Woods Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Third Conservative Town Councillor defects to UKIP

Posted on Tuesday 24th July 2012 at 10:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Bradley Stoke Town Councillor Kim Harris.

A third Bradley Stoke Town Councillor has switched allegiance from the Conservatives to the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Cllr Kim Harris, who lives in Kemperleye Way and represents the Meadowbank parish ward, has resigned with immediate effect and joins fellow UKIP Town Councillors Ben Walker and Ed Rose.

The latter pair were welcomed into UKIP by party leader Nigel Farage at a public meeting held at the Aztec Hotel in May.

Cllr Walker’s defection followed what appeared to be some nasty in-fighting within the Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservative Party, in which the then Bradley Stoke Mayor was the subject of a “smear campaign” aimed at stopping him becoming the Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, a position he had been expected to assume after serving as Vice-Chair since May 2011.

Following his resignation, Cllr Walker lashed out at his former party, tweeting:

“I have resigned from the Conservative Party. I can no longer support an elitist, self-serving gravy train, riddled with bully boy tactics.”

A UKIP press release announcing the latest defection describes Cllr Harris as “a well known community activist, business owner and local to Bradley Stoke of 19 years” and says she has made the move due to “unhappiness with the Conservatives Party’s hidden form and lack of direction in the right areas.”

Explaining her move, Cllr Harris said:

“This Government has failed on immigration and benefit reform. They continue to punish small business owners and have become a party who only represent the rich.”

The latest development leaves the Town Council with eleven Conservative and three UKIP members. One seat is currently vacant following the recent resignation of Barry Mitchell (Conservative) for “personal and professional reasons”. A by-election could potentially be held to fill the vacancy, but only if ten people call for one before 26th July; otherwise it will be filled by ‘co-option’.

Ex-Tories Ben Walker and Ed Rose are welcomed into UKIP.

Photo: Ex-Tories Ben Walker and Ed Rose are welcomed into UKIP.

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55 Responses to “Third Conservative Town Councillor defects to UKIP”

  1. Hugo Chavez Says:

    I can’t blame her, first of all the conservatives wanted small business and entrepreneurs to pull us out of a weakened economy, which was a big ask with no money (thanks to the banks) and now throttling them with recognising a hidden economy and shooting down cash in hand payment. Idiots! Do you blame the business women?

  2. Chris dlM Says:

    So we have three Councillors defecting to another party and one resigning, at the risk of sounding flippant could they all have a bit of a think about which party they wish to represent and let us know so that we can decide if we want them to represent us? Preferably by disbanding and calling an election.

    I’m sure that legally there is no need for an election but surely the moral argument is getting stronger, four out of the Conservative Council have either decided they are unable to commit the time (fair enough) or don’t want to be affiliated with the party anymore.

    I know some people will have voted for the person irrespective of the party (I did anyway) but equally if the party that person represented was so far out of kilter with my beliefs I would have voted differently. Others will have simply voted for the party on the basis that they are always vote for them because they share the same beliefs (there are some areas in the country that will always be Labour or Conservative for example).

    I’m honestly not trying to bash the Conservatives, UKIP or indeed the Councillors themselves who do a pretty thankless job but as far as I can see UKIP didn’t even put up candidates in 2011 (happy to be corrrected) and yet we now have three Councillors for that party representing us. Just seems incongruous to me and I think with every defection\resignation the Council’s mandate weakens

  3. SH (Editor) Says:

    Nigel Farage, no less, has tweeted a link to this BSJ article:

    https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/228054360230338560

  4. Diane Says:

    THANKYOU – From an EX Grass root Tory who has also switched…unless you support the people nothing will change. You have the support of the people!

  5. Simon Quarry Says:

    Was surprised to see Bradley Stoke pop up on Nigel Farage’s tweet so came down to have a look. Well done all three new UKIP members, although I do also see valid the point Chris makes above.
    Hopefully this will repeat the country over and even if defeating the cons is impossible it will put serious pressure on them to seriously reconsider their policies forthwith. But I’m voting UKIP regardless. Had more than a lifetime’s fill of LIBERALS (yes even the con ones)

  6. Craig Says:

    Great news, I live in Bradley Stoke and also surprised to see my hero Nigel Farage tweet to my own local area.

    UKIP are on the up, big time, the only party offering real change.

    It seems many Consertives are seeing moving to UKIP.

    There’s only one thing David Cameron cares about and that’s getting the keys to number 10 again so he can carry on impressing (and helping) his rich friends.

  7. Roger Avenin Says:

    While I may sympathise with Kim regarding several of her points further defections to UKIP will only have the effect of handing victory to Labour through the back door. So if you want a high spending, high taxation party, with massive additional borrowing to add to our already gynormous defecit then go for it !!

    I would remind Kim and others that we do not have a Conservative government – this is a COALITION government. Alas the Conservatives are contrained by the cold dead hand of the Liberals. If the conservatives were given a free hand I think you would find many of the current policies would change significantly

    While Cameron and Osborne are wrestling with our enormous defecit arising from years of Labour financial mismanagement, with high unemployment, a possible world wide recession, and a meltdown in the Euro zone what is the Liberals priority ? A reform of the House of Lords !! You could’nt make it up and this is a plot surely worthy of a television comedy/satire. Just because Cleggie wants to fill the second chamber with his cronies under the PR system

    Why anyone would want to vote for such a decrepit Euro subservient party is completely beyond me.

    Well that is the national position and I note that all 3 UKIP defectors have quoted mainly national issues as the reason for their defections. It would seem that even they are content with the machinations of the Conservatives at town council level.

  8. Sachin Singhal Says:

    Not another one, what’s happening to my previous opponents. Again I reiterate the fact that this has got nothing to do with me 🙂

    I don’t go around scaring my previous opponents 🙂

    Anyway Good Luck Kim, I wish you well in your new party.

  9. Dave Tiley Says:

    I wonder if Brian Hopkinson and Sarah Pomfret of BSTC Cons will join them, they vote with us at Patchway Town Council, then vote against us at South Gloucestershire Council.

    Seems they don’t know their own minds either.

    Woah woh the okey cokey.

    In out in out rah rah rah.

    As for you Roger, spouting the usual mantra of clap trap, this world was brought to its knees by the bankers, yes, deregulating them was wrong, but your party continues to deregulate them, and their noses are fully back in the trough as we all pay for their mess through failing austerity measures that aren’t working, hence today’s news on a double dip recession. Kick the poor, disabled and ill, close Remploy where they could work, and cut taxes for millionaires, seems fair Roger?

    Cold dead hand of the liberals? If call me Dave can’t cope with that wet blanket then you have no hope, the libs are manning the life boat already looking for their next coalition in pursuit of power they would never have otherwise, all too late tho’ UKIP are one per cent behind them and will probably be the third party at the next election.

    Local politics stinks btw. 10k a year for the majority to do as they are told by their MP and officers, some never speak, go and watch the cold glass eyes of those people, I’ve even seen them asleep there. Democracy my a**e.

  10. Silverfox Says:

    Not impressed really. I know there is some sort of grounds swell against Europe, fine, if that is how the majority feel. If you all believed in UKIP that much why wait till you have been elected for another party before you switch? Sounds like you planned it all along. I find it deceitful. And before anyone asks if this is a sore Tory, sorry, it isn’t, my view would be the same if other councillors had been voted in on the back of some other party and then changed. If it wasn’t for the cost that we the residents would have to pay for I would say have another election stand for UKIP and if you get in fine.
    Treat us with a little more respect.

  11. BenWalker’s******Builder Says:

    So a third nutter heads to the Tea Party – sorry, UKIP. The mind boggles as to why three (presumably) intelligent Councillors would stand for a party who said before the last election they would not support an in/out referendum on the EU, then leave for a party whose only policy is to have an in/out referendum on the EU.

    It seems to me that either this is either some kind of UKIP ploy to gain council seats they would never win in an actual election or, as seems likely with Mr Walker especially, a faction assumed that it was their god-given right to hold certain posts locally, and then threw their toys out the pram when their party decided that they didn’t make the grade.

    After misleading the electorate by standing under a false flag (let’s be honest, the Government’s primary policy has been to cut public spending – if you’re morally opposed to that, you ain’t a Tory) I hope they will all do the decent thing and stand in by-elections. It’s the voters who have been let down here.

  12. Chris dlM Says:

    @ Dave Tiley, at the risk of being cheeky surely the most likely candidate as the next defector is our current Mayor, unless she disagrees with the thoughts of the previous Mayor who is also her brother about the local Conservative party.

    Thank you to Cllr Avenin for engaging through this forum, I think you deserve real credit for putting your head above the parapet and I agree the reasons given by the defectors do seem a little spurious and they do tend to on be national issues controlled by the Coalition Government.

    Perhaps it’s just me but I don’t see immigration and benefit reform being a massive Bradley Stoke issue. I don’t see legions of disaffected non British youth roaming the streets or hoards of, so called, benefit scroungers cluttering up the Willow Brook Centre with their poor diets and acne.

    Sorry but whenever I hear about immigration and benefit reform that’s the subtext I hear. It is never celebrating the massive benefit immigration has brought and nor does the reform part ever really talk about how we can make things better, this is surely a time where those who need help should get it – and yes that does include pushing people otherwise able to contribute into being productive, as well as giving every support to those who are not.

    As for small business I guess that depends on the business and I have every sympathy with the small businesses that our struggling through these hard times.

    However, hyperbole over I still maintain that we find ourselves with three Councillors who represent a party who we did not vote for. I really can’t stress this enough. They are a perfectly valid political part but we didn’t vote for them, how can that be right? There is every chance there could be more defectors. If 20% of the Conservatives crossed the floor on the House of Commons it would almost certainly precipitate a General Election.

    I call upon the remaining Conservative Councillors to decide which party they wish to be a part of and confirm to their constituents as a matter of urgency. For those who wish to change and those who already have I beg you to do the honourable thing and stand for election – if not, what are you afraid of? Do you believe in your new party? I for one will give you every chance to convince me as that is fair and, above all, democratic.

    This isn’t party political for me, I am genuinely not a member of any party. I am passionate about electoral choice though.

    Sorry, rant over.

  13. Dave Tiley Says:

    Good rant well put. Not cheeky at all, there must some interesting discussions at the dinner table. Roger’s not a bad chap btw, just tired of 3 years of finger pointing at the past, it’s time for Plan B, I find some tory policy morally repugnant. Austerity has failed, time for Keynes over Smith time for a sense of fair play in an unfair world, yeah, life’s not fair, don’t I know it all too well, but that doesn’t make it alright.

  14. Roger Avenin Says:

    So Dave Tiley the enormous deficit was all the bankers fault was it. Nothing at all to do with the Labour Party then. Of course not!!

    When Gordon Brown took powers away from the Bank of England and set up the Financiial Services Authority ( FSA) this resulted in significant confusion as to who was supposed to be watching over the Banks. Consequently there was no regulation at all so bankers virtually did what they pleased with the inevitable results. GB’s economic miracle ( excuse me while I choke ) was based on higher taxation ( remember when he raided personal pensions ) fuelled by massive personal debt and an massive increase in cheap foreign imports. Additionally he presided over many many more Private finance Initiative schemes in order to fund new builds of schools hospitals etc. Fine but we will still be paying for these in many years time. If all that was not bad enough he sold off half our gold reserves at the lowest point thus losing the country billions of pounds. Surely GB will in time be viewed as the worst Chancellor ever, and by some margin.

    Faced with all this and being buried under a mountain of debt the coalition government had no alternative but to rein back hard on public expenditure.

    I am sure that no government of any persuation wants to make such swingeing cuts. Far better to give tax cuts , increase spending, increase benefits etc etc to gain everlasting popularity. However we live in the real world.

  15. Dave Tiley Says:

    Oh Roger you know this is a global issue, starting in the US under Bush, Greenspan has admitted he got it wrong, I told you I didn’t agree with deregulation here and where we’ve ended up because of it, however, you know his move on pension funds was to try and close the door on pension fund loopholes abused by the corporations and the infamous pension holidays. Yeh agree about the gold, I’m not gonna lie for point scoring, however, pity your lot sold off our oil reserves years ago whereas Norway kept theirs and support pensions with it accordingly, oh, and what else did you sell off, only every asset we ever owned to private profiteers who are screwing every one of us for their shareholders. How’s Sid now? You are clearly ignoring the alternatives, you lot always cherry pick the worst of Adam Smith but ignore his moral arguments as doesn’t suit your agenda, your last paragraph shows you know this but choose to ignore this too, and with today’s historical double dip recession then I would say the jury is very much out on George Osborne, I’m listening to the economists view on him too, aren’t you? Time for yet another U-Turn Roger, Plan B is needed urgently, I’m so sorry to hear you swallow this bile, clearly a little knowledge is dangerous, now I know how it feels to be savaged by a dead sheep, we’ve been here before haven’t we, why ignore the lessons of history, austerity has never worked, listen to Tories and Republicans from decades ago to see what they did, before you all sold your souls to big business and this whole world lurched to the right, I’m with the 1%, so are you, but in denial. Vanity, thy name is Conservative.

  16. anon-e-mouse Says:

    As this squabble shows, it doesn’t matter if it’s Tories, Liberals or Labour in charge, they are all as bad as each other when in Governement and have squandered so many billions over the years and held back what was once an economic and engineering powerhouse.

  17. Bert Says:

    anon-e-mouse is right – there is only one thing that will save this country now – and that is to ban political parties altogether. This is nothing personal because there are plenty great councillors and I know they feel they have to align with a party to get campaign funding, but that is such an easy thing to fix. But we’ve now seen THREE councillors bullied out of their own party this year for daring not to toe the party line completely – how does that represent true democracy? Every councillor should be free to speak their mind and vote the way they want, not as dictated by their local party or MP. As long as we allow parties, we will allow this bullying to continue.
    I look forward to the day when all councillors are independent, of independent mind, and independent representation of the public. It has worked in other councils, and decision-making has become so much more pragmatic and civilised. Let’s hope BSTC and SGC fall the same way at the next elections.

  18. Dave Tiley Says:

    You can call it a squabble if you like anon-a-mouse, but your line about all being as bad as one another sums it all up really, sure the public don’t like political point scoring as it all degenerates a la Harry Enfield, but what do we do, let liars go unchallenged? And who do you blame for holding back what was once an an economic engineering and economic powerhouse? Who were we put in hock to after WW11? Up the road, we are witnessing the sale of what has been and could still be an economic driver for the whole region, who supports that, who opposes? Bert, you have witnessed the shenanigans at SGC first hand, and to lump in all of them together is disappointing, whilst I like your idealism, I cannot see it happening here or widely, people aren’t disengaged because of politicians, they are disengaged through complacency and the media that spoonfeeds them being owned by their vested interests from the same club of the few. That’s what we’ve all witnessed here first hand.

  19. Roger Avenin Says:

    So Dave the answer according to Ed Balls ( who was Gordon Brown’s advisor ) over the period during which we amased the largest deficit by far ever recorded is to borrow even more !! Works for you does it ?

    As regards the ill informed comments by Bert let me just clear these up once and for all. Bradley Stoke Town Council ( I cannot speak for SG ) does not have a whip system in which we all toe the party line. We are all totally free to speak our minds, and we do, and differences of opinion occur frequently between members of the same party. Neither is there the remorest possibility of any bullying taking place. This is a totally ridiculous suggestion.

    All members give up their free time to serve the community and are unpaid. If any bullying occured I would imagine there would be resignations by the score.
    Where on earth do you get your information from – presumably you have had too much Sun.

  20. Dave Tiley Says:

    Roger – Stop squabbling! Look, the deficit is now even bigger and still growing, so let’s do Plan B now, George will have to, the medicine isn’t working, study the alternatives from history that did work, infrastructure and investment are key.
    Regards whips and SGC, Ben and Ed – your ex-colleagues – are on record stating they were bullied by Jack over their defence of the airfield.
    And that’s enough from me, you all know what I believe in and what I don’t, but I’ll quote one of your and indeed our Country’s greatest former leaders.
    “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill. Peace.

  21. Craig Says:

    @Chris Dim. *** It is never celebrating the massive benefit immigration has brought***

    Are you sure? Or are you just repeating what the liberal left have told you?

    Sorry to tell you but you have been indoctrinated.

  22. Simon Says:

    I have always found it odd that democratically elected politicians feel able to change parties on points of principal that they suddenly discover without resigning their seats.

    Surely these councillors should have resigned before joining UKIP, or soldiered on and abstained where their new views contradicted their elected commitments.

  23. Bert Says:

    Dave – sorry if I spoke out of turn. I did say that there are great councillors out there, and I would include you in that (I know how very passionate you are about local issues). What I’m saying is that it is very difficult for the electorate to know when a candidate is saying something because it is their own specific view or because it is party policy. In an ideal world, everyone would speak their mind no matter what party they were in and the law of probabilities would dictate that approximately half of all party members would agree with other parties half the time (on “either/or” matters).
    However, as Roger’s comments prove, when there is a problem within a party like this, what we get is not critical retrospection where members seek to work out the problems in public, but a party-political broadcast. It has always been thus, and probably always will as long as there are parties. The public are sick to the back-teeth of hearing parties apportion blame to one another. And I mean really sick. It all just sounds so inhuman and artificial and our eyes just roll into the backs of our heads.

    Really, how difficult would it be just to say, “Right, we’re having this problem. We’d like interested members of the public to proffer suggestions, then we’ll put the best ones to a web-based vote.”? Simple, direct democracy, plain and simple. If we get it wrong, tough – it’s our fault! The problem is, of course, we, the public, get treated like dim-witted buffoons who couldn’t be trusted to make our own decisions.

    As for Roger’s suggestion that there has been “no bullying” within the Conservative party….hah! I’ve spoken to several members, past and present who have themselves confirmed that they have been on the sharp end a verbal bashing for speaking out of turn. It doesn’t surprise me – I imagine it goes on in all parties, so I don’t want to single out the Conservatives. But if you think it doesn’t happen, think again. Do you think it’s pure coincidence that SGC votes often go straight down party lines? Maybe that Darren Brown has been working his stuff?

    Sorry if I sound cynical. I am.

  24. Simon Quarry Says:

    Cllr Avenins comments seem to hint at electorial blackmail.
    For too long have the elecorate been indoctrinated to beleive “If I vote for what I really believe in’ll let someone else in I don’t like”.

    NO!!

    This makes Labor and Conservative parties ‘jobs and positions in parliament safe, and no wonder that their policies differ by nought; they’ve been voted in steadfast for 100 years.

    I for one SHALL be voting for the party singing my tune.
    And “ballcocks” to tactical voting, as that IS a vote for liberals…. con and lab….

  25. Chris dlM Says:

    @Craig, Hi Craig. I can assure you I don’t remember being taken away in the middle of the night to a Liberal Thinking Indoctrination Centre where a chap with sandals, a pipe and a drippy smile, put on a copy of “I’d like to teach the world to sing” on a continual loop until I agreed an open border policy – scary thought really, could you imagine the catering at a place like that!

    My views on immigration are based purely on what I have seen. I absolutely respect your view it’s just not been my experience.

    I suspect our views are not as diametrically opposed as they look and it is more a question of semantics around the word immigrant

  26. BenWalker’s******Builder Says:

    Just thought I’d point out that Dave Tiley’s comment that the deficit is ‘even bigger’ is not correct. It is approximately 25% lower that Labour left it. This does of course mean that the national debt is still growing, albeit more slowly, however the distinction between the two is important.

    I’m sure it was just a slip of the keyboard and that he does know the difference, however I do think it’s important for an elected official to get it right in a public forum.

  27. Mark Says:

    politics is like all sports, everyone has an opinion and view from the way they look at the situation, Fair play to all 3 candidates for having the balls to stand for what they are seeing. They see it first hand from there position. No one is in there shoes except them. Brave people !!! stick to your oppinions and stand for your view. THAT IS DEMOCRACY

  28. dave tiley Says:

    Thanks Ben’s Builder, only slightly condascending, no problem, I thought someone would comment on that after I posted it, however there is some confusion between referencing the debt and the deficit, indeed only last night a politician on Newsnight presented what I’d said, and I’ve seen this debate elsewhere, this is also true of whether this is the worst recession in history, the last 100 years, and since WW11, it does vary on your sources and most importantly who the sources are representing, take mine and Roger’s ‘squabble’ but even so called economists are disagreeing over interpretations of historical economists views, as I said, some cherry pick to suit their agendas, so just what is the truth? It’s hilarious that only a few of the world’s best saw this coming, so many are just gamblers in the world economy casino, however, one thing is for sure, we’re all truly shafted for a good while yet, but hey, all in it together yeah.

  29. Roger Avenin Says:

    Well done to Ben’s Builder for highlighting the difference between the current Deficit and the National Debt. This is a distinction not fully understood even by some MP’s ( mainly Labour I would add ).

    The current enormous deficit ( courtesy of Gordon Brown and Ed Balls ) has to be cleared or reduced significantly as this affects our ability to balance the books and our interest rates charged on our loans and as a consequence our whole economic basis. This is why we have to suffer a period of austerity although it would appear that many people are in a state of complete denial about this. It is widely believed that this defict will take more than a complete generation to clear.

    The National Debt however is truly astronomical. This has been steadily accumulating since well before World War 2 and incudes the costs of war time loans to the USA. It has so many noughts on the end that it is difficult to quantify – trillions does’nt do it justice. A fairly recent Tv programme suggested that if you piled £20 notes one on top of the other it would reach half way to the moon !! No government ( even a celestial one ) has a hope in hell of clearing this.

    Now if I could re-visit the subject of bullying. I was not referring to major politics but to the somewhat more relaxed and less critical arena of local politics. On BS Town Council we all have our points of view and are not afraid to express them. Yes we do have serious debates but sometimes this in intermingled with some hilarity and personal gossip and definately NO bullying. Were it not the case then life would be a bit boring.

    I am not sure what ( if anything ) the mutual admiration society of Bert and Dave know about local politics in Bradley Stoke. Do you even live here or are you as I suspect refugees from the Patchway Indian reservation ?

  30. BenWalker’s******Builder Says:

    Sorry Dave, didn’t intend to be condescending, it is an easy mistake to make and as you say, many people do it, but this particular point is not a matter of sources or opinions; debt and deficit are different. Deficit is down, debt is up, and will continue to go up until there is no more deficit.

    Regarding the recession, it is the longest double-dip recession for just over 50 years. I know that we hear various comments from every politician, interviewee, journo, blogger or whoever, and some of them are incorrect, but the stats are out there if you look for them.

    As you say, nobody really saw a global downturn coming, and you can’t lay the blame for that with any particular political party or anyone else for that matter. I’m not so sure about ‘shafted’ though, with unemployment finally coming down, deficit coming down, low interest rates, good bond yields and credit ratings, we’re doing pretty well for a country in recession! I won’t pretend to know how long it will last, but probably for longer than it should because debt is so high that there is simply not a lot of economic wiggle room to help bring us out. And there are enough opinions about as to who is to blame for that; I won’t go into it here!

    What’s important is to get rid of the deficit pronto; because however much people might protest about Government cuts, the IMF will do so much worse if we don’t get a handle on our debt soon.

  31. dave tiley Says:

    Thanks Ben’s ****** Builder.

    Appreciate your comeback and explanation, it was indeed misinterpretated potentially on Newsnight and I know there was a vigorous debate on Radion Four over these definitions and deficits. I will agree to disagree on how debt should be managed down and a future negotiated, we are at different ends of the spectrum maybe.

    I’m not going to dignify Roger’s disgraceful comment that could be reported on many levels, just showed his ignorance fully, terrible to read anyone talk about people like that, let alone a Councillor. Sounds more BNP than Conservative.

  32. Chris Mills Says:

    Cllr Avenin

    As a resident from “Patchway Indian Reservation” I would just like to correct one of your statements.

    “This has been steadily accumulating since well before World War 2 and incudes the costs of war time loans to the USA.”

    if you would be so kind as to get your facts right before you quote something.
    “The Anglo-American Loan Agreement” was paid off on 29th December 2006, this was actually 6 years late as the UK had missed payments in 1956,57,64,65,68,and 1978. After the final payment was made the Economic Secretary to the Treasury formally thanked the USA for its wartime support. (that was Ed Balls)

    so if you can get that wrong what else is wrong in your statement!!!!

  33. Bert Says:

    @Roger: I am a recent emmigrant from Bradley Stoke (not to Patchway – the other direction in fact!), though I do still work here. I keep close tabs on local politics, but as you may or may not know, I have a wider interest in the airfield, as a result of which I’ve seen enough of local party machinations to know how it works. Two Bradley Stoke councillors have already given their reasons for having to leave their party and I’ve spoken to other parish/town councillors from South Gloucestershire who confirm what they’ve intoned.
    Suffice it to say there isn’t quite the autonomy/separation between Westminster and local party groups that the public are lead to believe, and I’d say that this leads to somewhat dubious decision-making at SGC (probably not on BSTC itself, but then Ed Rose is a BSTC councillor and still got a dressing down for supporting something he shouldn’t have).

  34. Chris dlM Says:

    Cllr Avenin. Could you clarify what you mean by Patchway Indian Reservation? Are you simply insulting the residents by inferring their town resembles a, yet to be completed, Native American reservation where the people of Patchway are segregated from the rest of South Gloucestershire or are you passing a comment on the ethnicity of the area? Either way I think you are going too far, even if your comment was meant to be humorous. I don’t think we will get very far on the County Council if the Bradley Stoke Town Council insult their neighbours online

    Anyway. Back to my big bugbear. We’ve had lots of comments about this article but I’m still wondering about how people feel about the fact that three Councillors have decided to change party? I still feel that we should be given the opportunity to have another election. I stress again I am not anti UKIP – they have a high profile, charismatic and engaging leader who I personally enjoy listening to on things like Question Time. The fact remains though that the residents of Bradley Stoke did not vote for UKIP and now we have three people who have changed affiliation and there is every chance of more.
    Whatever your political persuasion would you not agree that we, the local people, should decide. I didn’t vote UKIP, as I’ve said before I don’t recall having the opportunity, but still my local Councillor is now a member of that party. How can that be morally right?

    Surely we should decide? If UKIP, Labour, BNP, Conservatives, Independent or Monster Raving Looney get in at least we can say it was our collective choice. All credit to Cllrs Walker, Rose and Harris for standing up and going against a party they have previously been member of. They made a brave choice, I ask that the people of Bradley Stoke now be allowed to make theirs

    PS, anybody thinking of starting a sweepstake on who will be next? . I’m starting to enjoy this online forum business, never engaged before!

  35. Roger Avenin Says:

    Chris d1M- the difficulty here is that candidates cannot be sure what the public voted for. Was it for the individual, their personality and standing in the community or did they vote purely along party lines. Crossing between parties has happened before even in the House of Commons . Even our greatest leader ever ( W S Churchill ) crossed the floor – twice.

    As for the comments by Chris regarding the war loans I appear to stand corrected. I was aware that some payments had been made but not particularly the war loans.

    Bert you may be aware the BSTC passed a motion some while ago regarding Filton airfield. This if I can recollect accurately expressed concern at the future plans for the airfield and was led by the previous mayor. This did have sufficient support but put BS out of kilter with all other conservative bodies, but at least demonstated a degree of free thought.

    As regards my remark on the Patchway reservation Patchway seems to be a predominantly Labour enclave in the middle of what should be, and what I hope is, predominantly more or less Conservative heartland. I was merely comparing this with the treatment meted out by the settlers to the native Red Indians where they were rounded up and settled in reservations. Exactly what should happen to Labour voters — just joking !!

  36. Chris dlM Says:

    Cllr Avenin, thanks again for engaging. I appreciate your comments regarding Patchway. I can see how your analogy of the situation with Native Americans works. Specifically the systematic slaughter\degradation of the indigenous population, the destruction of their habitat, stripping them of any human rights forcing them into small enclaves where their only hope of survival is to band together and hope that the very people that caused their plight grant them the scraps from their table and allow them a reservation out of guilt, suddenly found, after the Native Americans started to tell the world what was happening. Perhaps the good people of Patchway will be allowed the same special status as the Native Americans and be permitted to open massive casinos or sell cheap cigarettes and alcohol. I’m also only joking but I hope you can see why I took some offence on behalf of our neighbours.

    All, I am still to see a reason why we should accept three Councillors defecting. Councillor Avening makes a good point and I agree with him that a Councillor does not know if it is he\she as a person or the party they represent that we, the electorate, vote for. I put it to you that is is not a coincidence that all three have chosen to believe it is them rather than the party, despite the fact that every ward in this area resulted in a Conservative being elected.

    I know I’m banging on about this and I apologise for doing so but having been brought up in a place where there were no such things as political parties I find this whole situation fascinating and would just like to know what people think about the specific point of having three Councillors who are members of a party we did not vote for.

  37. SH (Editor) Says:

    Well it looks like members of the local UKIP branch may get a chance to prove themselves at the polls in Bradley Stoke after all. An election has been requested to fill the vacancy in the Meadowbank parish ward. More here.

  38. PatchwayArchivist Says:

    Readers may be interested to know that Cllr Roger Avenin stood as a candidate for the Conservatives in the “Patchway Indian reservation” at the last election. Perhaps unsurprisingly he didn’t get elected but thankfully(?) did manage to get out with his scalp intact!

    http://apps.southglos.gov.uk/elections/Nominations/Area_Nominations.aspx?e=18&a=340

  39. Who’smycouncillornow? Says:

    Becoming increasingly irritated by this petty backstabbing and point scoring from these few bigoted loud mouths with over inflated egos. Call an immediate bi-election and let the local residents decide for themselves, whether they vote for a party, an individual, or (please God) some new independent thinkers.

  40. Bert Says:

    @Chris: Personally, I do not see a problem with councillors who walk the floor, as long as the personal views that they’ve expressed during campaigning don’t radically change. After all, we vote for the *people* who we think will best represent us all, not for national party policies (and it’s a bit difficult to have party policies at local government level because local issues tend to be so disparate). Again, this is why I’d rather there were an egalitarian public funding model for independent campaigning so that anyone could stand with only a fixed minimum deposit as a bar to frivolity.
    @Roger: Yes, I’m aware of the BSTC vote on the airfield, which I was very pleased about and grateful for. That such local sentiment amongst independently-minded councillors didn’t translate to voting where it mattered (at SGC) is at very best suspicious. When I first raised the issue with SGC councillors across the authority, there were many from all three parties who expressed their support and concerns, then when followed up later, there was a deafening silence from two of those parties, and then the same councillors voted in the opposite direction to the way they’d intoned.
    Now, what does that tell you? I suspect you know, Roger. I’m young, naive and new to the world of politics, but the more I learn, the more I realise how little I like how local government is dictated to by big-money party donations and people trying to climb the greasy pole. I suppose we have to resign ourselves to that, but it’s really not how society can attain its greatest potential. It honestly saddens me.

  41. Chris Mc Says:

    We’re now told there’s going to be a by-election in the Meadowbank parish ward for the vacant seat created by the resignation of B Mitchell. It occurs to me that there would be very little extra expense in running a second vote for Cllr Harris’s seat at the same time, as it is for the same ward. Come on Kim, do the decent thing: RESIGN and stand for re-election.

  42. Mark Vallance Says:

    My concern as a member of UKIP is that we don’t become a dumping ground for ex-Tory councillors just because they feel ‘Cheated’, ‘over looked’ by their Tory peers. I spent over 17 years as an elected Tory councillor and ended up as a Tory group leader on my Town council in Sussex.

    Throughout all my time having served both as a Borough and District councillor on three seperate local authorites I never once nominated to be a chairman let alone a Vice-Chairman, I was a rebel and some may say maverick, but I was there to serve the people not the Party.

    I only joined UKIP on my return from living aboard and I must say I am not keen on ‘turncoats’ especially as I see them as seeking ‘Five minutes’ of fame then forgotten about. Clearly Bradley Stoke tories have a problem with personalities and ego’s. Much the same as many Town councils up and down the country. I’m sure Nigel Farage will be pleased to see the defectors but not convinced that voters will be as impressed. I agree with the last comments probably more honour to have resigned and sort re-election and let the voters decide!

  43. SH (Editor) Says:

    The Bristol Post reports today that Cllr Dave Tiley (Labour, Patchway) is planning to make a complaint to South Gloucestershire Council Standards Committee about Cllr Roger Avenin’s use of the term “Patchway Indian reservation” in this discussion thread.

    Councillor branded a bigot after comment on website

  44. Felix Says:

    “I can no longer support an elitist, self-serving gravy train, riddled with bully boy tactics.”

    So he joins another group of elitist, self-serving liars and bullies. Thick as a pile of steaming horse dung!

  45. Felix Says:

    Not content that he has a foot in his mouth, Avenin carries on digging a hole so big it will swallow him whole.

  46. Felix Says:

    “This is a distinction not fully understood even by some MP’s”

    From the “I don’t know how to use an apostrophe” department of Roger Avenin.

  47. Felix Says:

    “The National Debt however is truly astronomical. This has been steadily accumulating since well before World War 2”

    From the “I don’t know anything about the history of national economics” department of Roger Avenin.

    As a proportion of GDP, Britain’s national debt has been higher than it is now for 200 of the past 250 years. Now read that sentence again Avenin and return to your history books.

    And to think such economic illiterates hold elected office. Lord spare us!

  48. Happy Says:

    you should all be hanging your heads in shame with all this pettiness

  49. Phil Says:

    It is pathetic isn’t it. Look at them throwing custard pies at each other at the first opportunity.

    Roger Avening is clearly on another planet!

    Call me silly, but I’d say that in order to reduce the defict and debt, the UK needs to be **MAKING STUFF**.

    So what better way of doing that than shutting down the airfield and replacing it with houses. That’s going to help isn’t it!

    We should be looking to get as much aviation industry around that runway as we possibly can. That **WILL** help the deficit/debt.

    Mr. Avening says there is no whip in Bradley Stoke.

    Perhaps he could explain why some Conservative Councillors got a phone call from Jack Lopresti telling them off for going on the airfield march then?

    It is clear there is bullying going on, and that Councillors are being prevented from representing their people.

    Personally, I think all the main parties should be booted into touch. Only when we all start voting for independents will we get true representation.

    At the moment it’s the council officers and ministers who decide what happens. All they then do is force it through councillors who think they are a lot brighter than they really are.

    It is claimed by the Councillors that by closing the runway we will attract lots of new aerospace jobs. Apparently we’ll be getting 7000 – 12000 new aerospace jobs as a result of CLOSING the runway.

    Just what planet are these clowns on?

    http://www.gazetteseries.co.uk/news/localnews/thornburynews/9782422.Thousands_of_jobs_could_be_created_in_new_enterprise_areas/

  50. Stephen H Says:

    Not so long ago, I had Ben Walker knocking on my door asking if I would back his application to stand in the local elections. I put it to him at the time that I was not happy with the party political influence on local affairs and thus I could not put my name to his application whilst he represented a political party.
    Ben told me he also didn’t like having to be involved in a political party either, but he felt he would not stand a chance of election as an independent candidate.
    It saddens me that even after election and subsequent disillusionment with the Conservative Party, Ben felt he had to switch to another party rather than striking out on his own. Surely Ben’s name and work for Bradley Stoke are well enough known by now that he could stand as an independent?
    In an effort to be positive about this whole situation, we the people of Bradley Stoke should be talking to our representatives and making them aware that we would rather they stood apart from any Westminster party. Make them feel that they have a chance without having to play national politics in our community…

  51. Cllr Kim Harris Says:

    I feel I have done the right thing joining UKIP, I stand for the everyday person, I have lived and worked in this area for most of my life, I know nothing of politics but I know about life, real life, which I am afraid most of these councillors do not. I know what its like to suffer through a recession owning a small business, watching friends and family payout their life savings in care or support after contributing there whole life and not getting any help, although I see on a daily basis, people entering this country and receiving benefits, a house, the lot. What sense is this? 40 percent of our prisons have inmates from other countries. Our surgeries, our schools, I support anyone that comes to this country and works hard and contributes, My husband is a foreigner, but why are the doors open for spongers, I know a high percentage of british also claim, but the system needs reform and I think UKIP will tackle many issues.

  52. Dave Tiley Says:

    Hmmm.

    Whilst I am cautious of commenting here, as Roger Avenin stated he turned on Patchway jokingly because he was fed up with me commenting on Bradley Stoke issues, I will just ask if the above comments truly reflect the views of those who elected Kim.

    It would be unfair to Roger not to ask Kim further on her views in the same way, without using the B or any such word. I saw this on twitter so came here to see what is happening now.

    If this is a fair representation of what people here, or indeed anywhere think, then Kim is safe in her seat, if not perhaps standing for election would be a fair test of Kim and her views under a different banner than that she came in on?

    I hope I can continue to speak on any journal, but if (my) debate isn’t welcomed then I will stay in my tee-pee. Peace.

  53. Felix Says:

    “I know nothing of politics,” confesses politician Kim Harris. No wonder her patch goes by the name of Sadly Broke.

  54. anon-e-mouse Says:

    It’s a shame more politicians aren’t as honest Felix, how many of the current cabinet and the opposition have any real world business experience? Straight into politics from Uni clutching a useless degree.

    We need more politicians with experience learned at the sharp end rather than the current crop who know little of what happens outside Westminster or at a more local level.

  55. SH (Editor) Says:

    Roger Avenin’s comment on this thread about Patchway being an “Indian reservation” has been branded “native stereotyping” on a USA website:

    Councilor compares town to reservation (Newspaper Rock)

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