Labour down to one member on South Kesteven District Council after Grantham councillor quits group
South Kesteven’s Labour Group is down to just one member on the council, meaning it will no longer be formally recognised as a political group.
Councillor Louise Clack, who represents Grantham Earlesfield, has left the Labour Group, leaving Councillor Lee Steptoe as the only remaining elected councillor.
A group needs to have at least two members to be recognised.
This change means the committee seats previously allocated to Labour will be given to the Conservative group.
Councillor Clack informed South Kesteven District Council on June 2 that she no longer wished to be affiliated with the district’s Labour Group, and wished to be considered an unaligned Labour & Co-operative councillor.
She hasn’t provided a public reason for her move, and couldn’t be reached for comment.
The new composition of SKDC is 39 Conservatives, 13 Independents (including two Liberal Democrats), and four unaligned.
Unaligned members are not counted in seat calculations, meaning Conservatives will pick up two more seats, increasing their control of committees.
They will have 10 seats on the planning committee, to three Independents.
The additional seat will give them seven on the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, with Independents holding the remaining two.
Councillor Charmaine Morgan also recently tended her resignation from the South Kesteven Labour group.
She stepped down in April, saying her values were "increasingly non-compatible with those of the national Party and current party leadership to the point where my position representing the Labour Party is no longer tenable."
She continues to represent the St Vincent's ward as an Unaligned Independent councillor.
Coun Steptoe said Coun Clack now faces expulsion from the national Labour Party for leaving the SKDC Labour Group.
Coun Steptoe said: "You cannot sit as an ‘unaligned’ Labour councillor and stay in the party, and this typifies her four year refusal to work collegially. In our deep blue town, only Labour has the policies and resources to take the fight to the imploding national government and local SKDC Tory administration, that continues to fail to deliver for the most vulnerable sections of our community.
"Under the leadership of the pragmatic and highly skilled Sir Keir Starmer, we go into the 2023 SK elections confident that we will rebuild a group that provides coherent and energetic opposition to whatever administration the Tories and their friends in the Independent group put together."
The rebalancing will take place at the full council meeting on Monday, July 25.