Cllr Clive Williams MBE – the president of the Cardiff and Penarth Conservative Association – has announced that with immediate effect he is quitting the Conservative groups on both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Penarth Town Council.
Last night Cllr Williams announced that – from now until the May 4th elections – he will serve on both bodies as an Independent councillor – and , as previously announced, will also defend his Plymouth Ward seat on the Vale Council in the forthcoming elections as an Independent .
It’s the latest episode in the bitter row which has engulfed the local Conservative Party since last November’s controversial council-candidate selection-process and has now culminated in two well-known and long-serving Conservative councillors standing for re-election as Independents [See PDN http://tinyurl.com/hnjyq6r%5D.
The Penarth Town Clerk Emma Boylen and Leader of the Council , Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines), yesterday refused Cllr Williams permission to make an announcement about his change of party-allegiance in last night’s meeting of the Policy and Finance Committee – held in Penarth Council Chamber.
Although Cllr Williams came joint top-of-the-poll in Penarth’s Plymouth Ward in the previous elections [in 2012] he was controversially “de-selected” by a Conservative Party candidate-selection panel in November last year. That same panel allocated contests for salaried seats on the Vale Council to three members of the same family – the Turners – and effectively bounced the incumbent – Cllr Williams – out a seat he had successfully held for over 30 years .
Penarth Town councillor Martin Turner [chairman of the Penarth Branch of the local Conservative Association] and Cllr Turner’s wife Dorothy Turner [chair of the Cardiff South and Penarth Constituency Association] were selected to fight contests in St Augustine’s Ward and Cornerswell Ward respectively in May, whilst their daughter Mrs Kathryn McCaffer was allocated one of the two plumb, and traditionally-Tory, Plymouth Ward contests for the Vale Council. [The second Plymouth Ward Vale contest was allocated to Ben Gray].
In a statement last night Cllr Williams said “I will be serving as an Independent member on the Penarth Town and Vale Councils as from this time until May“ [On May 4th he will be standing for re-election to the Vale of Glamorgan Council as an Independent candidate in Plymouth Ward and as an Independent for Penarth Town Council] . “I wish to thank everyone who has supported me so far and encouraged me to take this very difficult action”.