Councillor quits Conservative Party and County Hall Tory group citing a lack of 'understanding and support'

A long-standing county councillor has turned his back on his political group and party, citing issues with its “understanding and support”.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 2:20 pm
County Coun Mark Perks in 2018, during his year as Mayor of Chorley when he was also a member of Chorley Council (Image: JPIMedia)

Lancashire County Coun Mark Perks has quit the Conservative group at County Hall, as well as the Conservative Party as a whole.

The county councillor for Clayton with Whittle, who up until May 2 this year also sat on Chorley Council, sensationally quit the group and party on October 16 after 30 years of campaigning for the blue rosette.

Speaking after his announcement, he said: “Since 2015 life has had its struggles with ill health after two strokes and more recently become a full time carer looking after an my elderly mother who has Alzhiemer’s with Vascular dementia.

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Former Chorley Mayor Mark Perks reads a story to Aurora (6) and Jessica (3) Johnson during the What's Your Story, Chorley? Lit Festival in 2018 (Image: JPIMedia)

“There past couple of years have been particularly difficult personally and I have found the groups’ understanding and support has a lot to be desired.

“The Chorley Association hasn’t even been in touch for over two years."

County Coun Perks, who spent 17 years as a borough councillor in Chorley and eight years before then as a town councillor in Horwich, also cited issues with consultation on issues affecting his division.

“Locally I have discovered decisions affecting residents I represent have been made without any consultation or discussion with me,” he said.

“The latest of many concerned the cutting of a bus service on Buckshaw. It took two months before I was told a decision was taken and of a briefing paper shared with other county councillors.”

Leader of the county council and Conservative group at County Hall, County Coun Geoff Driver, was approached for comment but did not respond before deadline.

County Coun Perks, who was elected in March 2005 now sits as an Independent councillor, bringing the total number of Independents elected to County Hall to five.

“I am extremely disappointed to experience this and it left me with no other option,” he added.