Thursday 28 March 2013

Council Leader made "inaccurate and misleading statements" in press release, says Ombudsman

The Ombudsman has concluded his investigation of Carmarthenshire Council's Labour Leader following last year's complaint by Plaid politicians Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Glyn Thomas. You may remember the row concerned the use of the council's press office to accuse the two of 'sabotage' over a proposed Sainsbury's store.

The South Wales Evening Post reports;

Leader Kevin Madge breached Carmarthenshire code says Ombudsman

"Council leader Kevin Madge was wrong to use Carmarthenshire's press office to issue an attack on two Plaid Cymru politicians.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Peter Tyndall, has found he breached the council's code of conduct.

​The statement was released by the council's press office and published on its website in September last year.
In it Mr Madge referred to the proposed Sainsbury's supermarkets in Llandeilo and Cross Hands.

He accused Plaid Cymru's AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas and MP Jonathan Edwards of "deliberately trying to sabotage" the development of a doctor's surgery and health centre in Cross Hands and improvements at Ysgol Maes yr Yrfa.

In his report Mr Tyndall said the press release included both "inaccurate and misleading statements" and "strayed into the realms of a political attack."

Mr Tyndall said he did not think the matter was serious enough to warrant any further action, but concluded: "I should say that I am of the view that you have, on this occasion, walked a very fine line."

Today Mr Madge said he was pleased there would be no further action and said he would reflect on the findings and advice.
However, he said he was "bitterly disappointed" that Sainsbury's later withdrew its plans for Llandeilo.
He said: "My initial press statement that was the subject of this complaint pointed out that the call-in of the planning application jeopardised the creation of 250 jobs and a development which most local people seemed to support.
"In the event Sainsbury's have withdrawn their proposal and these jobs have indeed been lost.
"In that sense I believe my comments have, sadly, been shown to be true."

A spokesman for Mr Thomas and Mr Edwards said they welcomed the findings and called on Mr Madge to make a full public apology.
He said: "Nobody goes into politics expecting not to receive a couple of low blows — especially when your main rival is the Labour Party.

''However there has to be political integrity, especially from a leader of a public authority," added the spokesman

(SW Evening Post)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great to have you back and keeping your readers updated!

Mr Madge, is there any other "sense" you would care to share with us? For example, how many local jobs have been saved?