Cllr Bob Bayford, the Leader of the Conservative Group at Thanet District Council, has been informed that Cllr John Worrow of Birchington South ward has resigned the Conservative Whip and now wishes to sit as an independent councillor.
Commenting on the resignation from the Conservative Group, Cllr Bayford said: “Naturally, I am disappointed by Cllr Worrow’s decision, which came as a surprise. I look forward to the by-election, which I am sure Cllr Worrow will call, to give the voters in his strongly Conservative ward, the opportunity to endorse his decision to cease representing them as a Conservative councillor. The Conservative Party was the basis for both his selection and recent election in Birchington South.”
He continued: “At a time when the country is facing significant financial and social challenges, Thanet has been making steady and measurable progress in a number of key areas. Tourism, led by the success of the Turner Contemporary, is showing very encouraging growth. Long-awaited urban regeneration is under way; exemplified by the success of our ‘No use empty’ programme and the transformation of Margate Old Town. We are also witnessing Ramsgate’s emergence as the port of choice for major players in the offshore wind-farm industry, with the result that demand for land at the port now exceeds supply.
The present Conservative administration is wholly focused on responsible financial management in presenting the 2012 -2013 budget. As a result, we have absorbed the cuts in our grants from government whilst maintaining front-line services. We are committed to maintaining our record of progress shown to date. In the circumstances of what is now an evenly balanced council, with no single majority political group, it is vital for the residents of Thanet, that we be allowed to continue our programme of regeneration and financial common-sense, in the interests of achieving a better collective future in tough times.”