Cllr Ian Driver has resigned from the Labour Party on Thanet District Council over their choice of spending cuts. There is a minority Labour administration after a Conservative councillor quit last month to become an independent. So the latest development increases uncertainty over the choice of administration.
The issue under dispute is that Labour have cancelled cuts planned by the Conservatives in the £200,000 budget for events and floral displays. Cllr Driver thought that savings should have been made in that area to allow more spending on housing.
Cllr Driver says:
"The budget sends out the wrong message to people.
"I realise most of the work was done before Labour took over but an events and flowers budget of almost £200,000 really shows the party has not got a grip on reality.
"There's no vision from either side for making Thanet a more thriving and forward-looking place.
"We have got to think outside the box.
"I think having a strong independent group will put the needs of the community first rather than party politics.
"There was always an opportunity for a compromise but the cabinet were quite dismissive when we talked about flowers and events."
"I did not plan to resign but it was a natural result after the Labour meeting."
"I've been unhappy for a long time and I feel happier now."
I'm all for having lots of flowers on public display but perhaps this is an area where savings could be achieved by encouraging volunteer gardeners on the Big Society model.