Saturday, 24 May 2008

An Offence to Democratic Government in Wales



from the South Wales Evening Post
09:00 - 17 May 2008

Plaid in Carmarthenshire have stormed out en masse at the first full council meeting of the new term.Members were protesting against what they saw as a very poor offer of representation in influential positions on the authority - considering the party's successful showing in the local elections.

Plaid leader Peter Hughes Griffiths (pictured) branded the ruling Independent/Labour coalition's move a token gesture after it offered opposition members just three key positions this week. The proposal was declined and his party walked out of County Hall during the meeting, held to elect the new leader and committee chairmen.
Councillor Meryl Gravell had earlier been returned as council leader with 42 votes, compared to 28 for Councillor Hughes Griffiths.

The Plaid leader said: "As a group we have rejected the crumbs offered to us by the coalition, as we feel that it is not a fair reflection of how the people of Carmarthenshire voted."
Despite winning 42 per cent of the vote in the county elections, and a total of 30 seats, Plaid weren't offered a place on the executive board and, out of 32 chairmen and vice-chairmen of various committees, the party was only offered two scrutiny committee chairs (housing and social justice) and one vice-chairman's role (education and children's services).
"As a party we have done everything possible to try to talk to the Independent and Labour groups to find a solution that is best for the people of this county, but we have been totally ignored," said Councillor Hughes Griffiths.
"I'm very disappointed with the outcome because, when it comes down to it, it is the voice of the people that is being ignored."
He added: "We will continue to work hard for the people of Carmarthenshire as an opposition party and, with 30 councillors, we will make sure that the voices of the people are heard."

Independent group leader Pam Palmer hit back strongly, dismissing Plaid's antics as "childish at best".
She said: "It just beggars belief - they turn down the opportunity for two very high-profile chairs and a vice-chair, then turn around and walk out of council because not only do they want them, but they want more.
"Their behaviour is extremely childish at best, at worst they have thrown away the opportunity to represent the people who voted for them."

A Comment
I fully support Plaid in their protest at this meeting; what we must remember is a lot of the independents are ex-Labour councillors who have distanced themselves from the party by standing as independents because they knew darn well if they stood under the Labour flag they wouldn't have a cat-in-hell's chance of getting elected. They are still the same tired old Labour cronies we've had to put up with for donkeys years. We have in Carmarthenshire what is effectively a Labour council despite Plaid getting a high percentage of the vote. What we need is new young blood, true independents to stand and get rid of these tired old communist fogeys who are only there to serve their own interests and do the bidding of this inept, incompetent Labour government.
Rob, Llanelli

We in Plaid fully agree. When will people realise that any party or grouping which is affiliated to the "British" parties does not represent the true interests and heritage of Wales and its people? Further comments welcome.

1 comment:

kerdasi amaq said...

May I suggest a charitable organisation dedicated to making up for the shortcomings of the Westminster government. To provide housing, jobs, and agricultural reform. Welsh people who vote for foreign(English) political parties need not apply.