Councillor Claire Palmer, opposition leader on Hambleton District Council, North Yorkshire, has become the Yorkshire Party’s first district councillor.
As the only non-Conservative councillor on Hambleton District Council, Cllr Palmer, and the Yorkshire Party, now function as the only opposition on the council.
Cllr Palmer’s decision to join the Yorkshire Party has coincided with the Party’s fourth anniversary of formation. Her signing up (April 12, 2018) comes on the back of the Party being the sixth most voted for party in all of England in the 2017 General Election.
Leader of the Yorkshire Party, Stewart Arnold, explained: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Cllr Palmer has today joined the Yorkshire Party. Since being formed in 2014, we have worked incredibly hard to offer a strong voice, demanding a stronger Yorkshire within a fairer United Kingdom.
“For too long the big parties have ignored Yorkshire. We have a population as large as Scotland’s – but by nearly every measure we lag behind the rest of the UK. For example, a child in a primary school in York receives, on average, about half the funding per year as a child in the City of London. Disparities like that are appalling – but that’s a system that both the Conservative and Labour Parties have allowed to develop.
“As the only non-Conservative voice on Hambleton District Council, we will be working closely with Claire to ensure that Yorkshire’s voice is heard on issues such as education, health and transport.
“I look forward to working with Cllr Palmer over the coming months, and ensuring her successful re-election in May 2019.”
Cllr Palmer, who represents Northallerton South Ward, added: “I’m really pleased to have joined the Yorkshire Party. Having met Stewart Arnold and other members, I understand what passion they have for building a better region for all people here. I got into politics because I believe Northallerton and Yorkshire deserve a better future – and I look forward to campaigning for that better future as a Yorkshire Party councillor.”
Cllr Palmer was elected as a member of Hambleton District Council in 2015 as a Ukip candidate. She is also a member of Northallerton Town Council, and has previously served as Mayor of Northallerton.
The Yorkshire Party is putting up a record number of candidates for May 3’s local council elections: fighting 25 seats, which compares with its previous best of 17 in 2016.