Another councillor defects from the Tories

Cllr Mike Baker, a Conservative Party member and a District Councillor with something of a complicated political affiliation, has defected to UKIP.

Sitting as a Councillor on North Norfolk District Council for the Town of Holt, Cllr Baker has stood at various times as a Conservative, and in bad years for the Tories as an independent, but on each occasion he has stood as an independent, he has subsequently affiliated himself with the Tory group on the council, his seat counts as a Tory seat for committee places and he is, according to the Eastern Daily Press, a card carrying Tory.

Some loss to the Tories then ?

Er, No.

Councillor Baker has something of a chequered history in North Norfolk. His dealings with fellow councillors has, in my experience on the council, been one which does little to endear him. Indeed, in private some of the harshest comments I heard about Councillor Baker came from Conservative councillors who had, in my opinion, little time for his manners or attitude.

In recent years Councillor Baker has sat a twelve month suspension imposed by the Standards Board who gave this strong sanction because of ignoring advice from officers and breaking rules at a planning meeting that was dealing with an application from one of his own businesses. It's more complicated than that, but it certainly gave a bad impression.

So there will be many Tories in North Norfolk who will, in my opinion, be pleased to see the back of him from their party.

There is though one downside for the Tories. The fact that a councillor has left their group and their party after what were pretty awful election results for them in North Norfolk this year further emphasises the dominance the Liberal Democrats now have in North Norfolk politics and is a blow to the Tories chance of any revival. In 2003 their council group stood at 16 councillors with 28 Liberal Democrats. Now, they again have 16 councillors with the Liberal Democrats on 30 councillors. If they cannot even retain members of their group, then they have real problems.


Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Shame on NN Conservatives for having anything to do with this man. I note the Lib Dems in NN went from 28 cllrs to 30 whilst we remained at 16. Do I take it that you gained two seats from Labour? If so, that doesn't mean we had a bad result.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Lib Dem by-election gains. One from the Tories. the Tories made this up by winning a seat off an independent who was standing down who everyone knew to be a Tory anyway.

Justin, it has to be a bad result when you can't make gains when you were polling 40% nationally and the Lib Dems had been running the council for 4 years.

When you consider the number of close results too, there really are no safe Tory seats left on the council.

Norfolk Blogger said...

As another comparison, for all those who care (who mst be hardly anyone, the averahe majority per seat the Tories had in 2003 was 281 votes and in 2007 it was 189 votes, so on average, although the Tories seem to have done okay, their majority in each seat has slipped back in a year when they should ahve been ramping up massive majorities in held seats and squeezing lib Dem ones. For a comparison, the majority in Lib Demn seats, and remember the Lib Dems have more to defend, wnet up from an average of 177 votes in 2003 to 209 votes in 2007.
Using any statistic, the 2007 election results in North Norfolk were poor.