3:09pm Sunday 6th May 2012
By Andrew Lye
Well, the voters of Pembrokeshire have had their say, apart from those in 13 of the 60 wards, in which there was only 1 nomination and therefore that person was elected unopposed. Strangely enough, 13 were also returned unopposed in the 2008 elections.
There are reports that Pembrokeshire is a democracy desert. So whilst the Independents may argue that it is a vote in support of their governance at County Hall since 1996 when Pembrokeshire County Council was recreated, I know it is also difficult for the political parties to get the candidates to stand.
The highlights of the the results was the election of 22 year old Jacob John Williams who took the East Williamston seat by 602 votes from Jim Codd, who only managed to get 282 votes. A Welsh Conservative candidate got 41 votes. I dont know who Jim Codd is (or was), but for a sitting councillor to lose to a mere novice who was ALSO standing as an Independent, must surely show what a mountain Jacob had to climb. To persuade almost 50% of those who voted to support someone who was so young, is a proud achievement for him. Barely old enough to have come out of full time education (assuming he went to University), Jacob could actually be sitting on an education committee! We all expect councillors to be slightly older, so I am very pleased that such a young person will be sat in the Council Chamber and I wonder what the age is of the 2nd youngest councillor. Is there anyone near his age? Please let us know, below. I am sure the Western Telegraph's coverage will include an article on this young man. I wish him well. He obviously did the leg work, getting round the ward and Jim Codd must have done something to see the electorate decide to put their faith in such a young man.
The other result that surprised me was the political demise of Anne Hughes. I have always found her comments on the Independent Group to be somewhat "odd", but she was always returned. But to be unseated by a Plaid Cymru candidate is also a surprise.
I have met Cllr Rhys Sinnett a few times and found him very approachable and assumed he was elected for his own abilities rather than the Party label, but now Plaid has 2 County Councillors in Milford Haven, which is hardly a bastion of the Welsh language, so its congratulations also to Stephen Glanville Joseph who like, Jacob John Williams, had double the number of votes of the councillor they defeated.
So whilst the electorate have had their say, no doubt Jamie Adams will take over from John Davies, who has had a successful 8 years as Leader.
The tree has been shaken and some councillors have fallen, including Cllr Calver of Manorbier, who won his High Court case, the day before.
Its now up to the Council to re-group and tough times lie ahead, a point I made out to Ken Rowlands, my own councillor, as the matter was not mentioned in any election literature.
The elections saw the Labour group increase its numbers, the Conservatives lost a couple of seats, and Plaid and the Liberal Democrats stayed the same. I guess we now have to watch how many of the elected Independents go into the Independent Political Group (the IPG) and those who remain as "independent " Independents. I understand that the Mike and Viv Stoddart's daughter now joins them on the Council. I wonder who will also join at the next elections as it seem thats 5% of the Council is now from the Stoddart family..
Finally, a You Tube film was brought to my attention, of one Councillor. I will now see tarmac in a different light!
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