Cllr Peter Colmer has joined the Conservative Group on Wiltshire Council. He resigned from the Liberal Democrats last year to sit as an independent.
Wiltshire is a Conservative-run unitary authority and Cllr Colmer evidently feels the Lib Dems were failing to be a constructive opposition.
"I didn't like their Punch and Judy antics and Westminster type sledges, especially in the arena of health and adult social care – using the most vulnerable in our society as a political football. That's not what I became a councillor for. Whatever flag they come under, councillors should be doing what's best for the community and Westminster style politics should be left to Westminster."
Cllr Colmer's point applies beyond Wiltshire. I think opposition groups can get tempted into a lot of procedural point scoring. They should try to combine being robust and challenging with retaining an essential seriousness. They should look at how they can make a difference. For instance in Labour-run councils the Conservative opposition members should get out and about promoting the newly revived right to buy. Also rather than just attacking a council's budget they should sit down with the council officers to produce a costed alternative budget.
Anyway, welcome aboard Cllr Colmer. There do seem to have been more Lib Dem councillors defecting to the Conservatives than to Labour over the last two years which is heartening and surprising.