Rob Appleyard, Councillor for Westfield Ward and former Chairman of the Council, has joined the Liberal Democrat group on Bath and North East Somerset Council.
Rob Appleyard quit the Labour party in May after being deselected from his seat.
Councillor Appleyard commented: “After a lot of soul searching, it’s become clear to me that I cannot support the Labour party either nationally or locally.
“I’ve been proud of Labour’s stance on education, but I’ve been disappointed at the way they have played games over our children’s futures. The Liberal Democrats have worked hard to keep all our children’s centres open.
“But instead of engaging with the Council on this most important issue, I’ve watched the Labour Party’s narrow focus from the sidelines for no more than political point scoring.
“When we are talking about services that people rely on, I cannot support a party that is putting politics ahead of their residents’ need. There is no doubt that the Liberal Democrat approach to full consultation and listening generates full transparency when reaching difficult decisions.
“It is this approach that made it natural for me to join the Liberal Democrat Party and group.
“At long last Radstock is going to enjoy the future that has been denied them for the last 15 years, while a small group, supported by their Labour Councillor, has put every conceivable barrier in the way. I’m sure this is not the behaviour that Westfield residents would want in the future.
“This is welcome news for Radstock and B&NES, especially as it’s the first time that this Council has hit its affordable housing numbers. This is thanks to the clear direction and partnership working from the current administration.
“All this has been achieved without raising Council Tax and while the national Lib Dems are taking the poorest out of tax.”
Leader of the Council and of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Paul Crossley (Southdown), welcomed Councillor Appleyard to the Lib Dem group saying: “I’m delighted that Rob is joining the Lib Dem Group on the Council. We’ve worked hard to be a listening Council that delivers for residents, and I’m glad to see that’s been acknowledged by him.
“Rob’s a Councillor who works hard for his community. He’ll be a real asset to our group.”
The defection leaves the Labour party with just 4 Councillors; their lowest number since Bath and North East Somerset was formed.
Councillor Manda Rigby (Abbey), Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Council Group, said: “Labour support has consistently shrunk in Bath and North East Somerset. Residents have seen that Labour can’t deliver and the Conservatives won’t listen to local people. The Liberal Democrats are the only alternative to the Tories.”