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Former Medway Conservative councillor Elizabeth Turpin takes aim at her party

A Medway councillor says her decision to quit as a Conservative was triggered partly by decisions taken by the former administration over the development of the Hoo Peninsular.

Cllr Elizabeth Turpin resigned from the council’s Conservative group recently, citing a range of issues she felt had not been properly addressed.

Asked what had contributed to her decision to leave the group, she said she was unhappy at the nature of debate, saying it was “too political”.

“It was a really difficult decision; I am a Conservative; I hold Conservative principles; that’s where I felt I should be,” she said.

Cllr Turpin made her comments in the Kent Politics Podcast, where she was grilled about her decision by local democracy reporters Simon Finlay and Robert Boddy.

A particular concern was the money that had been allocated to meet the infrastructure costs associated with the development of the Hoo Peninsula.

Cllr Elizabeth Turpin. Picture: Medway Council
Cllr Elizabeth Turpin. Picture: Medway Council

“The Housing Infrastructure Fund was something I was not comfortable with; but I felt that it was money that had been awarded to us, so let’s make the best of it; it was a big investment for the area but it was never going to be enough for what we were saying was going to deliver,” she said.

“The governance was not what it should have been; the fact that it was withdrawn was down to the fact that we had not had proper governance over it.”

She also had reservations about the debate around the controversial plans for Chatham Docks, which developers want to turn into a mixed-use site with some housing.

“There’s a lot of political game-playing; a lot of political point-scoring at meetings; Labour is using that forum [scrutiny committees] just to attack the previous administration and the Conservative government,” she said.

On adult social care, she said the government had failed to address what was a major issue for the country.

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