News has come that a local Cllr has been suspended by the LD regional party. Cllr Warren Swaine resigned his seat on the cabinet a few weeks ago after a rather dodgy tweet that many have seen as racist.
Reading Council consists of 19 Labour Cllrs and 1 Green in opposition (19+1 = 20). In charge are Conservative 17 and LD 9 (26). Now the LD will be down to 8 with 1 independent. It will not make much difference to who rules in Reading. What will make a difference is if he continues as an independent till 2012 or stands down this year causing a by election.
But locals will be surprised that it took the regional party to suspend him, not the local one. They have also judged the local party are wrong in another matter; the branch must replace its chair Cllr Peter Beard with a non-councillor. This was 'better to separate the activities of the council Liberal Democrat group from the local branch.'
Before he became a Cllr Warren was well known as the writer of the satirical website muckspreading. The site has been dormant since May 2009 but has this week sprung back to life. Perhaps a sign that he is off the leash.
The local LD and Tories are keeping very quiet about all this, while Labour have reported it with some glee, though they also have members with past indiscretions. See Tony Jones and Richard Mckenzie. He is still on the LD websites.
Initially Cllr Kirsten Bayes replaced Warren as Lead Councillor for Environment and Sustainability, now it seems she has been replaced by Cllr Ricky Duveen. I wish him luck in the role.
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