The former leader of Allerdale Borough Councillor has joined the Conservative Party.
Marion Fitzgerald said she believed her plans to deliver improvements for her constituents and the wider borough is best achieved through being part of the Conservative team on the council.
Marion, who represents the Dalton Ward on Allerdale Borough Council, was an independent councillor and is the Executive Member for Policy, Governance and People Resources portfolio on the Allerdale executive committee alongside other Conservative colleagues.
Commenting on her decision, Cllr. Fitzgerald said: “I have for a long time been committed to the concept that party politics should play no part in local government. However, owing to the approach and behaviour of some of the members of the Allerdale Independent Group, I feel that now I must formally join the Conservative group.”
“In joining the Conservatives, I will ensure that the vision and aspirations that I have always had for Allerdale can be protected and carried forward, and that the effects of the negativity and obstructiveness demonstrated by the Allerdale Independent Group do not sabotage the recovery that is needed post Covid-19 and the progress that we can make to maintain and improve the Council’s services to the people of Allerdale.”
“Since the beginning of the May 2019 administration, Conservative councillors have been incredibly supportive of the aspirations and approach that I had as Leader of the Council, and this support has been maintained, both in continuing to deliver those plans and in supporting me personally.”
Allerdale Deputy Leader, and Conservative Group Leader, Mike Johnson welcomed Cllr. Fitzgerald’s announcement, saying “I am delighted that Marion has decided to become a Conservative councillor. She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge and is a really strong and credible addition to our group. Working with Marion over the past year has been a fantastic experience and I know that together we share an ambition for Allerdale to be a great place to live, work, visit and invest.”
Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, added: “I wholeheartedly welcome Marion to our Party and I look forward to working alongside her without the division that politics can create. Marion has worked damn hard locally and is an effective councillor for both Allerdale District and my Copeland constituency. I know she will continue to be a real asset to the area and to the Conservatives.”
In reaching her decision to join the Conservatives, Cllr. Fitzgerald cited that one reason was to disassociate herself with the Allerdale Independent Group, whose recent behaviour at council meetings and in the local media have been shocking.
Cllr. Fitzgerald added “Frankly, some members of the Allerdale Independent Group are very hardworking and committed to the council, but the group does not seem to recognise who these individuals are. The behaviour exhibited at the full council meeting last Wednesday, where an Independent councillor was quarrelling with the Mayor, another Independent councillor, was outrageous.”
“The same Independent councillor accused me of avoiding a meeting with Workington Reds, when he knows the only reason for my not being there would have been that I was at another meeting or engaged on other council business.”
“I received very little support from Independent members of the Executive during my time as Council Leader, although they were given every opportunity. The performance last Wednesday made it clear to me that it is time to disassociate myself from the Allerdale Independent Group. It has been very gratifying to see that the Conservative members of the Executive have followed through with the plans I put in place when I was Leader, and I look forward to working with Mike Johnson and the rest of the Conservative executive to make these plans a reality.”