Stevenage councillor defects from ‘untrustworthy’ Lib Dems to Labour

A Lib Dem member of Stevenage Borough Council has defected to Labour because of the party’s “broken promises”.

John Mead has crossed the floor to the majority group, because the party has let down young people and families, he said.

The 49-year-old, who has represented the Manor ward since 2010, said he no longer trusts the party to “do the right thing”.

“I joined the Liberal Democrats because I thought they were a progressive party, now I know that I was wrong. The people I represent have been let down by Nick Clegg and his broken promises. The actions of Liberal Democrats in government show they have no claim to be on the side of families feeling the squeeze.

“Every Liberal Democrat candidate signed a pre-election pledge to vote against an increase in tuition fees, however in parliament they all voted to raise the fee cap to �9,000. This broken promise means young people in Stevenage could be priced out of going to university.”

He added the party has repeatedly supported Tory-led public sector cuts – including to police, and nurses at a time of damaging reorganisation of the NHS.

“In Stevenage and travelling around the country for my work I have seen the effect these cuts are already having on the most vulnerable. With prices going up faster than wages, people are worried about how they’ll make ends meet. Parents are worried about their children’s futures with one million young people out of work, and pensioners are having to pay more while millionaires are getting a tax cut.”

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He added the austerity measures have pushed the economy into recession, while Labour’s plans for growth would create new jobs.

“Labour councils like Stevenage are working hard to deliver change even in tough times and protect families from the worst of the Tory-led Government’s cuts. I know I can do the most for my community as a Labour councillor.”

Labour leader Sharon Taylor said she was delighted to welcome an “excellent councillor” who shared the group’s concern over “too far, too fast” cuts hitting working families hard.

The move reduces the Lib Dem minority to two and increases the Labour group to 31. The opposition Conservative group has six members.