Tory councillor Alan Hale switches to Independent

KEYNSHAM councillor Alan Hale has announced that he is leaving the Conservative group on Bath & North Somerset District Council to serve as an Independent.

Mr Hale, who represents Keynsham South, said he had made the decision because of his dissatisfaction with the Tories at a national level.

In a statement, he said: “I have over a period of time been considering my future position as a Conservative Councillor.

“I have taken time to seek advice and thoughts from a number of my constituents, as well as having conversations with the Conservative Leader Cllr Tim Warren OBE, a man who I have great respect for.

“It is my intention to leave the B&NES Conservative group and to continue to serve my constituents within Keynsham South as an Independent councillor.

“The national situation with the Conservative Party has had a great influence on my decision.

“It began some time back when Prime Minister Cameron resigned because he had not received the backing of  the people in the referendum – this was to my mind an act of petulance on his part.

“Under his leadership, the then Home Secretary May had commenced the undermining and dangerous reduction in numbers of the police service – an action she continued to compound when she became prime minister. The policing levels in Keynsham bear witness to her work.

“Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and provided spirited leadership, achieving a vast majority in the following election. He achieved Brexit and also led the country through the pandemic. Sadly, in my mind he was then ‘assassinated’ by many of his fellow MPs.

“The outcome of the behaviour of those in Westminster led, in my opinion, to the loss of a number of very good Conservative councillors in the local government election in 2019, and then in May of last year we lost many more good councillors.

“Finally, Mark Shelford, who had done a good job as Police and Crime Commissioner, was ousted. I firmly believe that the government and national Conservative Party have behaved in a manner that did no good at all for local Conservative Parties.

“In closing, I would wish to make it clear to my constituents that my service to them will not change.

“I have committed much of my life since 2007 in serving them and being an advocate for them in a variety of ways. Over that time, I have not pushed party politics, so serving them as an Independent councillor should see very little difference as to how I approach my public duties and my service to them in Keynsham South and indeed the wider population of Keynsham.”