Two Ripon councillors – including the Mayor – have joined the Conservative group on the city council after previously sitting as independent members.
Mayor Coun Mick Stanley and former Deputy Mayor Coun Sylvia Brierley both represent Moorside Ward on the council, which since 2007 has seen independent members hold the balance of power.
In a joint statement commenting on their move to the Tories, Couns Stanley and Brierley said the city council’s only achievements had come since the 2011 election when five Conservative members were elected to the body following 2007’s landslide which saw independents win all 15 seats.
Their statement said: “After a great deal of soul searching and reflection on the past seven years as independent councillors, we have decided to join the Ripon Conservatives as the only achievements that have been made in those seven years by the city council have been over the past three years when we have had support from and worked with Conservative councillors.
“We have together managed to streamline the council committee structure, meet less frequently and make committee meetings more effective, and we have agreed a balanced budget for the past two years, and provided access to agendas, minutes and accounts through the council website.”
Coun Stanley, who has been a city councillor since 2003 and is in his second term as Mayor, will also contest the Moorside Ward for the Conservative Party in May’s elections for Harrogate Borough Council.
The politcal make up of Ripon City Council is now: Independents eight, Conservatives seven.
– More in this week’s Ripon Gazette – out Thursday, February 27.