Sunday, 16 September 2012

Plaid Cymru demand apology from Council Leader - updated

Plaid Cymru are now demanding that Cllr Kevin Madge, Leader of Carmarthenshire Council retracts his accusations against the MP and AM and accuse him of abusing his position by using the Council press office to publish a blatant political attack. (see my earlier post; Carmarthenshire Council - not fit for purpose..)

It will be interesting to see whether Kev withdraws his remarks and what exactly Plaid will be prepared to do if he doesn't.

This is not the first time, as I have pointed out previously, that the council press office has been used for political purposes, and it is also regularly used to attack campaigners opposing controversial council projects.

What is even more troubling is that Kev is very unlikely to be able to 'order' the press office to publish anything of this nature which hasn't had the prior approval of the Chief Executive's office.

Here's the article from Plaid Cymru Carmarthenshire website;

"Plaid Cymru is demanding that the Labour Leader of Carmarthenshire Council Council should withdraw his wild and misleading accusations against a local MP and AM. Plaid also accuses Cllr Kevin Madge of abusing his position as Leader by ordering the council’s PR department to publish a blatant political attack. 
Cllr Madge attacked local Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM for asking the Welsh Government to ‘call in’ the planning decision on proposed Sainsbury’s supermarkets at Llandeilo and Cross Hands. The company was given planning permission by the county’s Planning Committee earlier this year, despite serious reservations about aspects of the developments. 
FACT: The decision to call in the two schemes was made by Labour minister John Griffiths – a fact conveniently overlooked by Labour’s Kevin Madge in his outrageous attack on Plaid Cymru. The minister’s decision also indicates concern about the planning process. 
Cllr Madge shared his Press Release with a Sainsbury’s director, who complained at length about the democratic planning process. The Labour Leader’s behaviour raises serious questions about his administration’s relationship with this company. 
FACT: Baron Sainsbury of Turville, a billionaire and past chairman of Sainsbury’s, is a former Labour government minister. He has donated £15million to the Labour party and associated organisations. He remains a leading shareholder in Sainsbury’s. 
“Although there was a full council meeting last Wednesday, Cllr Kevin Madge did not raise this matter in the Chamber,”said Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, leader of the 28-strong Plaid Cymru group on the council. “Instead, he ordered the publicly-funded council PR department to issue a Press Release which is full of crude and misleading accusations, suppositions about local job creation and wild projections about what would happen if the Sainsbury’s schemes didn’t go ahead. The council-tax payers of Carmarthenshire will question why the council’s PR department is being used to publish such blatant political propaganda.”
( Link; )

Update 10pm; Plaid press officer Carl Harris (@cjharris85) has just tweeted;

"@RhodriGlynPlaid challenges Councillor Kevin Madge to public debate on Sainsbury's applications being called-in"
....and here's the link to the statement from Rhodri Glyn Thomas;

Update 17th; Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards (@JonathanPlaid) has challenged Kev to a radio debate, using the hashtag #ishemanormouse.

So far I've not heard whether there has been a response from Kev to any of this. Of course he doesn't 'do' twitter, it's too 'dangerous'.

Unrelated to the above, @cjharris85 has also said on Twitter that Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM has arranged to meet with the Ombudsman regarding a number of ongoing issues in the constituency.
Good, this sounds like a positive move.

It was clear from the Chief Executive's critical comments concerning the Ombudsman's report, (and the Ombudsman) at Wednesday's council meeting that, with a flurry of damning reports, the relationship between the two is at tipping point, I don't suppose this has helped either.


Cneifiwr said...

Kev would come off worse in a debate with himself.

caebrwyn said...

@Cneifiwr I thought the tweet was going to say "challenges him to a duel"

Anonymous said...

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