One of Tiverton’s most recent political movements has taken a heavy blow, after its lone elected member defected to the Liberal Democrats.
The Lib Dems have welcomed Councilor Siobhan Knight to their Tiverton City Council team.
Siobahn was elected to Tiverton City Council in a bi-election in May when she ran for LIFT (Local Independents for Tomorrow). Other LIFT members remain on Tiverton City Council, but had not previously been elected as LIFT representatives.
The Lib Dems say she will be able to work more closely as a team to present her priorities to residents in her neighborhood.
She said: ‘When I was elected in May 2021, I didn’t want to be part of a political group, thinking that they would make all the decisions and campaign with my hands, and that I would be asked to vote. depending on the party like some of the groups do.
“I was surprised to see that local Lib Dem advisers openly debated the differences within their team and invited non-members to come up with ideas and suggestions as part of their discussions.
“I was even offered support for my own projects when I was not a member of their group.
“Being able to speak out as an individual while drawing on the combined experience and support of a larger group was why I represented the board.
“I was happy to join the Lib Dem team who share these same values, and I think I will be a stronger advisor in this way.”
LIFT was formed in April following a decision by current councilors on Tiverton city council that political parties did not represent them and wanted to do something about it.
In a statement, LIFT said: “Siobhan’s decision is obviously disappointing for us, and we think it must also be very disappointing for everyone who voted for her as an independent before candidate Lib Dem.
“There’s nothing she can do as Lib Dem that she couldn’t have done with LIFT.
“However, it makes no difference to LIFT’s plans going forward. Councilors Steve Bush and Andy Perris are busy working on climate issues and community resilience through the committee and task force they chair, and Councilor Ana Hendy finds herself stuck in her role as deputy mayor.
“Our successful monthly street stalls continue to engage with the people of the city. We are working to present a full list of candidates for the upcoming municipal elections, and we urge anyone interested in an independent future for our city to find us on Facebook.