HAVING considered for ‘some time’ a Dorset Councillor has decided to make the switch from the Liberal Democrat party to join the Conservatives in a bid to have a ‘bigger impact’.

Councillor Mike Barron, who represents the Corfe Mullen ward at Dorset Council, has said the move has been a ‘long time coming’, citing three main reasons in his resignation letter behind the transition.

Councillor Barron said: “I have come to the conclusion to move because the Lib Dems are in a current state of permanent decline stemming from the coalition in 2010.

“Which is in part because of the university tuition fee rise, which without Lib Dem support would not have gone through.

“Also under Joe Swinton the party became a laughing stock, being anti-Brexit isolated half of the supporters.

“Thirdly the Lib Dems on Dorset Council work hard but have no impact to make so that is why I’m moving.”

Councillor Barron also says he agrees with most of the Conservative’s policies and hopes to have a ‘bigger impact,’ comparing being in the Lib Dems as ‘trying to get into a house by throwing stones at the house, when you want to be in the house’.

The Corfe Mullen councillor added: “The last election was a disaster and after the 30 years I’ve been with them I’ve made the big decision, but it has been coming for a long time."

Councillor Barron insists the move does not affect his work and will still be ‘dealing with potholes,’ but mid Dorset and north Poole Liberal Democrats feel it may be a ‘disappointment’ to those who voted for him.

A spokesperson, posting on the mid Dorset Lib Dems website, said: “Cllr Mike Barron for Corfe Mullen has chosen to leave the Lib Dem team. By joining the Conservative group it is clear that our policy priorities and values differ.

“This is no doubt a huge disappointment to all the residents who elected him to be their local Lib Dem councillor.

“Of course this doesn’t mean we will pause for a minute in our unstinting support and help for our residents and their needs. Nor in our opposition to the unreasonable share of the additional building being threatened in the Dorset Local Plan for Corfe Mullen."