A FRUSTRATED councillor quit the Liberal Democrats this week – throwing the local party into turmoil.
Duncan Cumming (45) has been a representative for over 12 years, holding the Bearsden North seat for the last four.
However, he has resigned from the LibDem group – with “deep regret” – after being ordered to toe the party line on welfare reforms.
That was the final straw and he is now going it alone.
Councillor Cumming explained: “I no longer feel that LibDem values are truly represented in the proceedings of the local or national party and it is therefore with deep regret that I have decided to resign from the party and to become an independent councillor.
“This decision has not been taken lightly. It comes after a great deal of personal soul-searching and has been a source of great sadness and disappointment to me.
“It has always been a privilege and pleasure to represent the people of Milngavie, and of Bearsden North, and I remain committed to serving them to the very best of my ability.”
The LibDems’ broken promise over university tuition fees was one of the issues which Mr Cumming (right) felt let down over.
The final straw was the Government’s plans for welfare reform. He wanted to vote for a motion by East Dunbartonshire Council leader Rhondda Geekie raising concerns that changes may cause additional hardship for local people, especially those on low incomes.
However, he was told the group stance was to vote against Cllr Geekie’s motion.
He said: “Some people have said that I’m a bit of a rebel, but I just stand up for my principles.”
Councillor Ashay Ghai, LibDem group leader, said: “We respect his decision and accept his resignation, and express our best wishes to him for the future.”