LABOUR party supporters in Littlehampton are celebrating an election boost with the defection of a Liberal Democrat town councillor.
Berni Millam’s switch makes Labour the second biggest group with three councillors, behind the Conservatives’ eight, while the Liberal Democrats are now down to two and there are also two independents.
However, with no council meetings until after next month’s elections, Ms Millam’s decision will have little, if any, effect, and one of her former Lib-Dem colleagues, Dr James Walsh, described her defection as ‘a hollow gesture’.
Ms Millam, who stood as a parliamentary candidate for the Lib-Dems at the 2010 general election in the Brighton Pavilion seat, losing out to Caroline Lucas, the first Green Party MP, said she had become disillusioned with her old party’s policies at national level and found herself agreeing more with Labour.
She was directly affected by the ‘bedroom tax’ brought in by the coalition government, having to move out of her council house at Felpham when her daughter went to university, as she could no longer afford the extra rent. She was also against the highly controversial increase in tuition fees.
“I had to follow my heart and go with what I believe in,” said Ms Millam, who now lives in Hill Road, Littlehampton.
She is not standing in the coming elections as Labour had already recruited its candidates.