Milford councillor who defected to ruling Independent Group denies money was part of his decision
9:12am Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
A MILFORD Haven county councillor has denied being politically motivated when he left Plaid Cymru in favour of the Independent ruling group last week.
Councillor Stephen Joseph last week defected to the Independent Plus Group (IPG) and said he was wrong to join a political party.
He said: "My motivation for becoming a councillor was to try and do something for Milford."
He added: "Although I stood as a member for Plaid, I didn't stand to further my own political agenda or to further Plaid Cymru in Milford Haven, I stood to do my bit for Milford.
I made a mistake because I shouldn't have joined a political party."
Cllr Joseph said that he would have preferred to form a small group of councillors “with positive thinking”, but would have had to give up his seat on three committees.
He said: "I was thrown to the wolves. I wanted to do it on my own but I got no back up and no one wanted to help. Everything that I have been able to achieve so far and the majority of the help that I received, has come from IPG councillors.
"I had to decide could I achieve more for Milford as an unaffiliated councillor or as a member of the ruling group, and to be honest it’s as a member of the ruling group.
"It’s not a case of preferential treatment."
Last week, the Pembrokeshire Herald reported that Cllr Joseph made the switch following 'lengthy negotiations' with senior members of the IPG and a promise of £20m for his patch.
But Cllr Joseph said that the £19,924,000 Vibrant and Viable Places grant had nothing to do with his decision.
He added: "That bid was made four weeks ago – long before I even considered joining the IPG group.”
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