Wendover councillor stands down from Conservatives after ‘toxic’ decisions

Wendover councillor Chris Richards
Wendover councillor Chris Richards

A prominent councillor has stepped down from the Conservatives to become an independent member, claiming a series of ‘toxic’ council decisions forced his hand.

Chris Richards, who represents Wendover, has joins fellow independent Peter Cooper after more than 13 years on Aylesbury Vale District Council as a Tory.

Mr Richards said it was the Government’s handling of national issues and toeing the council’s party whip which led to his defection.

He said: “Party discussion is needed but it should not be at the expense of ideas.

“At council meetings a lot of people just put their hands up. I know following the party line is something that’s probably worked in the past but nowadays, maybe not.

“Because you are expected to follow the line, if you don’t there can be consequences.

“I thought I would be able to do a better job for the people I represent.”

Mr Richards said poor decisions by the Government in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and the ‘ill conceived’ HS2 project had also led to his disillusionment.

He added: “I think you should have some principles. I don’t have to be influenced by anybody.

“I don’t have to do what I am told.”