No confidence vote sparks walk out by county councillors
4:33pm Friday 16th May 2014 in News
HEATED DEBATE: Cllr Jon Harvey won a vote of no confidence in Pembrokeshire County Council's ruling IPG. PICTURE: Western Telegraph. (6294254)
PEMBROKE Town Council has passed a vote of no confidence in Pembrokeshire County Council’s ruling Independent Plus Group (IPG), following a heated debate which saw one town councillor resign on the spot.
Cllr Jon Harvey called on members to support him in a vote of no confidence at last night’s (Thursday) meeting.
Monkton county councillor Pearl Llewellyn, an IPG member and long-standing member of Pembroke Town Council, resigned during the discussion and left the meeting.
She was closely followed by St Mary north county councillor Arwyn Williams, who is also an IPG member, an immediate past chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council.
In a lengthy address to council, Cllr Harvey cited “some of the worst” scandals at the council, which included child safeguarding, the Pembroke and Pembroke Dock property grants, the 'unlawful' pension payments row, the leader’s out of date expenses’ claims and the deputy leader’s use of council computers to produce election materials.
“I have been approached by so many people over the last few months who are appalled by the various scandals that have rocked Pembrokeshire County Council,” Cllr Harvey said.
He added: “The leadership has shown itself to be inept, fraudulent and downright dishonest in their running of the council.
“The people of Pembrokeshire and the historic town of Pembroke expect and deserve better and no doubt the ballot box will tell a different tale at the next election.”
But Cllr Llewellyn said his remarks had been “very personal”.
“I find it very, very insulting, I don’t know where you have got your information from,” she said, tendering her resignation “as of now”.
Former IPG senior member Cllr Clive Collins was “very concerned” and moved that the proposal “lays on the table”.
He said: “This council has always been non-political, there have never been any political arguments in here and consequently I do not think we should get involved in this."
He added: “The IPG is not a political party – that’s clear cut.”
Cllr Jonathan Nutting moved a further amendment for council leader Cllr Jamie Adams to be given the opportunity to address town council.
Both amendments fell and Cllr Harvey’s vote of no confidence was passed by seven votes to two with three abstentions.