A Henley town councillor has defected to the Conservatives less than a year after being elected
A Henley town councillor has defected to the Conservatives less than a year after being elected.
Sara Abey left Henley Residents’ Group earlier this week, claiming the Conservatives were the party with which she could “best serve Henley”.
She becomes the third HRG councillor to switch to their rivals in the last 18 months, following former Mayor Martin Akehurst and Dieter Hinke.
Cllr Abey, a gemologist, was elected in May to the town’s south ward.
In her letter of resignation to HRG, she said: “After a great deal of thought, I have decided to join the Henley Conservatives. My views and policies have not changed one iota, it’s just the party with whom I feel I can best serve Henley.
“I have taken advice on proceeding with this change, including from both past and present town clerks, as I want it to take place with minimal disturbance and negativity.”
Cllr Akehurst and Mr Hinke were among five HRG councillors who quit the party in November 2014, blaming “serious conflict” internally.
The other three were former mayors Jeni Wood, Pam Phillips and Elizabeth Hodgkin, who chose to sit as independents.
Of the five, only Cllr Akehurst held on to his seat at May’s elections.
Cllr Abey’s move sees the Conservatives tighten their grip on the town council, now holding 10 of the 16 seats.
For the full story see this week’s <>Henley Standard.