A NEW political party that vows to ‘put the people of Pembrokeshire first’ will soon be up and running, following its first meeting on Thursday (April 24).

Pembrokeshire Alliance (PA) – formed by county councillors Bob Kilmister, Peter Stock and Jonathon Nutting – is on a mission to ‘radically improve the way local politics is carried out’.

Around a dozen people attended the group’s inaugural meeting at Haverfordwest Rugby Club, keen to hear what it has to offer.

Group leader Cllr Kilmister said PA hopes to offer an honest an open alternative to the ruling Independent Plus Group (IPG), which currently holds more than half of the 60 seats at County Hall.

He added that – with enough local support – PA could offer voters a truly ‘independent’ alternative in the next local elections in 2017.

Modelled on a local political party formed by eight people in a pub in Herefordshire, the establishment of a group means in future county councillors will be able to run for election under the PA banner.

Cllr Kilmister said, in light of recent scandals such as council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones’ pension payments being investigated by police, Pembrokeshire people wanted a party they could trust.

“We have to be positive, we have to have clear objectives, and we have to be honest,” he said.

He promised the new group would create policies ‘driven by local need’, and members would not be expected to toe the party line if they disagreed with a decision.

Having elected an executive committee from members of the public, the group’s focus is now to recruit more members and –crucially – potential county council candidates.

“I want to make sure there’s a PA candidate standing against every IPG candidate in the next election,” said Cllr Kilmister.

“If we don’t, we won’t bring about their demise.”

Cllr Stock said he believes PA to be the only chance left to “fight for Pembrokeshire”.

“We should be fighting tooth and nail on behalf of the hospital, for transportation, for our town centres – and not just for reform inside the council but also so services work better for our county.”

He said the first meeting had been a great success but added it was now up to the audience to go home and spread the word that a new party was looking out for the interests of Pembrokeshire people.

“From small acorns grow big oak trees,” he added.