The Labour Party is said to be plotting a secret scheme to ensure the party retains control of the Vale of Glamorgan Council up to the May 2017 election and for the 5 years beyond that – all the way through to May 2022.
The Labour Party already has two currently unfilled council seats on the 47-member Vale of Glamorgan Council and, as it didn’t win an outright majority in the Vale at the 2012 local government elections, it has to be propped-up by a coalition-deal with the “Llantwit First” Party.
Meanwhile insiders say that it’s understood at least 1 current Labour Penarth councillor is intending to stand-down from the Vale Council at the May 2017 election.
The “empty seats” on the Vale Council are as follows:-
Seat N0 1 Castleland Barry : This is an unofficial “vacancy” brought about by the decision of former Vale ‘cabinet’ member for education Chris Elmore to retain his safe Labour Castleland seat on the Vale Council, despite having been elected MP for the safe Labour Parliamentary seat of Ogmore in an “arranged” by-election in May this year.
Although Elmore has been accused of “double-jobbing”, he is legally entitled to retain his council seat even though he is now the Ogmore Labour MP . However it is thought unlikely that the Labour Party would agree to allow him to stand for re-election as a Vale councillor in the May 2017 Council Elections – because his current “double-jobbing” might not be acceptable to the electorate .
Seat No. 2 Gibbonsdown Barry : The second vacancy on Vale of Glamorgan Council is the Gibbonsdown Ward seat in Barry which was occupied until last week by the disgraced former councillor and ex ‘cabinet’ member Rob Curtis.
Curtis officially ceased to be a member of the Vale Council on August 12th 2016. If two local residents request a by-election the Vale Council is obliged to hold one before the May 2017 municipal elections.
Seat No 3 Penarth : There are six Labour councillors currently representing various Penarth wards on the Vale of Glamorgan Council. They are:-
- Cllr Lis Burnett (St Augustines) who is Deputy Leader of the Vale Council,
- Cllr Gwyn Roberts (St Augustines),
- Cllr Peter King (Cornerswell),
- Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Cornerswell),
- Cllr Mark Wilson (Stanwell),
- Cllr Janice Birch (Stanwell).
An inside source has told PDN that at least 1 – and possibly as many as 3 – of these councillors may not stand for re-election to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in May 2017.
The source says, however, that some currently-serving Penarth Town Labour councillors may now be considering suggestions that they should put their names forward to be nominated as Labour candidates to fill the (salaried) Vale vacancies – either at a by-election or at the May 2017 elections. Two Penarth Town Labour councillors are said to be keen to do so.