4 March 2010

Plaid Councillors accused of holding closed meeting

Disharmony has raised its head again within the Caernarfon Town Council.

Accusations are rife that a special meeting was held at the headquarters of MP Hywel Williams on Sunday so that they could put forward a name for the role of deputy Mayor in Tuesday's meeting. There certainly seems to have been a meeting held as CaernarfonOnline received photos showing town councillors entering the Plaid HQ in Caernarfon. The photo above shows some of the councillors cars illegally parked outside the offices on double yellow lines. We also have photos of a number of town councillors making their way into the building.

The row started in Tuesday's meeting when councillors showed some concern that the Plaid councillors were rallying round to ensure their councillors took charge of both the Chair and Deputy Chair posts.

The Mayor elect and Gwynedd Chair elect  stay clear

It is claimed that Plaid Cymru Town Councillors turned up at the meeting.
Caernarfon Online can confirm that Councillor Huw Edwards and Gwynedd Chair Elect Tudor Owen were not present.

These allegations may have serious implications for Plaid Cymru with the General Election just around the corner.

Councillor Tony Yendal Williams Independant Councillor believed that a "gentleman's agreement" had been made to elect local businessman Ioan Thomas (who run's Cofi Roc) as the Deputy Mayor. This will be Councillors Thomas' third stint as Mayor since 2000.

Gerald Parry Labour was more outspoken when he said "There are ten of us here who have never been mayor  before and seven who have been, and Ioan Thomas is one of those who has been, I get the impression that this is a bit of a closed shop and I donít think that is a healthy thing.Ē

He went on to say that Plaid Cymru could not be trusted anymore.

Roy Owen who originally considered standing for deputy told Caernarfon Online

"I had considered standing this year but I chose not to because Plaid are making a mokery of the Town Council.  I have been made aware that a special meeting took place at the Plaid offices on Sunday to agree to put Councillor Thomas in as Deputy and I can't get involved in dirty dealings like this. I believe they are in breach of the standing orders set by the council."

He went on to say

"Party Politics has really got into the running of the Town Council and at this level it shouldn't be allowed to happen, I chose to stand as an Independant as I belive party politics hinder what you stand for at town council level, I am here for the people always have been - always will be."

Councillor Tudor Owen,  the Gwynedd Deputy Chair said

"I would have no hesitation in supporting Councillor Owen as Deputy Mayor, but I can no longer do that as Roy decided not to stand."

The Mayor Hywel Roberts

The current Mayor Hywel Roberts was alleged to be present in the meeting at the Plaid HQ was contacted by CaernarfonOnline. We asked him if a meeting had taken place prior to the Town Council meeting and he told us. "

"Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions and I can confirm that there was a meeting of Plaid Cymru members of the Town Council on the evening of Sunday 28 February."

We asked him how he felt about the reaction of his fellow councillors and he repiled:

"I felt that there was a lot of sense in what Cllr Tudor Owen said at the Council on Tuesday night and we should consider his comments carefully in considering this matter in the future."

We asked him how is it that the same councillors put themselves up for election as Maoyrs all the time?

His response was. 

"It's up to individual Councillors to make their interest in the position known. They must find a Proposer and a Seconder in order to become a candidate and the matter is then decided by a vote amongst all councillors. One member stated clearly on Tuesday night that he would not wish to be considered for the position as Mayor."

Locals who have contacted Caernarfon Online in their masses are of the opinion that this has blotted the year of the current Mayor and that he should never have got involved in all this.

Gillian Jones of Caernarfon told us "I have never trusted the current Mayor Hywel Roberts, to me it seems he has always got something to hide. Like a dark secret, it is clear that he has runined his own year by being inovled in this scandal."

Huw Roberts also of Caernarfon told us

"The Mayor has shown how naiive he is by attending a meeting like this, obviously we can't prove wrongdoings, but it is plain to see that Plaid have taken things too far this time and an investigation should be made immeidetely with all connected suspended until a full inquiery in completed."

CaernaronOnline also contacted the Town Clerk Katherine Owen for some details and we asked who was present in the Town Council meeting on Tuesday.

She told us

"The councilors present were "Cllr Hywel W Roberts (Mayor) Plaid Cymru, Cllr Huw Edwards (Plaid Cymru), Cllr Bob Anderson (Independant), Cllr Myfi Powell Jones (Independant), Cllr Trefor Owen (Plaid Cymru), Cllr Turor Owen (Plaid Cymru), Cllr Ioan C Thomas (Plaid Cymru) , Cllr Anthony Y Williams (Independant), Cllr Gerald Parry (Labour) , Cllr Anita Kirk (Llais Gwynedd), Cllr Richard B Pritchard (Independant), Cllr Menna Thomas (Plaid Cymru), Cllr Will L Davies (Plaid Cymru), Cllr Alun Roberts (Plaid Cymru)

We asked how the voting went and she told us:

"Only one name was proposed and seconded Cllr I C Thomas with the motion passing in his favour (with 3 abstaining vote)"

We then asked if there is disharmony in the council following Tuesdays meeting and she replied:

"I cannot comment about anything after the meeting, as I have not been with the councillors since the meeting; however, it is fair to note that there was some discussion around the process of election of these positions for the future, which may need to be looked at if formally asked to do so.

Caernarfon Online was able to receive a copy of the Town Council standing orders which staes:

55. Canvassing of members or any committee, directly or indirectly, for any appointment by the Council shall disqualify the candidate for such appointment. The Cerk shall make this Standing Order known to every candidate.

Huw Edwards is to be elected Mayor in May this year and Ioan Thomas is to be installed as his deputy for the year.

With the General Election looming, this could have serious implications for Hywel Williams MP, as his office was used for the meeting. No doubt the other candidates for the election will demand an investigation into why this meeting took place and why it was allowed to take place at Hywel's Office.

Councillors attending the meeting at the Plaid Cymru Office in Caernarfon on Sunday,
(we have doctored this photo as to not reveal the identity of the councillors in question).



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