Wednesday 26 October 2011

Councillor quits Plaid group over democracy...and round two of the golf club row

Further to recent posts (including here and here), I see in today's Carmarthen Journal that Plaid Carmarthenshire Councillor for Lliedi ward, Huw Lewis has quit the party group on the council over the recent amendments to the constitution, ironically passed during the Council's ill-fated 'Local Democracy Week';
'Huw Lewis said he resigned on the principle of democracy and the right of individuals to express themselves.
His action followed a vote to amend the council's constitution so motions coming before full meetings of the authority required the support of at least seven councillors, not just a proposer and seconder'
Member quits in row over democracy by @DConnopPrice

I understand his frustration and dissatisfaction that most of the opposition Plaid councillors voted for the amendment, but I hope that all those councillors who feel growing unease with the way this officer-led council operates, concentrate their energies to challenge the senior officers and their Executive Board puppets. Regular readers of this blog will be aware of the systematic erosion of democracy including, for example, the recent imposition of the ridiculous ritual which members of the public must endure to enter the Public Gallery, a situation which still remains unchallenged by elected members.

The Journal also reports today on the continuing row over Carmarthenshire Council's bizarre decision to offload the failing Garnant Golf Club at the cost to the taxpayer of £200,00. The secretary of a nearby club, Glynhir, is reporting the Council to the Wales Audit Office for possibly breaching competition law. He has a point. As a taxpayer, he will now be indirectly funding and supporting a rival golf club enabling them to charge lower prices.
Story here by @AlexMurraySmith 'Subsidised golf club unfair on other clubs' 

It looks like the Ombudsman is being kept busy in neighbouring Swansea Council;
BBC; Inquiry into top Swansea Lib Dems and Tory Councillor


Anonymous said...

It is a sad loss to the electorate that a councillor with a moral compass and integrity resigns. It is even more sad that the rest of the Plaid group went along with the amendment which erodes democracy even further. Shame on them.

caebrwyn said...

@anonymous As I understand it, Cllr Lewis is still a county councillor, he has just left the Plaid group on the council.

Anonymous said...

I have heared that the ombudsman is also investigating Carmarthen council,the difference being that in Carmarthen it is not councillors who are being investigated.
Hopefully,positive moves afoot then.