THERE could be changes at the top of Stroud District Council after the recent defection of four Labour councillors.

The Conservative group - the largest on the council - are thinking about tabling a motion of no confidence in council leader Doina Cornell at the next meeting.

The council leader along with Cllrs Trevor Hall, Robin Layfield and Colin Fryer have resigned from the party and now formed a new Community Independents group. 

Stroud News and Journal: Councillors Doina Cornell, Trevor Hall, Robin Layfield and Colin Fryer Community IndependentsCouncillors Doina Cornell, Trevor Hall, Robin Layfield and Colin Fryer Community Independents

This move comes after Cllr Cornell (Community Independents, Dursley) was excluded from Labour’s process to select a parliamentary candidate for Stroud.

The former Labour councillors say they will continue to serve the communities they represent and are fully committed to the co-operative alliance that runs Stroud District Council.


Green Party reaction

Green leader Catherine Braun (G, Wotton-under-Edge) said her group is committed to working together.

“We are all committed to working together and the Green group is really strongly supportive of the co-operative alliance."

Labour Party reaction

Labour leader Natalie Bennett (L, Nailsworth) said her group is considering their options to continue working collaboratively.

“We are still working through options at the moment with the alliance so that we can look to continue the collaborative work we’ve done over the last ten years."

Comments from the independents 

Cllr Robin Layfield (Community Independents, Rodborough) said his group is extremely committed to the alliance. 

“We want it to succeed and we will do everything we can to ensure that."

Lib Dem reaction

Liberal Democrat group leader Ken Tucker (LD, Wotton-under-Edge) said it was important for the council to focus on achieving its five year plan.

"At the moment our best philosophy is to continue and get everybody on board and carry on with the five year plan we’ve got."

Conservative Party reaction

Group leader Stephen Davies (C, Severn) said it would not be fair for the council leader to come from a group of just four councillors. 

"The issue behind all this is whether Doina Cornell stays on as leader."

Comments from Stroud District Council 

A Stroud District Council spokesperson said: “Following the resignation of Cllr Doina Cornell from the Labour Party, the council administration will be reviewing the current Cooperative Alliance arrangements and will confirm before the next council meeting on 21 July. 

“In the meantime everything will continue as usual.”