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Statement from Karen McKeown on move to the Green Party

Martin Whiteside, Leader of the Green Councillors on the Stroud District Council, announced that Cllr Karen McKeown of Rodborough has requested membership in the Green Party and is expected to join the Green Group.

“We are delighted to welcome someone like Karen with her skills, commitment and experience. She is very well respected, thoughtful, measured and will not have taken this decision lightly. As a Party and as colleagues we very much look forward to working closely with Karen as she continues to effectively serve the District and the people of Rodborough,” said Cllr Whiteside.

Karen McKeown has shared the following statement regarding her move to the Green Party

After much discussion and deliberation with senior officers of Stroud Constituency Labour Party and the leader of the group, I have tendered my resignation from the Labour group on Stroud District Council. For a considerable time, I have been concerned about the shortfalls in the structure, leadership and governance to ensure that the people of Stroud District receive the best possible services. Although I have raised my concerns directly with the current and previous leaders, the will to listen to this challenge and consider change has not been forthcoming. Therefore I have been left concerned that I am not able to represent the residents of my ward to the best of my ability.

However, during my time on Stroud District Council, I have been consistently impressed by the work of the Green Party group on the council, including their contribution to consensual politics and placing the needs of the residents above party dogma. With strong leadership, dynamism and ability to think of creative solutions, the Green Party group responds effectively to the changing needs of
the district. My personal beliefs also align well with the principles of the party. As a result, I have decided that I can best serve the electors of Rodborough, and the whole of the district, by becoming a member of the Green Party group and serve as a Green Party councillor.

I can understand that some of those who voted for me in 2016 will be disappointed at my change of party and not to be represented by a Labour councillor. I am really distressed at leaving a party where I have spent most of my adult life. However, I have spent much time considering the best way forward so that I serve my community and ensure that the council uses it limited resources in the best way possible. I would be happy to discuss this directly with anyone who may wish to have further information and my resignation letter is also available on request.

I would personally like to thank the officers of Stroud Constituency Labour Party who have dealt with this sensitive and difficult situation with professionalism, objectivity and complete integrity.

Karen McKeown
16 May 2018