The Independent councillor for Birkenhead and Tranmere, Cllr Steve Hayes has stepped down ahead of May’s local elections.
Mr Hayes was formerly a Green Party councillor.
He said that it had been his proud pleasure and privilege to represent the people of Birkenhead and Tranmere. Further, he said that his passion for and commitment to the environment remains as strong as ever and that his reasons for leaving the Council are personal and bear no relation to recent events described below.
Steve Hayes said, “Although stepping away from the Green Party some time ago I have been particularly disappointed by what I consider irresponsible voting in recent meetings pertaining to the budget.
“The two government reports issued in the run-up could not have been clearer and I believe that if we actually cared about our residents and to keep any kind of decision-making in local hands we had to work together.
“Instead, the Green Party seemed to vote politically as some kind of protest vote, not even agreeing to vote for our budget!”
Mr Hayes questioned how not agreeing to the budget would appear to the Independent panel currently reporting on Wirral Council to central government.
Mr Hayes continued, “The Green Party’s opportunism for scoring divisive political points is gambling with the possibility of the Government Commissioners coming in and that threat is very real and would probably affect our regeneration plans, green belt and services negatively.
“It appeared reckless at best and goes against any idea of cooperation and collaboration the Green Party I once believed in is supposed to stand for.”
He concluded by saying, “I am standing down before this election, and as a private citizen I will be now voting Labour at the May elections.
“In the time I have been a Wirral councillor, I have seen how hard their councillors work and I have great respect for their work in the community and their leader, who can put party politics aside to work for residents and help pass a fair and balanced budget forced upon us in the most difficult circumstances – something some other parties should learn from.”
Yesterday, former Labour Councillor for Bromborough, Port Sunlight, and New Ferry, Jo Bird, joined the Green Party after representing her ward as an independent councillor.