'Disappointed' Kendal councillor resigns from Lib Dems

A KENDAL councillor has resigned from the Liberal Democrats after becoming ‘disappointed’ at their decisions within the coalition.

Rob Boden, South Lakeland District councillor for the Kendal Underley ward, took the decision on Friday to become Independent after seeing how decisions made by government were affecting residents.

“Some of the decisions made by the coalition, like the bedroom tax, have really affected a lot of people I’m supposed to be looking out for,” he said.

“Hallgarth is in my ward and it’s one of the lowest income areas in South Lakeland, if not the lowest.

“People have been very badly affected by some of the measures the government has introduced and I felt like the party I was a member of was responsible.”

Coun Boden, 60, has served the area for 10 years, first on the town council and then at district level.

In a letter to South Lakes MP and Liberal Democrat party president, Tim Farron, he said: “I have over the last year found my membership very difficult to sustain, with successive coalition government measures affecting the very poorest sections of our society.

“This is not why I got into politics, indeed it is the reverse.

“I think a fundamental role for any politician is to protect and help the most disadvantaged in our society.

“This seems to me to show that the party has moved to the right and appears to be sucked into this by the manner of the coalition with the Tories.”

Coun Boden also said he disagreed with the government’s halving of the social fund budget, its reduction in council tax benefit, an overall freeze in benefits, changes to how homeless people are treated and its approval of new nuclear power stations.

“It wasn’t a quick decision,” he said. “But in the end too many things built up.”

However, he praised Mr Farron for being one of only two of the party’s MPs to have recently voted against the so-called bedroom tax.

“Rob remains a colleague and I hope that he will rejoin the party soon,” said Mr Farron.

“More importantly than that Rob remains a very good friend.”

Following the announcement SLDC leader, Peter Thornton, added: “Even as an Independent I hope Rob will keep working with us.”

Comments (7)

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2:23pm Wed 11 Dec 13

TwoHat says...

Good decision. A man of honour. Perhaps more Lib Dems will now examine their consciences?
Good decision. A man of honour. Perhaps more Lib Dems will now examine their consciences? TwoHat

2:34pm Wed 11 Dec 13

jazzactivist says...

Well done Cllr Boden! If only more Lib Dems were like you, especially Tim Farron MP. This Lib Dem coalition with the Tories is bringing down the whole country, as all sensible people knew it would.
Well done Cllr Boden! If only more Lib Dems were like you, especially Tim Farron MP. This Lib Dem coalition with the Tories is bringing down the whole country, as all sensible people knew it would. jazzactivist

11:45am Thu 12 Dec 13

drixhen says...

Also well done at least one lib dem has the backbone to stand and do what
he believes very much unlike Tim Farron . At the last 2 general elections I voted for the lib dems but never again because if you do you might as well
vote conservative which Icertainly wont be doing but Iam sure there are plenty
of people who will be taken in by the lies and spin
Also well done at least one lib dem has the backbone to stand and do what he believes very much unlike Tim Farron . At the last 2 general elections I voted for the lib dems but never again because if you do you might as well vote conservative which Icertainly wont be doing but Iam sure there are plenty of people who will be taken in by the lies and spin drixhen

5:21pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Red Doc says...

They should all resign in disgrace over the land allocation stitch up.
They should all resign in disgrace over the land allocation stitch up. Red Doc

6:20pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

This could be a tactical rather than a principled move, as the Lib Dems seem likely to lose a lot of seats, especially in areas with many students. Being more positive now, it's great to see more independents in local politics. Why should people's view of Ed Miliband or David Cameron influence who supervises the roads, bins, libraries and so on? I don't know this man because I don't live in his ward, but if I did I'd vote on his or his opponents' character rather than the colour of their rosettes.
This could be a tactical rather than a principled move, as the Lib Dems seem likely to lose a lot of seats, especially in areas with many students. Being more positive now, it's great to see more independents in local politics. Why should people's view of Ed Miliband or David Cameron influence who supervises the roads, bins, libraries and so on? I don't know this man because I don't live in his ward, but if I did I'd vote on his or his opponents' character rather than the colour of their rosettes. Milkbutnosugarplease

6:54pm Sun 15 Dec 13

searcher21c says...

Hmmm. I would be more convinced if he stood down altogether, allowing voters the chance to decide.
Hmmm. I would be more convinced if he stood down altogether, allowing voters the chance to decide. searcher21c

9:25am Mon 16 Dec 13

fellsman says...

I applaud his decision regarding his principles, however I wonder as to the total accuracy of his reasons - Is it just a coincidence that his resignation from the Liberals came just as it was being announced that Kendal would be very hard hit by his Liberal colleagues at County Council introducing very large cuts in subsidised bus travel (which Coun. Boden strongly criticised in the WG at the time), and they also planning to reduce emergency service cover in Kendal with the withdrawal of one fire engine. These cuts will hit South Lakeland the hardest but the South Lakeland Liberals seem happy to go along with their Labour partners at County
I applaud his decision regarding his principles, however I wonder as to the total accuracy of his reasons - Is it just a coincidence that his resignation from the Liberals came just as it was being announced that Kendal would be very hard hit by his Liberal colleagues at County Council introducing very large cuts in subsidised bus travel (which Coun. Boden strongly criticised in the WG at the time), and they also planning to reduce emergency service cover in Kendal with the withdrawal of one fire engine. These cuts will hit South Lakeland the hardest but the South Lakeland Liberals seem happy to go along with their Labour partners at County fellsman

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