The fall out from yesterday’s resignation from the ruling Lib Dem group by Cllr Joanna Wright – and her defection to the Green Party – continues.
In a statement, just issued by the B&NES Liberal Democrat Council Group, she is accused of using her former membership of the Lib Dems ‘as a flag of convenience’ and urged to stand down and trigger a by election ‘so that the voters of Lambridge can have the opportunity of knowing exactly what she stands for.’
Here’s the statement in full:
“B&NES Lib Dems are committed to tackling the climate emergency and delivering real improvements for residents. Our Cabinet took great strides this week by approving the first strategic Active Travel Scheme routes and 15 schemes for the first phase of Liveable Neighbourhoods.
Councillor Joanna Wright was the lead Cabinet member as these schemes were developed and the projects going forward are almost entirely what she envisaged. One element will be subject to a deeper engagement process with residents and stakeholders to ensure that a workable solution is agreed that does not end up being removed, potentially wasting public funds.
Despite these significant steps forward, having lost her Cabinet post in May, Joanna chose to defect to the Green Party. Whilst the timing has surprised us, we were not surprised that Joanna has gone back to the Green Party. Since election in 2019, she has consistently said she is more in line with their values than ours, and indeed has now made it clear she used the Lib Dems as a flag of convenience.
We will not be responding to the detail of Joanna’s description of events, save to say that it does not accord with what actually happened.
If Joanna continues as a Councillor for Lambridge, we want to make it clear that our door will remain open if she would like to continue to work with us to deliver for local residents. However, we anticipate that, as her resigning speech focussed on her morals and integrity, she will be standing down and triggering a by election so that the voters of Lambridge can have the opportunity of knowing exactly what she stands for.
There is much that the Green Party and the Lib Dems can agree on and the actions of one individual will not distract us from our ambitious policy agenda to deliver sustainable travel, cleaner air, stronger communities and real improvements in local services for B&NES residents.”
You can hear the interview Cllr Wright gave Bath Newseum elsewhere on this page.