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Rutland councillor Paul Ainsley steps down from the Conservative group and party

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A second councillor has announced he is stepping down from the Conservative Group and party.

Coun Paul Ainsley, who represents residents of Oakham North West on Rutland County Council, feels the party has betrayed young people with some of its recent decisions.

The main factor in his decision was the rejection of £29.4m of government money to fund the infrastructure required to develop the St George’s Barracks site in North Luffenham.

Rutland County Council
Rutland County Council

In March, three Conservative councillors either voted to turn down the money or abstained from the decision.

Coun Ainsley said: “I cannot continue to be a member of a group that supports members who have betrayed our younger residents, anybody under retirement age, by voting to reject the local plan.

“I’d urge people to ask them why they voted for uncontrolled greenfield development? Without a local plan, Rutland County Council will have to determine planning applications for housing with a presumption in favour of development.

“Why did they vote against the development of St George’s garden village, a development that would have delivered high-quality affordable homes and locally accessible work?

“The views of the retired seem to outweigh the views of younger people.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from the Conservative Party and stand as in Independent Conservative.

“I’m still a Conservative at heart but I will act as an Independent with Conservative values.”

Coun Ainsley’s decision follows that of Coun Alan Walters, who stepped down as a Conservative on November 4.

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