Former Labour Leader of Dover District Council announced today (november 2nd) that he has joined the Green Party.
Michael Eddy, who was a Dover district councillor from 1995 to 1999 and has been again since 2007, has been its Labour group leader for the last 10 years until now. He stays on the district council and will now be its first elected Green Councillor.
Cllr Michael Eddy said: “I’m excited to join a party which believes in putting power in local people’s hands”
He added that he had made the move after being impressed by the Green Party’s commitment to making sure “local decisions are made by local people and their representatives.”
The district member for the Mill Hill ward in Deal said he was also galvanised to make the change by the Green Party’s commitment to scrap Universal Credit.
The scheme’s opponents say it has left people in Dover District facing poverty since its rollout in July this year.
Cllr Eddy also backed the Green’s campaigns to tackle air pollution and protect Dover and Deal’s green spaces and biodiversity.
He added: “Whether it’s standing up against the damage that May’s government’s decisions will inflict on the port and community in Dover, or fighting to scrap Universal Credit, the Green Party is committed to making sure local decisions are made by local people.
“The decision to leave Labour after 10 years as leader of the opposition was not made lightly, but it was the right one.
“I am a firm believer that no one has the monopoly on wisdom and look forward to working together with progressive local councillors and my new Green colleagues to make sure the people of Dover District and Deal Town are not overlooked or left behind.”
Members of Dover and Deal Green Party with Councillor Michael Eddy
A spokesman for Dover and Deal Green Party said: “We are delighted to welcome Mike on board, and now look forward to making a few changes in the district.”
Cllr Eddy was joined in Friday’s seafront announcement by Green co-leader Sian Berry and fellow party members.
Ms Berry, who is a member of the London Assembly, said: “History has been made in Dover today (Friday) with Mike joining us as the first Green councillor for the district.
“Mike has a track record for standing up for what matters to the people of Dover district and Deal town and it’s a privilege to welcome him to our party.
“The local Green Party is already a growing force for good here and I have no doubt he will be a valuable addition to that work.”
She commented that the people of Dover must “have a say on their future” concerning Brexit.
This is after local freight clearance experts warned Dover would be hit by gridlock if there is not the right deal.
She continued: “Dover is on the Brexit frontline with the port and community set to feel the full force of the damaging policies the government is pursuing, and Greens are committed to making sure people in every community in the country have a say on their future in or out of the EU and how the impact of any Brexit deal is felt in their area.
“The Dover and Deal Green Party will work with local people to make sure journeys to work, schools and health appointments are not subject to gridlock, that the vulnerable are not further beset by food and fuel poverty.”
Martin Whybrow, representing Hythe West, is the only Green county councillor. He said: “Mike is an excellent addition to our Green councillors. I am delighted to welcome him. I got to know Mike at KCC and he is hard-working, principled and knowledgeable. He did an excellent job of holding the Conservatives in power to account and working for residents. He will join 176 other Green Party councillors of principal authorities nationally, and another 220 Green town and parish councillors.”
Green co-leader Sian Berry greets Cllr Eddy as a new member today