Independent Melton borough councillor for the Frisby ward Edward Hutchison has defected to the Tories.
Mr Hutchison (55), who has held the seat since 2011 following a by-election, has joined the Melton Conservatives and will defend the seat in May’s borough council elections.
He said: “It was something I’d been considering for some time. I felt being part of the Tory group would put me in a stronger position of influence rather than being an Independent. I’ve enjoyed my time as an Independent but now being on the leading group I’m sure the people of the Frisby ward will be better served.”
Mr Hutchison said he’d left the Independent group on ‘good terms’ and wished them very well for the future.
Melton Council’s Independent group leader Elaine Holmes said: “It has come as such a shock but I wish him well, Edward did a good job but his work commitments made it very difficult for him.”
Melton Council leader Byron Rhodes (Con) said : “The Melton Conservative team has been working hard for a number of years delivering on behalf of residents in the borough. We’re now focussed on setting our long-term agenda for the borough for the next four years.
“It is our long term plan that councillor Hutchison understood and wanted to be involved with. He therefore asked to join the team and become a Conservative member.
“I’m encouraged by the quality of people from the public coming forward wanting to be involved and join our team.”
The current make-up of the council is now 20 Conservative councillors, four Labour, three Independent and one single councillor.