Kettering Greens React to Councillor Resignation

6 October 2016

We were surprised as anyone when we read the news last week of Cllr Michael Brown's resignation from the Conservative group at Kettering Borough Council; however, we completely understand his motives for wanting to become an Independent councillor.
In the Green Party, we promote the politics of collaboration and cooperation: we are willing to work with people, whatever the colour of their party in order to work towards a common good for everyone. It is a shame that the elected councillors in the Conservative group couldn't even find a way of working with members of their own party. Although we may not see eye to eye with Cllr Brown on every political issue, we cannot deny his hard work and dedication to his elected post, 
and we fully support him in his decision to move beyond party colours to do what he feels is best for the people he serves. 
This is the second time this year that the Tory-led council has alienated an elected representative, after Steve Bellamy was sacked in March for voicing his opinions against the PSPO and its effect on young people. Now Cllr Brown feels he has no choice but to resign because he disagreed with a proposed rise in council tax and was also seemingly frustrated that the executive group were not supportive of his campaign to remove KTFC back to Rockingham Road. 
What we find so upsetting in both of these cases, is that these councillors were working for the good of the people of Kettering. Steve Bellamy was giving a voice to hundreds of young people in this Borough who deserved to be listened to. His position against the PSPO was perfectly legitimate: he was voicing what he felt was right for the community. In the same way, Cllr Brown was also only ever standing up for what he believed to be right. It is simply not good enough that those who sit at the top of local politics in Kettering are refusing to listen to the voices of those who wish to speak up for the communities they are elected to represent. 
The time for party tribalism has to come to an end. We believe that modern and progressive local politics should go beyond taking 'sides'. What is ultimately needed is a council that is willing to listen - one willing to work collaboratively and cooperatively in order to appreciate and take on the views and concerns of others. 
We look forward to working with Cllr Brown and others, of any party or none, in elected posts or not, towards a fairer community for all who live within the Borough. We would urge Kettering Borough Council, as our elected representatives, to do the same. 
Rob Reeves and Kirsty Berry, 
Kettering Green Party

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