COUNCILLORS FROM ARRAY OF PARTIES ANNOUNCE THEY ARE JOINING THE CONSERVATIVES.
4 Councillors from across different parties and areas of the BCP Council region have today announced that they are joining the Conservative Administration, giving the current minority conservative-led council a majority administration for the first time since its inception in 2019.
The Councillors, three of whom were independents and one of whom was a Liberal Democrat, released a joint statement today saying that in less than 12 months in office the current Conservative leadership had demonstrated that they were achieving on the ground for residents across Christchurch, Poole and Bournemouth, and that they wanted to be part of the administration that were actually delivering:
“We have all said in the past that we would act in what we thought was the best interests of our residents, who want a bright future for our area with strong leadership, financial credibility and a clear plan and vision. We’ve seen that in action and feel that we can best represent our residents by being central to that journey. Too many people, councillors included, complain from the side-lines. People expect delivery and that’s what this administration is doing and we will do the same.”
Councillor Steve Baron, Councillor for Parkstone, added:
“I’ve been working with the Conservative administration for a year now as their Lead Member for Poole Regeneration. I’ve seen first-hand that the immediate rejuvenation of Poole is not just talk from this team; they’re already putting it into action. What has really convinced me to join the team is the Poole Rejuvenation plan which will be coming to Cabinet in a few months. The advanced work on this, which I’ve been involved with, gives me confidence that this administration will finally deliver what many have been speaking about for decades – proper investment in Poole. That’s why I’m proud to be joining the team.”
The Poole Rejuvenation paper will be outlining the Council’s forthcoming projects and plans, many of which are being progressed through its newly formed Urban Regeneration Company. These include:Plans to significantly extend the Poole Quay marina, including public walkways and science/nature centre. Done in collaboration with the Poole Harbour Commissioners.
New or refurbished toilets throughout Poole, including Poole Quay, Lake Pier and Hamworthy Park Plans for a Children’s Pirate themed Playpark at Fisherman’s Dock, working with the Poole and District Fisherman’s Association Poole High Street Retain Renaissance initiative, working with the HAZ team
Exploring the transformation of Poole Rec and adjacent water-edge woodland into a new park.
Hamworthy Councillor Daniel Butt is also joining the team, and commented:
“Working with the leadership on plans for my ward, from Holes Bay, to Carters Quay and the future of Turlin Moor especially from a younger person’s prospective, I’ve been struck that this is a team that is going to deliver for my residents. Not only is the recent proposed acquisition of Carters Quay, bringing 161 new homes to rent a demonstration of that action, but also the commitment for new toilets in Lake Pier and Hamworthy Park, which is what my residents have been calling for for years. For that reason and more I think it is in the best interest of my residents to become part of that team and work to really get things done.
I will continue to work with all my hard-working Hamworthy ward colleagues as an effective team that will deliver for all our residents, l will never forget that my ward work comes first, as do all my residents”.
Councillor Toby Johnson, formerly a Liberal Democrat and representing Alderney and Bourne Valley, pointed to the Conservative administration’s focus on young people, skills and social issues as the main reason for his decision to join.
“As a young person recently out of University, I’ve felt directly some of the challenges that people like me face. Housing is clearly an issue, but often the biggest barrier for young people is access to skills, apprenticeships and clear pathways into employment beyond that. I’ve been working closely with Drew and Phil on this, and have become very quickly convinced that they and the team have the drive and while passion to really make a difference in this area. I’m really looking forward to helping them on this important workstream.”
Christchurch Councillor Nigel Brooks, a Retired Chartered Surveyor, brings across a wealth of skills in the property sector and has been part of the administration’s Cabinet+ looking at Retail Strategy and Regeneration. He commented:
As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic I feel it is imperative to support the Administration by galvanising action in the area of regeneration. There are many exciting opportunities across our conurbation, not least with the former Christchurch Council Offices in Bridge Street. As a Director of three ‘arm’s length’ BCP Council Companies I have had the opportunity to work first-hand with many Councillors and in particular the Conservatives. It will be a privilege to work more closely with the Administration, to serve our residents, and to gain pace with the Regeneration Agenda under the leadership of Cllr Phil Broadhead.”
Council Leader Drew Mellor and Deputy Leader Phil Broadhead welcomed the new team.
Councillor Mellor commented:
“I’ve always said since becoming Leader that I would work with anyone who wanted to work with us. Not only am I delighted to welcome these three individuals into the Conservative family, but I consider myself one of the luckiest Council Leaders in the Country, as their talent is plain for all to see. With their addition to the team, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”
Councillor Broadhead concluded:
“This isn’t just one Councillor joining this administration, or two. This isn’t about personalities or “deals”. What we have here is a movement. A collection of talented individuals who for their own reasons have decided that we’re doing something momentous here in our plans for the area. We’ve demonstrated already that this administration is not just talk, but action. It’s what our residents deserve and we’re going to deliver for them.”