The change means the make-up of the council is now Independent (six), Labour (five) and Conservative (two).
Their statement said: "It is so important that when representing Filton Town Council that your judgement is not clouded by political agendas.
"Over recent months we have felt that there has been a marked change in thought strategy within this council resulting in agendas taking precedence over working for the good of the residents in Filton.
"If we are ever to achieve positive change during the remainder of our term we believe that party politics must be put to one side. This will ensure decisions are made solely on merit and for the benefit of the community.
"With this in mind and to re-enforce our continued commitment to the people of Filton, Cllr Hyde and I hearby inform you that with immediate effect we have stood down from the Conservative Party.
"We look forward to working with this council over the coming months as independent councillors and hope we will continue to have the valued support we have received from residents to date."
Conservative spokesman Mark Merchant said: "The Conservative Party will continue to work for the people of Filton. Kieran Hyde and Rikki Teml are both hard working councillors and well-regarded. We wish them well in the future.
"The Conservative Party will continue to champion the needs and concerns of Filton as it always has done. "
The announcement follows the decision of Cllr Mel Drewitt last month who said she was now ‘Independent Labour’ after accusing the local branch of a lack of transparency.
Branch chairman Brian Mead has indicated Ms Drewitt cannot stand down from the local branch unless she leaves the party altogether.
In last month’s Filtonvoice she said: "I support the Labour party and all that it represents however due to recent events I feel some councillors are not as supportive to the residents that elected us. Therefore I will be standing as an Independent Labour councillor."
Cllr Bll Moore, who was critical of the local branch earlier in the year, has told Filtonvoice he is no longer a member of the Labour Party.
Cllrs Brian Freeguard (a former Conservative district and town councillor) and Cllr Ken Brock are already independents.