I have attached my statement outlining my move from the Northampton Conservative Party to the Northampton Labour Party and would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the very kind support people have given me since my resignation as Leader of the Council.
Statement – Move to Northampton Labour Party
I first got involved in politics in 1968 at a time when the political landscape was controlled by militants from both ends of the political spectrum – right and left – and where the moderate “one nation political view” that preferred to bring people together rather than divide was being squeezed out.
Unfortunately in the modern ‘style, spin, smoke and mirrors’ politics we are seeing fiscal management being delivered without a consideration of the social impact on the residents and communities of Northampton.
In May this year I was very proud to have led the Northampton Borough Conservatives under a banner of bringing people together for the common good and start putting Northampton first again after four years under the Liberal Democrats. I hoped to move away from where councillors see their role as being self-serving and as a vehicle for future career advancement and the message of bringing people together for the common good was significant in ensuring the Conservatives won a majority for the first time in 24 years.
However my hope for a new style of working was dashed soon after May’s local election with the current Leadership of both the County and Borough Council ,who once a majority had been safely achieved, immediately moved to return to the promotion of individuals and the prosecution of a self-serving agenda. It was self-interest first and responsibility to the people of Northampton, at best, second.
This is never more clearly demonstrated than the support of a councillor who lives 250 miles away whilst at the same time making swingeing cuts in front line services to the elderly, young and most vulnerable people of Northampton – cuts by the Conservative County Council which are keenly supported by the Conservative Borough Council – it is policy without social conscience.
Leaving the party I have supported for over 45 years has been a big decision for me, however its abdication of social responsibility in favour of personal self-interest and local political patronage is why I have decided to resign from the Conservative party and join the Labour party who continue to demonstrate their commitment to opposing cuts to front line services, taking a sensible approach to balancing the books and supporting what is in the best interest of Northampton. The Northampton Labour Party, in my view, is now best placed to put Northampton back on track.
I now look forward to continuing to work for the people of the Billing Ward and Northampton in finding the common ground and bringing people together in the best interest of everyone across the town as a member of the Labour group on the Borough Council and thank everyone in Northampton who have and continue to provide their support.
Councillor David Palethorpe
Billing Ward – Labour Group
Northampton Borough Council