“DELIGHTED!” - That’s the message from Solihull’s Green Party as, in a surprise announcement, Shirley West Councillor, Howard Allen confirmed he had defected to the group bringing the tally of Greens on Solihull Council to four.
The Independent Liberal Democrat Councillor’s decision comes after the May local elections saw the Green Party take two of Labour’s seats in the north of the borough with both Alison Walters and Karl MacNaughton victorious. They join Coun Mike Sheridan who holds Smith’s Wood for the Greens.
Shirley West has seen a string of defections in the past year and is now represented by one Green Party Councillor, one Labour Councillor and one Conservative - seats that were held by Liberal Democrats last May.
Coun Allen said: “My allegiance is more sympathetic to Green issues and I am a long term opponent of the Parkgate scheme.
I was disappointed that the Lib/Lab pact did nothing about it so now in terms of political clout the Green Party is a sizeable group.
People have always been aware of my views and that’s what I have always stood on - they have voted for me not the political emblem.
With Parkgate I hope the Inspector upholds the council’s decision to oppose it, it’s totally ridiculous to develop the parkland when there is a brownfield site over the road.”
Chris Williams from the Green Party added: “We are delighted that Coun Allen has joined us, we are a growing party.
I wasn’t surprised that he switched allegiance as his views have always been close to ours. We do support his views and we submitted an objection to Parkgate.”
Coun Allen is due for re-election in May 2012.