New Pembrokeshire County Council chairman's first meeting hit by walk-out over vote 'farce'

Western Telegraph: New Pembrokeshire County Council chairman's first meeting hit by walk-out over vote 'farce' New Pembrokeshire County Council chairman's first meeting hit by walk-out over vote 'farce'

THERE was drama at County Hall again last week, when ten county councillors stormed out of the authority’s annual meeting.

The walk-out was prompted by new chairman Cllr Tom Richard’s ‘refusal to accept a further nomination’ for one of the four deputy chairmen roles on the council’s licensing committee.

Cllr Viv Stoddart – who wanted to nominate Cllr Tony Brinsden to one of the positions – was told by Cllr Richards that she was too late, and the vote had already been taken.

At this, several councillors jumped to Cllr Stoddart’s defence, with Labour leader Paul Miller telling Cllr Richards: “If you intend to refuse that nomination it would be an outrageous start to your term.”

But Cllr Richards refused to back down.

“I did ask for any other nominations and none were received and I then proceeded to take the vote. I’m very sorry, but that is how it stays,” he said.

“This is completely ridiculous,” argued Cllr Miller. “There was a nomination from the floor prior to any vote being recorded.”

Pressed on what the votes in favour and votes against were, Cllr Richards said a “considerable majority” had voted, a statement which was backed up by council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones.

Cllr Jacob Williams said the votes had not been counted, and Cllr Michael Evans added that the vote “clearly has not been completed” , but both were told by the chairmen that it had.

“I’m very sorry but that is where we stay,” said the chairman.

Not happy being asked to “please be quiet” by the chairman, Cllr Miller said: “This is the most outrageous thing I’ve seen a chairman of this authority ever do, this is a disgrace.”

Cllr Stoddart then walked out of the chamber, followed by several other unaffiliated, Labour and Pembrokeshire Alliance members. As he left the chamber, Cllr Miller shouted again: “Disgrace!”

Council leader Jamie Adams apologised to guests, including the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, over the walk-out, adding he would be talking to the leader of the opposition ‘about his behaviour’.

“This is not how I wish members would behave and I certainly hope we won’t do so in future,” he added.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Stoddart told the Western Telegraph: “I walked out of the council’s annual meeting on Friday as I could no longer sit through what was the travesty of democracy.”

She said she believed the Independent Plus group (IPG) had “used every tactic to ensure their place, men and women were voted on to positions on the council’s committees, regardless of their ability”.

“This might be acceptable if the IPG acknowledged that: if it votes like a political party, talks like a party, and acts like a party, then the so-called IPG is a political party,” she added.

“The final straw for me was the breath-taking speed with which the final allocation of vice chairmanships was allocated, and Cllr Tom Richards graceless refusal as the new chairman, to accept what was a further nomination.”

Tom takes the chairman's chains

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council welcomed Councillor Tom Richards into his new role as chairman at the authority’s AGM on Friday.
Cllr Richards, who joined the council in its inception in 1996 as the member for the Letterston, takes over from outgoing chairman Councillor Arwyn Williams.
Sixty-year-old Cllr Richards was born in St Ishmaels to a Pembrokeshire farming family which can trace its roots in the county back to the 1700s.
He attended St Ishmaels and Hayscastle primary schools and later Haverfordwest Grammar School for Boys.
Cllr Richards lives with his wife Mel in a former rectory near his family farm. He also owns a farm in Croesgoch.
He has served as a community councillor since his 20s, and is still on Hayscastle Community Council as well as serving as a governor of Ysgol Ger y Llan.
Vice-chairman of the corporate governance, economy overview and scrutiny, and audit committees, he is also a member of several other committees and served as vice chairman of the council during the last year.
A vote of thanks to the outgoing chairman was proposed by the deputy leader of the authority, Councillor Huw George, who said Cllr Williams had represented Pembrokeshire with grace during what he described as “not an easy year”.
In a speech, Cllr Williams thanked councillors for the “honour and privilege” of being chairman, and paid tribute to council staff for keeping the county running while storms and bad weather battered Pembrokeshire earlier this year.
He added meeting so many talented local people, both young and old, over the last 12 months had “reaffirmed his faith in the human race”.
Narberth councillor Wynne Evans and Councillor Phil Baker, of Saundersfoot, were nominated for the role of vice chairman, with Cllr Evans winning the majority of votes .

Comments (23)

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4:32pm Wed 14 May 14

Pembrokeshireboy72 says...

According to the Trade Descriptions Act 1967, the heads of PCC are clearly not 'fit for purpose'. I want my money back please.
According to the Trade Descriptions Act 1967, the heads of PCC are clearly not 'fit for purpose'. I want my money back please. Pembrokeshireboy72
  • Score: 16

5:12pm Wed 14 May 14

Welshman23 says...

Another not fit for purpose person in a senior position the lunatics are holding on to the asylum. How much money do we pay this person.
Another not fit for purpose person in a senior position the lunatics are holding on to the asylum. How much money do we pay this person. Welshman23
  • Score: 18

5:14pm Wed 14 May 14

Welshman23 says...

The people in the photograph how much money do we pay these people in total. If someone could find out including BPJ.
The people in the photograph how much money do we pay these people in total. If someone could find out including BPJ. Welshman23
  • Score: 9

6:08pm Wed 14 May 14

seaveiw says...

Tme this council all resigned and give us a chance to have an early reelection they have some problem every week,they are a disgrace to Pembrokeshire and Wales as a whole. We expect this behaviour of dictatorship and kniving to take place in less developed democracy.
Tme this council all resigned and give us a chance to have an early reelection they have some problem every week,they are a disgrace to Pembrokeshire and Wales as a whole. We expect this behaviour of dictatorship and kniving to take place in less developed democracy. seaveiw
  • Score: 8

6:35pm Wed 14 May 14

Cymru bach says...

Whilst the behaviour of the IPG might be open to scrutiny I have to say that behaviour of Cllr Miller also raises eyebrows. Is he going to behave in the same childish manner if elected to Parliament ?
Whilst the behaviour of the IPG might be open to scrutiny I have to say that behaviour of Cllr Miller also raises eyebrows. Is he going to behave in the same childish manner if elected to Parliament ? Cymru bach
  • Score: -3

6:36pm Wed 14 May 14

Dave Edwards says...

Now that Cllr Richards is in the chair we can be sure that meetings will finish in time for a liquid lunch.
Now that Cllr Richards is in the chair we can be sure that meetings will finish in time for a liquid lunch. Dave Edwards
  • Score: 20

6:42pm Wed 14 May 14

Welshman23 says...

I have consistently mentioned that it takes a while for WT to publish the goings on at the Kremlin, well done on letting us know early the latest bad press from Fawlty Towers.
I have consistently mentioned that it takes a while for WT to publish the goings on at the Kremlin, well done on letting us know early the latest bad press from Fawlty Towers. Welshman23
  • Score: 12

7:01pm Wed 14 May 14

Hyper-injunctions says...

Whether they stayed or left they are all scum. Piggies. Piggies. Piggies. What they need's a **** good whacking.
Whether they stayed or left they are all scum. Piggies. Piggies. Piggies. What they need's a **** good whacking. Hyper-injunctions
  • Score: 3

7:04pm Wed 14 May 14

Hyper-injunctions says...

Wow. Asterisks for the word dam n. Lucky I didn't call them mother ****.
Wow. Asterisks for the word dam n. Lucky I didn't call them mother ****. Hyper-injunctions
  • Score: 1

10:13pm Wed 14 May 14

Gogledd says...

Did anyone see the very scathing report on the terrible state of the Welsh Health Service today at PM Question time. No wonder we are in a mess. This lack of democracy and principles seems to be a sickness sweeping through Wales.
Did anyone see the very scathing report on the terrible state of the Welsh Health Service today at PM Question time. No wonder we are in a mess. This lack of democracy and principles seems to be a sickness sweeping through Wales. Gogledd
  • Score: 13

12:18am Thu 15 May 14

Flashbang says...

Is there any government body that can step in and protect the taxpayers of this county from the very evident mismanagement and incompetence of this council. The blatant abuse of power has gone on far too long and the fact that they are using the treasury to line their own pockets should have set alarm bells ringing long ago. Where's the sheriff when you need one.
PS. Jamie, I think the Lord Lieutenant is above politics and you dragging his position into your grubby little grandstanding shows you have no class or understanding of your job.
Is there any government body that can step in and protect the taxpayers of this county from the very evident mismanagement and incompetence of this council. The blatant abuse of power has gone on far too long and the fact that they are using the treasury to line their own pockets should have set alarm bells ringing long ago. Where's the sheriff when you need one. PS. Jamie, I think the Lord Lieutenant is above politics and you dragging his position into your grubby little grandstanding shows you have no class or understanding of your job. Flashbang
  • Score: 14

8:06am Thu 15 May 14

Tttoommy says...

things cannot go on like this, I suggest the more decent forward thinking members of the IPG leave the sinking ship - those who do not stand against the lies,deceit and shenanigins are for it!
things cannot go on like this, I suggest the more decent forward thinking members of the IPG leave the sinking ship - those who do not stand against the lies,deceit and shenanigins are for it! Tttoommy
  • Score: 10

9:51pm Thu 15 May 14

chizy says...

Rogues gallery or what? Some right shifty looking characters.
Cllr Adams needs to 'be talking' to Cllr Rob Lewis about his appearance. Top button undone and his tie almost around his waist, not the image of the fine upstanding pillar of the community that I'm sure the IPPG wishes to portray.
Still, you couldn't make it up or could you? ;)
Rogues gallery or what? Some right shifty looking characters. Cllr Adams needs to 'be talking' to Cllr Rob Lewis about his appearance. Top button undone and his tie almost around his waist, not the image of the fine upstanding pillar of the community that I'm sure the IPPG wishes to portray. Still, you couldn't make it up or could you? ;) chizy
  • Score: 6

6:11pm Sat 17 May 14

Andrew Lye says...

Of course, anyone can see the farce on the webcast. Its there to see.
The webcast is the best thing that the Council has done for a long time. Its allowed us to see what REALLY goes on at County Hall in our name.
BUT its NOT in my name!
No doubt as the cuts bite, they will want to scrap it.
Instead, they dont have the money to extend webcasting to committees, yet they find the money to create YET ANOTHER Cabinet post.
Of course, anyone can see the farce on the webcast. Its there to see. The webcast is the best thing that the Council has done for a long time. Its allowed us to see what REALLY goes on at County Hall in our name. BUT its NOT in my name! No doubt as the cuts bite, they will want to scrap it. Instead, they dont have the money to extend webcasting to committees, yet they find the money to create YET ANOTHER Cabinet post. Andrew Lye
  • Score: 8

8:22pm Sat 17 May 14

Bilbo101 says...

What an absolute joke. This appointment has no doubt been made due to his loyalty to the IP Group and a case of it being his turn ( after all these years! ). If it was an appointment as chairman of the local pub quiz then I could more than understand it, but seriously, chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council ??? Our council has become a mickey mouse operation, this really is a sad state of affairs.
What an absolute joke. This appointment has no doubt been made due to his loyalty to the IP Group and a case of it being his turn ( after all these years! ). If it was an appointment as chairman of the local pub quiz then I could more than understand it, but seriously, chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council ??? Our council has become a mickey mouse operation, this really is a sad state of affairs. Bilbo101
  • Score: 10

8:36am Sun 18 May 14

Tttoommy says...

Dave Edwards wrote:
Now that Cllr Richards is in the chair we can be sure that meetings will finish in time for a liquid lunch.
Are you suggesting he enjoys a drink? :)
[quote][p][bold]Dave Edwards[/bold] wrote: Now that Cllr Richards is in the chair we can be sure that meetings will finish in time for a liquid lunch.[/p][/quote]Are you suggesting he enjoys a drink? :) Tttoommy
  • Score: 5

9:17am Sun 18 May 14

Indeview J Hudson says...

The advice of the Independent Remuneration panel on Civic Allowances for 2014/15 makes interesting reading:-
A council may decide not to apply any civic salary to the posts of Civic head and /or deputy Civic Head.
The intention of the civic allowance is to allow a council to pay a chair and vice chair of a council; an allowance that it thinks fit for the purpose of meeting the expenses of those offices.
In many instances civic heads receive secretarial support, are provided with transport for official duties and can access a separate hospitality .budget.
The Panel revised its determination on the remuneration of civic heads and their deputies and now provides for authorities to set remuneration levels which reflect activity and responsibility rather than population.
Civic salaries ( where paid) shall be payable as follows, inclusive of the basic salary of 13,300. Option a) £24,000 CH and £18,000 DCH, b) £21,500 and £16,000, option c) £19,000 and £14,000.

All councillors receive a PCC additional sum of £500 p.a. for IT and office expenses, which should not be met from or reduce the basic salary.

PCC have a separate Ceremonial Budget which incudes a budget for Chairman's expenses.

The IRP's does not consider it appropriate for council's to expect or require that contributions towards the expenses of office should be met from the civic head salaries.

There was not much, if any, informed debate about duties and responsibilities when approving the 2014/15 option b) civic salaries.

The Council has an option ( not considered) to appoint a Presiding Member to chair the Council's 5 or 6 meetings a year with a salary of £22,000.( £13,500 + £8,500). Presumably with a corresponding reduction in the two Civic salaries, reflecting the reduction in responsibility.

So how much is a Civic Head and Deputy worth? What benefit/value do we ratepayers get out of it? What exactly are the Budgets for ceremonial expenses and Chairman's expenses?
The advice of the Independent Remuneration panel on Civic Allowances for 2014/15 makes interesting reading:- A council may decide not to apply any civic salary to the posts of Civic head and /or deputy Civic Head. The intention of the civic allowance is to allow a council to pay a chair and vice chair of a council; an allowance that it thinks fit for the purpose of meeting the expenses of those offices. In many instances civic heads receive secretarial support, are provided with transport for official duties and can access a separate hospitality .budget. The Panel revised its determination on the remuneration of civic heads and their deputies and now provides for authorities to set remuneration levels which reflect activity and responsibility rather than population. Civic salaries ( where paid) shall be payable as follows, inclusive of the basic salary of 13,300. Option a) £24,000 CH and £18,000 DCH, b) £21,500 and £16,000, option c) £19,000 and £14,000. All councillors receive a PCC additional sum of £500 p.a. for IT and office expenses, which should not be met from or reduce the basic salary. PCC have a separate Ceremonial Budget which incudes a budget for Chairman's expenses. The IRP's does not consider it appropriate for council's to expect or require that contributions towards the expenses of office should be met from the civic head salaries. There was not much, if any, informed debate about duties and responsibilities when approving the 2014/15 option b) civic salaries. The Council has an option ( not considered) to appoint a Presiding Member to chair the Council's 5 or 6 meetings a year with a salary of £22,000.( £13,500 + £8,500). Presumably with a corresponding reduction in the two Civic salaries, reflecting the reduction in responsibility. So how much is a Civic Head and Deputy worth? What benefit/value do we ratepayers get out of it? What exactly are the Budgets for ceremonial expenses and Chairman's expenses? Indeview J Hudson
  • Score: 6

9:43am Sun 18 May 14

Dave Edwards says...

Ttttommy, i have enjoyed a pint with him in the past.
Ttttommy, i have enjoyed a pint with him in the past. Dave Edwards
  • Score: 2

6:38pm Sun 18 May 14

Citizen Pembs says...

Did Jamie Adams at the same time apologise to The Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed for the dubious behaviour of several members of the IPG, which has brought Pembrokeshire County Council into disrepute?

Did he also promise that they would now 'behave' and 'won't do so in future' ?

Councillor Rev Huw George said it has 'not been an 'easy year'.
For whom may we ask: the people of Pembrokeshire who have been badly served, or for those who have been exposed as morally bankrupt and mendacious to say the least?

How some of the culprits have the brass neck to appear in official photographs as if nothing has happened absolutely beggars belief.
Did Jamie Adams at the same time apologise to The Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed for the dubious behaviour of several members of the IPG, which has brought Pembrokeshire County Council into disrepute? Did he also promise that they would now 'behave' and 'won't do so in future' ? Councillor Rev Huw George said it has 'not been an 'easy year'. For whom may we ask: the people of Pembrokeshire who have been badly served, or for those who have been exposed as morally bankrupt and mendacious to say the least? How some of the culprits have the brass neck to appear in official photographs as if nothing has happened absolutely beggars belief. Citizen Pembs
  • Score: 15

9:23am Mon 19 May 14

Welshman23 says...

Citizen Pembs wrote:
Did Jamie Adams at the same time apologise to The Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed for the dubious behaviour of several members of the IPG, which has brought Pembrokeshire County Council into disrepute?

Did he also promise that they would now 'behave' and 'won't do so in future' ?

Councillor Rev Huw George said it has 'not been an 'easy year'.
For whom may we ask: the people of Pembrokeshire who have been badly served, or for those who have been exposed as morally bankrupt and mendacious to say the least?

How some of the culprits have the brass neck to appear in official photographs as if nothing has happened absolutely beggars belief.
In the photograph can someone tell me how do we pay these people out of our rates.
Just for starters
BPJ £200k plus car allowance £20k a Porsche.
Adams £45k
Please add any other names and salaries.
Do councillors get final salary pensions.
[quote][p][bold]Citizen Pembs[/bold] wrote: Did Jamie Adams at the same time apologise to The Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed for the dubious behaviour of several members of the IPG, which has brought Pembrokeshire County Council into disrepute? Did he also promise that they would now 'behave' and 'won't do so in future' ? Councillor Rev Huw George said it has 'not been an 'easy year'. For whom may we ask: the people of Pembrokeshire who have been badly served, or for those who have been exposed as morally bankrupt and mendacious to say the least? How some of the culprits have the brass neck to appear in official photographs as if nothing has happened absolutely beggars belief.[/p][/quote]In the photograph can someone tell me how do we pay these people out of our rates. Just for starters BPJ £200k plus car allowance £20k a Porsche. Adams £45k Please add any other names and salaries. Do councillors get final salary pensions. Welshman23
  • Score: 7

9:26am Mon 19 May 14

Welshman23 says...

Bilbo101 wrote:
What an absolute joke. This appointment has no doubt been made due to his loyalty to the IP Group and a case of it being his turn ( after all these years! ). If it was an appointment as chairman of the local pub quiz then I could more than understand it, but seriously, chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council ??? Our council has become a mickey mouse operation, this really is a sad state of affairs.
Great comment will the IPG be sponsored by a Brewery or licensed Establishment.
[quote][p][bold]Bilbo101[/bold] wrote: What an absolute joke. This appointment has no doubt been made due to his loyalty to the IP Group and a case of it being his turn ( after all these years! ). If it was an appointment as chairman of the local pub quiz then I could more than understand it, but seriously, chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council ??? Our council has become a mickey mouse operation, this really is a sad state of affairs.[/p][/quote]Great comment will the IPG be sponsored by a Brewery or licensed Establishment. Welshman23
  • Score: 5

9:29am Mon 19 May 14

Tttoommy says...

chizy wrote:
Rogues gallery or what? Some right shifty looking characters.
Cllr Adams needs to 'be talking' to Cllr Rob Lewis about his appearance. Top button undone and his tie almost around his waist, not the image of the fine upstanding pillar of the community that I'm sure the IPPG wishes to portray.
Still, you couldn't make it up or could you? ;)
Not too sure that the appearance of an individual is important, decency and honesty is more important
[quote][p][bold]chizy[/bold] wrote: Rogues gallery or what? Some right shifty looking characters. Cllr Adams needs to 'be talking' to Cllr Rob Lewis about his appearance. Top button undone and his tie almost around his waist, not the image of the fine upstanding pillar of the community that I'm sure the IPPG wishes to portray. Still, you couldn't make it up or could you? ;)[/p][/quote]Not too sure that the appearance of an individual is important, decency and honesty is more important Tttoommy
  • Score: 4

11:42am Tue 20 May 14

Welshmagician says...

I'd like it to be as simple as" the lunatics have taken over the asylum", however in the case of Pembrokeshire CC it's more a case that the morally bankrupt, mendacious, corrupt, and downright dishonest power mad usual suspects are taking all the right minded hard working people of Pembrokeshire to the cleaners, alas with relative impunity.
If I as an individual brought as much bad press and negative comment to any organisation that I worked for I am sure I would have been sacked long ago.
I'd like it to be as simple as" the lunatics have taken over the asylum", however in the case of Pembrokeshire CC it's more a case that the morally bankrupt, mendacious, corrupt, and downright dishonest power mad usual suspects are taking all the right minded hard working people of Pembrokeshire to the cleaners, alas with relative impunity. If I as an individual brought as much bad press and negative comment to any organisation that I worked for I am sure I would have been sacked long ago. Welshmagician
  • Score: 7

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