Defection in Mendip
Shepton Councillor Bente Height who was an Independent Councillor on Mendip District Council has joined the Conservatives. Cllr Height is an experienced Town and District Councillor. She was re-elected in 2019 as District Councillor for Shepton East and since the election has been deputy chair of the council.
Her defection from the Independent group on the council will not alter the balance of power per se. The LibDems remain the largest group with 23 councillors out of a total of 47. They effectively are the administration of MDC but they achieved that through the posts of Chair and Deputy Chair being taken by the two Independents. Following Cllr Height’s defection, that may now be a little close for comfort.
However up until today, the Greens and Conservatives have been a joint opposition with 10 councillors each. This change will make the Conservatives the official opposition in Mendip with 11 councillors.
Cllr Height states that “I am really pleased to be joining the local Conservative Party and the other Conservative councillors at Mendip. My priorities, my values and what I want to do for Shepton haven’t changed. I feel that the Conservatives are arguing for common sense and promoting better local policies that would benefit all the residents of Shepton.”
It remains the position of The Leveller® that any councillor who changes party or allegiance mid term should seek a new mandate from those they represent in a by-election. we would urge Cllr Height to follow that course of action.