Councillors refuse to stand leaving Trefeglwys without any candidates

Published date: 14 April 2017 |
Published by: Jonny Drury
Read more articles by Jonny Drury


 

A community council will have no councillors standing for election in May after they refused to stand following issues with a former clerk and a One Voice Wales investigation.

After candidates were announced last week, it was confirmed Trefeglwys Community Council will have no candidates standing.

Back in 2014, it was revealed the council was under investigation after allegations a former clerk had altered a letter which could have  potentially influenced the future of the route of electricity pylons in the area.

The council was a consultee on the proposed Mid Wales grid connection project by Scottish Power that would link windfarms to a then planned substation near Cefn Coch.

Councillors   decided they did not agree to either routes, but a letter drafted by the clerk at the time, and signed by the then chair to Scottish Power in October 2012, appeared to favour one of the routes.

OVW, the body which represents town and community councils, was asked by the council to carry out an investigation. A report raised a number of ‘code of conduct issues’. The clerk and chair at the time resigned.

The council then asked Scottish Power to withdraw the response to the consultation.

The saga has rumbled on since, with the former clerk said to have bombarded the council with Freedom of Information requests, and at one stage the council had to supply 600 pages worth of information.

Two Information Commissioner’s Office investigations found the council did not need to take any action. Currently there is an ongoing police investigation.

Due to continued pressure regarding investigations and the resignation of two clerks, none of the current councillors was prepared to stand for re-election, and there are no new nominations.

This means following May’s elections, Trefeglwys could be the only community council in Powys not represented.

Chair of the council, David Jerman said: “As the chairman of Trefeglwys Community Council I have been very concerned about the turnover of clerks and the reason why they are leaving the council.

“Over the last three years the council has had to deal with several concerning issues and the council succeeded in sorting these problems out. But unfortunately, due to continued pressure regarding ongoing issues, the council unanimously agreed that they would not be completing their Nomination Paper for the forthcoming election.”

Mr Jerman added: “The council has written to Mr Patterson, the Returning Officer, and informed him of our circumstances.”

In response, Powys County Council’s (PCC) electoral services  said they will have to step in after May 8.

A statement to Trefeglwys Community Council said: “As the Principal council we will have to step in and appoint temporary members, if possible, until the election can be re-run. Unfortunately, no decision can be made by Powys County Council until the next full council meeting, which will be on May 18.  Therefore, there will be a period between May 8 and 19 when Trefeglwys Community Council will cease to function.”

  • See full story in the County Times

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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