Arun councillor becomes an Independent after quitting Lib Dems

‘We need to put aside party politics and work together in the interest of our residents’ – that was the message from Arun district councillor Emily Seex as she announced her decision to quit the Liberal Democrats and work as an Independent.

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 9:49 am
Arun Civic Centre, Littlehampton

Ms Seex, who was elected in 2019 and represents the River Ward, said the council needed to rethink its priorities, putting regeneration, jobs and making sure people have a roof over their heads first

She said: “Everything else is secondary to these core needs.”

Ms Seex is chairman of the Littlehampton Regeneration sub-committee, which is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives and projects to help promote economic growth in the town.

The scheme has been going for a number of years, with mixed levels of success, and Ms Seex called on the council to take a firmer stance on getting things done – even if that meant borrowing money.

She said: “We need to focus the council’s resources on meaningful regeneration – regeneration that creates jobs and brings wealth to support businesses.

“In order to invest in regeneration we need to be open to borrowing money for building new facilities, to achieve long-term improvement in our residents’ economic prospects.

“We need to be clear on what we want, not passively awaiting a developer to present something we like.”

Arun’s council meetings have become notorious for being heated, often bad-tempered, with members of the two main political parties regularly at loggerheads.

Announcing her decision to jump ship and become independent, she added: “In order to be part of the solution to the politics, I have left the Arun Liberal Democrat group and would urge all my colleagues, of every political persuasion, to support a programme of regeneration.

“Let’s set a clear course forward together, so we aren’t again looking at lovely illustrations that don’t come to fruition. Let’s start now.”

Ms Seex’s decision means the council is now made up of 21 Conservatives, 18 Liberal Democrats, a total of 11 Independents, two Greens and one Labour councillor.

Karen Dunn , Local Democracy Reporting Service