15 November 2018
A popular and well respected local Councillor on Waveney District Council, Caroline Topping, has resigned from the Conservative Party and joined the Green Party. The news comes only weeks after the then-Labour leader of the Opposition on Dover District Council also joined the Green Party and is the third councillor defection to the Green Party this year.
Caroline Topping, councillor for Beccles South, said, “After a significant period of time of personal reflection, I have made thedecision to move to the Green Party in Beccles. I feel much more closely aligned to the Green Party on important local issues and I very much share their core values, especially with regards to fostering community spirit, encouraging younger residents to get involved, supporting the elderly and people who are suffering with mental health issues caused by our extremely demanding lifestyles. I have no doubt that this was the right decision to make, and it is great to feel passionate and excited again about my role in the community.
As a member of the Conservative Party there is an expectation that members must toe the party line which meant having to stand behind messages I did not agree with and policies I know some people in Beccles South did not elect me to support. I am proud to now represent a party that believes that building a fairer society and protecting the planet for future generations go hand in hand.”
Green Party District Councillor for Beccles North, Graham Elliott said, “It is a great pleasure that we welcome Caroline into our team. She is a hard working and dedicated local Councillor who puts the needs of residents above everything else. It will be great to see Caroline re-establish herself as a fiercely independent Councillor sharing our values and sticking up for the people of Beccles.”
Green Party County Councillor for Beccles Division, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw added, "I enjoy working with Caroline, and we've worked collaboratively and fruitfully on many projects in Beccles. During my Mayoral year she's become a close colleague. It's wonderful that she's joining Graham and I as we share the same values, love for this town and the community within. We look forward to energetically and fearlessly representing the town together."
Caroline was elected to Waveney District Council in 2015. She was Vice Chairman of the
Council for the 2016/17 year and has served as Deputy Cabinet Member since May 2017. She
served two back to back years as Mayor of Beccles and is currently Chair of the Assets
Committee on Beccles Town Council.