Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) and the Penarth Conservative Club where the "selection meeting" was held which rejected him as as Conservative candidate after 34 years

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) and the Penarth Conservative Club where the “selection meeting” was held which rejected him as as Conservative candidate after 34 years

Veteran Penarth councillor Clive Williams (Conservative, Plymouth Ward)  is to challenge the  decision of his party not to allow him to stand again next May for his long-held seat on the Vale of Glamorgan Council .

Cllr Williams alleges some of the officials present voted to get their own relatives nominated as Tory candidates to stand for salaried seats on the Vale Council.

Tom Giffard Conservative Campaign Director for South Wales

Tom Giffard Conservative Campaign Director for South Wales

The local Conservative Party association held a “selection meeting” at the Conservative Club in Stanwell Road  on November 22nd under the chairmanship of Tom Giffard – the party’s “Campaign Director” for South Wales.

All potential candidates who wished to stand for election to the Vale Council to represent wards in Penarth next May, were invited to attend. [See report on http://tinyurl.com/jrkxvfn%5D

Each would-candidate was required to make a presentation and was then interviewed by a supposedly impartial “selection panel“. Each interviewee was then “scored” (from 1 to 7 )  on the basis of their performance.

It’s understood this is the first time such a system has been used to select candidates to contest seats in Penarth  – and the first time that an incumbent candidate – who already holds a seat – has been made to “re-apply” for adoption to stand again in that seat in forthcoming council elections.

Cllr Clive Williams as Mayor of Penarth at the instalation of the Town Clock in 1987

Cllr Clive Williams (right) was Mayor of Penarth at the installation of the Town Clock in 1987 – seen here with Alan Dudley (SWArgus)

Cllr Williams has been a councillor for 34 years, is a former Mayor of Penarth, and has been awarded an MBE for his long record of public service. He suffers from cancer and heart trouble – but at the age of 80, rarely misses a council meeting and is well-regarded by many local residents  for his assiduous work in the ward.

Despite having held his Vale Plymouth Ward seat in 2012 with a landslide 936 votes, Cllr Williams has now been told by the Conservative Party that he has not been selected to stand again for election in the Plymouth Ward  – or any other Vale ward in Penarth.

Ben Gray was defeated by Vaighan Gething in the May 2016 Cardiff South and Penarth Assembly Elections

Ben Gray was defeated by Vaughan Gething in the May 2016 Cardiff South and Penarth Assembly Elections

The Conservative Party panel then went on to select two other candidates to stand for the two “politically-safe” Vale Plymouth Ward seats.

They were  Kathryn McCaffer, (who is the daughter of Penarth Town Councillor Martin Turner and his wife Dorothy Turner ) and Ben Gray who stood unsuccessfully against Vaughan Gething in the Welsh Assembly elections in the Cardiff South & Penarth constituency last May .

[PDN Note: The second selection for Plymouth Ward was made because the incumbent councillor holding the ‘second’ Vale seat in the ward is Cllr Maureen Kelly Owen  – who has announced that she will be standing down at the May 2017 council elections and is not seeking re-election. ]  

In a statement issued today, Cllr Williams claims that the Conservative Party Selection Panel comprised “the father, mother and brother” of one of his rival candidates – and “the mother (or stepmother)” of another of the rival candidates.

Cllr Williams’s full statement reads as follows  :-

“It must now be public knowledge that I have not been selected to represent the official  Conservative party at the next years election. (May 2017)

 It will not be surprising to people that my wife and I are totally amazed at being treated and let down in this way after 34 years as successfully and efficiently serving the people of Stanwell and Plymouth Wards, being President of the Cardiff and Penarth Conservative association, for many years, and being awarded the MBE in 2005 for services to the community, and being endorsed by 936 votes in the 2012 elections.

I would like every one to know that my not being selected was in no way due to any  wrong-doing on my part, but the small selection panel which comprised the mother, father and brother of one of the candidates standing, the mother or step mother of a second candidate standing, a lady, a candidate standing in another ward, plus one other.

Naturally in my view they wanted their relation elected in my place. The vote was 5 against, 2 for.

There were two senior officers from the Conservative Party present. I will leave it to the people of Penarth to come to their own conclusions on this matter.

“We” are all bewildered because to my knowledge nothing like this has ever happened  in any ward before anywhere in the Vale of Glamorgan.

However this is not over.

Cllr A. Clive Williams MBE Plymouth Ward, Penarth. “

PDN has invited the Conservative Party to comment.

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. snoggerdog says:

    i thought this situation was almost compulsory in political circles,to have your friends & relatives on board.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Stand as an independent, they’re popular on here.

  3. hopenotnasty says:

    Well and truly stitched up. Only 7 members at a selection meeting this states volumes for the
    State of the Conservative party behind the scenes. Stand as an independent and you will win.

  4. Chris David says:

    Ahh Lindsay….confused again. Well I’ll tell ya honey. The vote doesn’t take place on PDN 🙂

    • Lindsay says:

      Christopher, I’m delighted! At last you’ve recognised that the malcontents on here are quite unrepresentative of Penarthians.

  5. Zapper says:

    One of the good guys of politics…..ousted by the not so good……?

  6. Jillabong says:

    I was under the impression that members of the panel in this situation should declare an interest. Regardless of my own politics, Cllr. Williams has served this town for 34 years and has obviously been popular with the electorate, or he wouldn’t have lasted that long.

  7. jm says:

    well, he’s either popular with the electorate or …. he has had the fortune to stand repeatedly in a safe seat (or, I suppose, both!). He has had a good innings, got his stipend, got his gong – maybe it’s time to retire gracefully; I don’t live in his ward, but will vote for fresh faces and ideas this time, not a party. as far as i can see it makes not a jot of difference to penarth whether it’s labour, labour plaid, labour indies, tories, tories and plaid, etc running things in barry, they all lack ideas, imagination, enthusiasm.
    last week’s report on here about the councillors not even knowing whose ward the royal buildings on stanwell rd were in says it all …

    • LJS says:

      Much sense in JM’s writing. I also am not a Plymouth ward resident. Penarth is in desperate need of more proactivity. Councils are here to serve us… do they? In addition we have had the roundabout farce. Residents’ hard work destroyed by council twits and the laying and subsequent removal of the paving.
      We need a town centre car park. The lack of parking surely reduces town trade… people just give up and go online.
      Residents with vision and unpaid commitment are trying to construct the headland link. The Council… can only manage a subsiding botch of a view platform. Save us from Councils… save us from Councillors.

  8. Jean Thomas says:

    I think that only one member of a family should be selected as surely there is a conflict of interest issue.

  9. Harry says:

    Absolutely agree with you – an absolute stitch up – surely higher forces in the Conservative Party should be made aware how shoddily Cllr Williams has been treated after 34 plus years of honourable service. PDN – a story for national press?

  10. Ann Other says:

    I would imagine that anyone entitled to vote could have turned up and done exactly that, if he or she wished to do so? Is this not normal, in fact, in all elections? What’s the problem?

  11. RetailGuru says:

    I don’t know said councillor, but I do know that this stinks. How can it be a fair process if family members are on the panel? As for ‘National News’ Harry, this local story will be of absolutely no interest to them I’m quite sure.

  12. What a shocking way to treat someone who has given so much to their town and party. It does sound to me to be a stitch-up similar to what I experienced with the Labour Party. This is not nice and appears to be a conflict of interest. Clive is well liked and respected in all circles and he is very welcome to come and join us as an Independent. Please do join us Clive and help to put a stop to this party political nonsense and local government will be far better for it!

  13. Chris David says:

    Well said Mr Bertin. Us naïve free thinking radicals have to stand up to the oh so bright flag wavers. Something doesn’t look right in all this does it.

  14. JB says:

    It is very sad that Councillor Clive Williams feels he has been treated badly in this matter however having served the community for over 35 years, surely he should admit it’s now time to retire gracefully & let a new generation take up the reigns & support the community of Penarth. The local Conservative party should ensure their practices are above board & professional at all times to avoid any suggestion that their processes are questionable in any way. Thank you Councillor Williams for the help & support you have given to many but we now need new representation to support us in future challenges.

  15. meliden says:

    Councillor Clive Williams has served ALL his constituents well over past 30 years. Public service is in his DNA. He loves Penarth Town and has a very good relationship with the electorate here.
    It beggars belief that this kind, gentle, thoughtful man has been deselected in such a way as a sitting councillor of such impeccable integrity. This is clearly a witch hunt by a particular family that want to stand themselves. The Conservative Party looks to be a participant too. This is just shameful and wrong.
    There are many people in Penarth who would support Clive Williams as an Independent candidate.
    After this episode the Tories deserve to lose in this ward. And it will serve them right.

  16. Elizabeth Mccarthy says:

    Well done for speaking up. It should only serve your party better to try to maintain integrity rather than staying quiet in support. Without meaning to seem ageist – how old is Tom Gifford? He doesn’t seem very old – perhaps lack of experience/a thorough grounding in moral structures could be the cause…Conservative youngsters have had, in certain quarters, a terrible reputation for allowing exuberance to lay waste to any ethical, legal or democratically approved concerns. He really should try to put this straight.

  17. Rev Canon Peter Cox says:

    I really don’t want to join in a political argument but I do want to say that Clive Williams has been a good and faithful servant of our community. He honoured me by making me his chaplain when he was Mayor of the Vale and he worked tirelessly through his time of office even though cancer and heart problems were major issues. He carried on regardless and I see no sign that he has lost any energy or appetite for community service, as when I attend public occasions, Clive is invariably present. Good on him, and if this is the end of his career as a local councillor, I hope that he finds some other way of channelling his appetite and energy for public service.

  18. This is not the way that CIIr .A.Clive willams after 34 year should not be treated and should have respect for the 34 years he has give to the community I think that ppl in penarth should get behind CIIr. A.CLive willams MBE .

Comments are closed.