Smallbridge & Firgrove Councillor quits Lib Dems

Date published: 19 May 2009

Smallbridge & Firgrove Councillor Brenda Kerslake has dramatically quit the ruling Liberal Democrat group and opted to serve her constituents as an independent member.

Councillor Kerslake said she had quit the party for 'personal reasons' and her decision will be made official at tomorrow's full cabinet meeting.

"People will probably say it was because I was not made chair of the group for health and that will be held against me but I can assure you that is not the case," said the defiant Councillor. "I do not want to be associated with a group that offers no support from the top and it was in my best interests to come out.

"I am aware that it will be made to look like sour grapes but it is not. I am not happy but I want to continue to serve my constituents, who have put their faith in me until 2011.

"I don't think I will have many friends in the council chamber now but I am a strong person and I can deal with that. I am determined to continue my work as a councillor and I will not let down my constituents."

Leader of Rochdale Council Alan Taylor said: “I would like to make it clear that Councillor Kerslake has not resigned from the party over a policy issue and I feel regret that she cannot accept the democratic wishes of the majority group on this Council.

"I would like to wish Councillor Kerslake well for the future.”

Councillor Kerslake becomes the second independent member of the Council, alongside East Middleton Councillor David Murphy.

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