The reselection/deslection meeting was held last night at the Conservative Club in Stanwell Road

The controversial selection meeting was held on November 22nd at the Penarth Conservative Club

The Leader of the Conservative Group on the Vale of Glamorgan Council has now weighed into the row over the party’s controversial “de-selection” of popular Penarth veteran Councillor Clive Williams,

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Williams (80) has represented the Plymouth Ward as a Conservative councillor on the Vale Council for 34 years, is a popular and well-respected figure and holds an MBE  – awarded to him in recognition of his years of public service.

However  on November 22nd he was unceremoniously dumped by a small group of Conservative Party members after first being required – in effect – to “re-apply” for his seat, and to then be formally interviewed to determine his suitability to be a candidate.

Only 7 members Penarth Conservative Party Association are said to have been present at the meeting including 4 members of the Turner family – Penarth Town Councillor Martin Turner,  his wife Dorothy Turner and their daughter Mrs Kathryn McCaffer and son Ewan. It meant that the Turner family constituted the majority of the members present .

Cllr Williams says that of the members present, had their own daughters standing against him wanting to be selected as candidates. There are said to be 69 members of the Penarth Conservative Association but Cllr Williams names only one member who was  contacted by phone and asked to attend.

As the first item of business, the meeting eliminated Cllr Williams from further consideration and then allegedly proceeded to select 3 members of the Turner family as candidates for next May’s Vale of Glamorgan Council election.

Cllr Martin Turner and his wife Dorotny Turner were Mayor and Mayoress of Penarth in 2014/15

Cllr Martin Turner and his wife Dorothy Turner were Mayor and Mayoress of Penarth in 2014/15

Cllr Turner’s daughter Kathryn  McCaffer – was allocated one of the two Plymouth Ward seats   – the ward from which they had just eliminated Cllr Williams.

Kathryn McCaffer had stood unsuccessfully for election for the Stanwell Ward in the 2012 Penarth Town Council elections.

The other Plymouth Ward seat [available  because incumbent Cllr Maureen Kelly-Owen is standing down next May] was allocated to Ben Gray.

Asked for a comment, the Conservative Party eventually – after several days of delay – issued the following statement :-  “The selection was carried out in a fair and open manner in accordance with the rules.” 

Many people however,  including a number of PDN commentators,  consider the selection to have been anything but “fair” and express surprise that the Conservative “rules” can permit members of the same family to vote for each other.

Cllr John Thomas (Conservative St Athan) Leader of the Conservative Group on the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cllr John Thomas (Conservative St Athan) Leader of the Conservative Group on the Vale of Glamorgan Council

Now the leader of the Conservative Group on the Vale of Glamorgan council, Cllr John Thomas has taken up the cudgels on behalf of Cllr Williams and has written to party officials to query the procedure at the November 22nd  selection meeting.

Cllr Thomas said this weekend   “I’ve got concerns about the number of people who were there to vote.” 

He said he wasn’t sure what the rules were, but 7 seemed, to him, to be “a low number to make such a decision .

Cllr Thomas said that he understood that the campaign manager Tom Giffard –  who was said to be the “returning officer” in charge of the November 22nd meeting – had since claimed that the rules did allow for “family members to vote for each other”.

But Mr Thomas says  “it seems a bit strange to me  – if you’ve only got 7 people there  – and 3 or 4 of them from the same family  – it just doesn’t look very good does it? “

Cllr Thomas went on to say “Whether it’s actually breaking the rules or not,  it just doesn’t look very good to me.”

Cllr Thomas says “My point all the way through is that Clive – [Cllr Clive Williams]   has been a good  constituency councillor for many years . He’s done nothing wrong . He’s popular in the ward – and I would have thought he should have been selected without having to go through a selection process. It’s his seat –  unless he  wanted to give it up. Unless he done something particularly wrong, the seat should be his. I know that’s not the way  it goes, but morally speaking that’s the way it should be . If I had been there, and if I had been in a position to vote, I would have voted for Clive to keep his seat.”

Asked if he intended taking any further action Cllr Thomas said “There’s not a lot that I can do really because the Vale Council area covers the two different Conservative Associations. I’ve got nothing to do with the Penarth Association. I’ve made my feelings known to them “. He addedI would do anything I could to support Clive because I think he has been very badly treated. I know Clive is no spring-chicken – he’s popular in the wards, he increased his majority in the last election  – which most of us didn’t manage to do in all honesty,  myself included” .

Cllr Thomas said he thought Cllr Williams had been “very harshly treated”. He went on to say “I am very disappointed with the decision that’s been made and I would support Clive absolutely in wanting to stand and continue to represent the  Ward residents which he’s done for so many years.”

As matters currently stand the Conservative Vale of Glamorgan Council candidates for Penarth wards in next May’s elections are  3 Turner family members :-

  • Kathryn McCaffer (Plymouth Ward)
  • Penarth Town Cllr Martin Turner (St Augustines)
  • Dorothy Turner (Cornerswell)

And four other candidates :-

  • Ben Gray (Plymouth Ward)
  • Penarth Town Cllr Wendy van den Brom (St Augustines)
  • Ken Lloyd (Cornerswell)
  • Anthony Harris (Stanwell) * [ See Note below]

Tonight it’s  understood that in the wake of the re-selection row Anthony Harris – who had been selected as the Conservative Vale candidate for Stanwell Ward  – has told the selection meeting organiser, Mrs Dorothy Turner, that he is withdrawing his name and will not now be a candidate .






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.
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  1. Brian Selby says:

    It seems to me that the Turner family are not the only members who can be accused of nepotism.

  2. Penileaks says:

    In local elections, one should not vote along party lines, one should vote for the person that cares about the local community and gets things done. Cllr Williams does both and has been a great servant to local politics.
    At 80 and in not such good health, I think that I would be retiring anyway, but if he decides to continue as an Independent, good for him and I hope that people in the Plymouth Ward give him the support that he deserves.
    As for the local Conservative Party Selection Committee, shame on you and your family politics. This is more like the values that the Labour Party promote and look where that has got us in the Vale !

  3. hopenotnasty says:

    One has to ask the question? Why only 7 members of the conservative association has turned up at an important selection meeting. Worse still 3 of the Severn are the Turner family who elect themselves to various wards within Penarth. Councillor Williams has been well and truly stitched up. Questions must be asked whether procedures have been followed in arranging this meeting.

  4. Please DO NOT vote for the Turner family in May next year, remember the names and DO NOT vote for them , they are showing themselves as corrupt already and in a democracy do we seriously want 3 members of the same family sitting on a Committee voting in unison ? My answer is no and it should be every fair and democratically minded persons answer too. You DO NOT throw a respected and long serving public servant out of office just to suit your own ambitions as these Turner plotters have done. The age of Mr Williams is irrelevant as long as he is able to attend meetings and fulfil his role , its a totally disgraceful way to treat him and the sooner this sneaky and crafty action is rectified the better, But even if it is , I hope no one will vote for the Turner ‘gang’ as they have ‘shown their hand’ , and if this is going to be par for the course , we do not want it.

  5. Adam H says:

    Strong police presence in Penarth town on Saturday night, taking statements outside bar 44 and police even ventured into railway pub (have photos) any info on what happened?

  6. That will be two PSCOs then ? as I walked past 2 female PSCOs outside Bar 44 so I agree a strong Police presence .

  7. Tim Hughes says:

    It must be very embarrassing for Cllr John Thomas, the Leader of the Conservative Group, to write explaining that “he wasn’t sure what the rules were”. Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to find out before writing the letter?

  8. Jean Thomas says:

    As previously stated, I do not think that more than one member of a family, including husbands of a different name, should be councillors. This applies, not only to Penarth, but to the other town councils and the Vale Council as well. If it is not in the rules then it should be put in.

  9. Totally agree Jean Thomas , although this practice does happen too often nowadays its undemocratic , just pause for thought , do you think for a moment one member of a family on a Council or Committee is going to vote against the other member??? this does not happen (perhaps only on rare occasions ) in this case you would have 3 family members , not good , not democratic .I think this used to be called ‘sharp practice’ years ago (if I am correct?) and it should never be permitted as its collusion , to preserve family harmony WRONG AND CORRUPT.

  10. bizzilizzi says:

    Are records published about who votes for what? This would display any alliances detrimental to decisions.

  11. Tim Hughes says:

    It appears that the notice of the meeting was properly communicated and that the meeting was in quorum otherwise the association would not have stated that the process “was in accordance with the rules”. To me the issue then revolves around whether it was a selection or an election. Clearly it is inappropraite for someone making an appointment to be related to someone applying for the job. However on the day of a general election we always see on TV the PM, and family, in her/his constituency presumably voting with family members for him/herself. Had all 69 association members been there and been allowed to vote for the candidates then no-one would see this as an issue.

  12. Too late then bizzilizzi the damage will have been done, by then and do you imagine once in office these people would willingly print information of collusion? and do you think once elected they would stand down ? of course not. The only way to prevent corruption taking place is to stop the rot before it starts by NOT voting them into office, I don’t care who they are , or who they think they are? but we do not want a Kim Jong Un Turner regime playing happy families whilst going through the motions or parody of pretend independent thought. Its an insult to the voters to even attempt it and if it does happen the people gullible or apathetic enough to vote them into office deserve all that will transpire from a ‘nobbled’, Council as in you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  13. Emma H. says:

    I would like to agree with Jean Thomas. More than one family member on a council as small as Penarth (or any Council) is ridiculous. I would suggest all members of the Turner Family and relatives to step down and appoint ONE member of the family to stand for re-election. This in my opinion would look like a more decent and democratic move. The way politics and politicians are currently perceived, this situation is not the best advert!

  14. Lizzyloo says:

    Three members of one family,nearly four, should not be allowed to stand for the various wards. If there were only seven members present, 4 Turners and three others with Mrs Turner as the selection meeting organiser, what chance did anyone else stand? I will not vote if this farce is allowed to stand and will urge others to do the same.

Comments are closed.