Accusing Cllr Black of deception, Mr Bridgwater declared “Paula has let down the whole electorate, not just those who previously voted for her. They feel deceived, with her credibility destroyed and nearly a year left to run until May 2013. Meantime nothing short of a by-election will clear the air to ensure the democratic accountability to which the local community is entitled.”
Ms Black was elected in 2009 as the Green Party councillor for the Totnes Rural Division, which covers Totnes Town, Bridgetown and the rural parishes of Harberton, Diptford and North Huish. She was the Greens’ only member at County Hall, but defected last month to the Labour group, accusing some Greens of having extreme views.
“How can she remain true to her beliefs and allegiance to the electorate as a member of a Party that achieved just 314 votes – 8.3% - just over 3 years ago in an election she won?” Andrew asked. “If her political views have not changed as she is quoted as saying, does she expect us to believe that both the Green and Labour Parties’ views have changed?”
“If she has the courage of her convictions she will stand down and seek the support of the electorate she claims to represent. I would be delighted to have the opportunity to test just who it is the people of the Totnes area really support. I am confident I can regain the ward for the Liberal Democrats.”
Andrew lives in the South Hams and is married with two adult step-children and two grandchildren. He has a passionate interest in education and Chairs the Liberal Democrat Education Association at national level. He is also Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Devon and Cornwall Region, a former councillor in the London borough of Hackney and a school governor for 20 years.