A former Conservative mayor has become the latest politician to cross the floor and join UKIP.
Cllr Andrew Barratt an ex-mayor of Congleton Borough and a sitting councillor for Cheshire East, said he left the Conservatives after ‘it became clear the councillors were more concerned with what they council could do for them, than what they could do for the people they were elected to represent.’
The former policeman left the Conservative group in May to become and independent, after disagreements with the leadership.
He said: “When Michael Jones took over as leader of the Tories it all became dictatorial, and the idea we were there to serve local residents was dropped.
“I am disgusted that even in the face of huge cuts to funding, the Tory group have increased the number of allowances they pay themselves. I can’t imagine any of the electorate would have voted for that.
“I didn’t know a lot about UKIP at the time, so became independent. However, since learning more about the party and how they insist local councillors vote according to the views of their electorate I have no doubt that joining them will benefit those I represent.
“Joining UKIP will mean I am free to put my residents first.”
Meeting him for the first time since his defection, UKIP MEP Louise Bours, said: “I know how hard Andrew works for his local constituents, and I am delighted he is now a UKIP councillor.
“The Tories have had their day here, they’ve become complacent and taken the voters for granted.
“Local people are starting to realise the Tory group has achieved nothing for them, and are looking for a party that will fight for them, not against them.
Last year Willaston Councillor Brian Sylvester joined UKIP, having been a Conservative councillor for over 20 years and their former deputy leader of the council
Ms Bours added: “It is clear the conservative group on Cheshire East council is withering on the vine.”