A LIBERAL Democrat borough councillor will not be standing in next year’s all-out election because of the ‘toxic’ politics in the council.

Cllr Anna Fradgley, who serves Lymm South, made the decision after Labour councillors rejected a motion from her party on affordable housing at the Town Hall earlier this month.

In a statement, she said residents ‘need to know the truth’ and urged people not to go into politics.

Cllr Fradgley said: “I shall not be standing as a candidate for Lymm in 2020. Why? Because of the awful politics at Warrington Borough Council.

“People who know me know that I stand up for truth and I like to live my life with integrity.

“But being in that toxic environment is failing my health mentally and physically.

“At the last borough council meeting, the Labour Party side of the chamber voted against increasing affordable homes in Warrington.

“Not one Labour councillor put their hand up to support a motion from the Lib Dems. Why? Because we are in the middle of a general election and it would have looked bad and not good PR. They are whipped.

“I actually confronted three councillors and said that I couldn’t believe that they voted politically and not for the good of the people and they responded that ‘this is politics, Anna’.

“I was fuming. It really upset me that they put politics before people.

“Now, this is not a political rant. I can’t stand politics, never have done.

“I only do it to stand up for people and those who can’t speak for themselves.

“I will keep standing until May 2020, as I made a promise to my electorate to work hard for them and I don’t want to waste public money in another local election.”

Cllr Fradgley also emphasised the issue is about politicians and not council officers, who she believes carry out a ‘brilliant job’.

But council leader Cllr Russ Bowden has responded.

The Labour politician says the authority has worked to address the need for affordable housing, partly by establishing its own housing company, as well as by setting up low-cost loans to social housing providers to enable them to build more properties.

He said: “Contrary to Cllr Fradgley’s assertions, the council’s Labour group are strongly in favour of substantially increasing the amount of affordable housing we have in Warrington.

“However, the Liberal Democrat motion contained inaccuracies and failed to recognise the policies already in place to address this issue, to such an extent that the motion was unamendable.

“Far from voting against affordable housing, the Labour group agreed to examine this matter further at the building stronger communities policy committee – this is the best forum for members from all parties to feed in suggestions and ideas on policy development.

“We have clear policies on affordable housing already in place.

“We’ve also taken a strong stand against private developers’ use of leasehold and exorbitant management fees which have had such a devastating effect on many owners of new-build homes in our town.

“When Cllr Fradgley complains about party politics, it would be worth her remembering that it was the Liberal Democrats in Government who helped to push through policies such as universal credit and the bedroom tax which have failed the very people who most need help with housing.

“Unlike Cllr Fradgley, who no longer has the appetite to be a councillor here in Warrington, Labour councillors will always continue to work hard to deliver the change we want and need to see.”