Third defection to Tory Party

A SENIOR member of the Independent Group on Scarborough Council has announced that she is to stand as a Conservative at the forthcoming council elections in May – the third Independent to do so in recent months.

Cllr Penny Marsden, who has represented the Weaponness Ward as an Independent for the past eight years, is the Rainbow Cabinet member with responsibility for human resources, performance management and IT on the council.

Cllr Marsden said: “In these austere times for councils, we do need to work together to deliver the best possible solutions in delivering services for the borough.

“I have been unsettled for some time and I am sad to say I have been disappointed by the lack of support and commitment from the leadership of the Independents.

“My decision to declare my intentions at this point is not to walk the floor but to give the residents of Weaponness the opportunity to make the final decision regarding my future.”

The Leader of the Conservatives, and Leader of the Council, Cllr Tom Fox, the fellow Weaponness Ward member, said: “I am delighted Penny has made this decision and warmly welcome her to the Conservative Party and the party group on Scarborough Council. As Weaponness Ward colleagues we have worked well together and I have formed a high opinion of her commitment, skills and the experience she has, and brings to her role as a councillor.

“As fellow Conservatives we will be able to work even more closely together for the benefit of our residents in Weaponness and the wider borough. This is excellent news for the residents of the Weaponness Ward, the council and the Conservative Party in the borough.”

Her switch to the Conservatives follows the recent defections of two other senior members, councillors Dorothy Clegg and Sandra Turner, also from the Independents.

“I believe Penny’s move underlines the achievements the council has made by this Conservative-led administration. We have given our residents good value for money, and taken the borough forward in many ways, which has resulted in us achieving national and international awards.

“Despite the recession I am sure our borough will continue to go from strength to strength, especially with an even stronger Conservative group. The next four years will be tough in terms of wrestling with budget cuts, but nevertheless because we have always run a tight ship financially, and been conscious of our responsibilities there is no reason why we will not continue to provide quality services.”

Cllr Fox added: “With three such well respected councillors joining the Conservatives, it is proof that we are well-placed to continue the strong leadership role in driving forward the welfare, quality of life and economy of the whole borough.”