A CLACTON county councillor has quit the Conservatives after blaming the party’s cuts for “destroying” services in the town.

Andy Wood has represented North Clacton at Essex County Council since 2013.

But he defected to the Liberal Democrats, the largest opposition group at County Hall, on Tuesday.

Mr Wood said: ‘‘I have spoken to lots of residents over the past weeks who are telling me they are unhappy with the way things are going in Clacton and the country as a whole - this is why I have resigned from the Conservatives.

“I no longer believe that the Conservatives are listening to the ordinary person on the street, you only have to look at what is happening to Brexit to see this.

‘‘I want a health service that works without people having to travel miles for an appointment, a police force that is able to do its job properly with more police on the street, a party that does not put housing before infrastructure and a highways department that works.

“You only have to take a look around to see all the pot holes on our roads to see it that it does not.

“I want a council that puts the interest of my residents first.

“I believe the Liberal Democrat Party is that party and that is why I am joining them to fight for better services in Clacton and a town to be proud of. The people of Clacton deserve better.’’ Mike Mackrory, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said he is delighted to welcome Mr Wood to the group. He added: “He is an energetic local councillor. He will be a great asset to the group.’’ Conservative councillor Paul Honeywood said he was “disappointed” that Mr Wood had defected.

He said: “Locally, the Conservatives are doing a good job of managing the budgets and delivering on projects such as improving Jaywick and building sea defences in Holland-on-Sea, despite the economic climate.”

“I wonder how being the only Liberal Democrat county councillor in the Clacton area is going to assist with having his voice heard.”