The Penarth First Independents (left to right) Tony Harris, Victoria Humphries, Cllr Clive Williams MBE, Paul Church and Graham Humphries

A group of Independent candidates – called Penarth First Independents  is to stand for election to the Vale of Glamorgan Council and for Penarth Town Council on May 4th.  

The group is being led by Cllr Clive Williams MBE,  the  veteran councillor who was controversially “de-selected” by the local Conservative Party and barred by the party from defending his long-held Plymouth Ward seat in next month’s local government elections.

Cllr Williams – who has created his new Independents Party from scratch in just 3 months  – says “I am proud to announce I am now standing  as Leader of the Penarth First Independents “. Standing alongside Cllr Williams as Penarth First Independents in the coming election for the Vale of Glamorgan Council are :-

  • Victoria Humphries ( solicitor)   Plymouth Ward *
  • Tony Harris, (company director)  Stanwell Ward
  • Paul Church (former Vale of Glamorgan councillor)  St Augustine s Ward
  • Graham Humphries (company director)  St Augustine s Ward. *

Mr Church and Mr Humphries will be aiming to defeat the chairman of the Penarth Conservative Branch –  Martin Turner – who is also standing for election to the Vale Council in St Augustines Ward .

Cllr Turner was involved with his wife Dorothy Turner (chair of the Cardiff South an Penarth Conservative Association)  in the controversial “de-selection” process  which  controversially prevented Cllr Williams from standing again as a Conservative for his Plymouth Ward seat. In the same process members of the Turner family are alleged to have voted for each other to stand as candidates in three different Penarth wards.

Cllr and Mrs Turner’s daughter, Mrs Kathryn McCaffer, is now standing for election as a Conservative candidate in Plymouth Ward and is hoping to be elected in Cllr Williams’s former seat – [a seat on the Vale Council in which Cllr Williams now holds as an Independent councillor and in which he is now seeking re-election, this time as a Penarth First Independent candidate ] .

Meanwhile the Penarth First Independents have also announced the  list of their candidates who are be standing for election to Penarth  Town Council . They are:-

  • Cllr Clive Williams  MBE    Plymouth Ward
  • Victoria Humphries (Solicitor) Plymouth Ward *
  • Paul Church (Former Penarth Town Mayor and councillor)  Plymouth Ward
  • Graham Humphries   (Company Director) Plymouth   Ward. *
  • Tony Harris (Company Director)  Stanwell Ward

[ PDN Note:  Graham Humphries is the father of Victoria Humphries. He and his daughter have in the past supported different political parties. The Leader of the Penarth Independents Cllr Clive Williams says “they will bring  experience from a varied viewpoint”.]

Cllr Clive Williams MBE is the Leader of the five-strong Penarth First Independents

Speaking about all the candidates standing under the banner of the Penarth First Independents, Cllr Williams says “These trusted colleagues, with whom I have worked for a number of years, all offered their support the day following my unwarranted de-selection –  which was the lowest point of my 34-year political career.”

Penarth First Independents” – Cllr Williams says – “put people above politics, and want the voice of Penarth to be heard. We think there should be change, and offer candidates with proven legal and business knowledge to work in harmony with experienced proven councilors,to replace the current political mismanagement.”

Cllr Williams says “We welcome people to join us, as long as they have the same interests and aims as our constitution.  We believe there should be no politics at this level.”

He makes the point that in next month’s local government elections, voters are being asked to choose candidates “who will be in a permanent position for 5 years” – and what’s more they’re having to make that choice based only on the very limited information given in an election leaflet.

Cllr Williams contrasts this with the normal process of applying for a job – in which qualifications or experience can be verified beforehand – and the position offered on a trial basis or probationary basis. With councillors however it’s different  – good or bad, the electorate will be stuck with them until the year 2022.  Cllr Williams tells voters that in this election “Putting your cross in the wrong place on the ballot paper means you are stuck for five years”.

The new Penarth First Party’s official logo-

In a stinging attack on the current standards of elected councillors, Cllr Williams says “I have worked with councillors of all parties and candidates who in my opinion are not worthy of that position. They are there because they were the only candidates who applied, or by other irregular means.”

He cites “current cases of councillors not attending council meetings for almost 6 months –  but turning up for one meeting the night before the mandatory expulsion date”. [PDN Note: There is such a case in the Labour Group of Penarth Town Council]

Cllr Williams says “This cannot be right . I therefore  offer my fellow candidates and myself as a credible alternative to the major parties, who have brought Penarth to the lowest point in my political career”.

Cllr Williams urges those who want change in Penarth to support Penarth First Independents in the local government elections on May 4th.

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. DRT Andrews says:

    A group of disgruntled Tories.

    • Monty says:

      Indeed. Motivated by revenge. Penarth First? Oh yeah.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Vale of Glamorgan Democracy how it works.
      Up to 9 Cabinet Members are allowed according to the Vale Website there are only 5.
      Llantwit Major Population 10286 has —
      4 Llantwit First Vale Councillors 14 Community Councillors most of whom are Llantwit First and a Cabinet Member
      Penarth Population 20396
      8 Vale Councillors just 16 Town Councillors serving a high density urban population and 2 Cabinet Members
      Rhoose 6500 population No Community Council No Cabinet Member
      Sully Cowbridge no Cabinet Member

      • Chris David says:

        So we have three “cabinet” (I do wish we could drop the grand-ing it up) members accounted for here? So Barry two? Forgive me Philip (as we’re introduced) what is the significance of all this and what should the breakdown / numbers be?

      • Philip Rapier says:

        Relevance is- that some may argue that an over represented rural community holds the balance of power in the Vale,

        Assuming one is in favour of a wide-ranging choice in elections it is always interesting to analyse the emergence of a new democratic entity. This is no trifling matter to Penarth.
        A democratic deficit may have been perceived to exist when those in the “Aga Hinterland” hold through coalition, the balance of power casting votes over urban policy matters that do not affect them at all.

        Policy as simple but important as the pothole repair budget in Windsor Road —or— The even more crucial question of how many unwanted housing developments should be inflicted upon traffic choked Penarth are fatally in the hands of those residing some several miles away.
        That imbalance has undoubtedly in my mind caused the emergence of Penarth First. I remain objective and neutral in terms of how many democratic organisations should contest the Vale of Glamorgan Elections.
        I should hope we all do as that is what makes us a Free Country

      • DRT Andrews says:

        I think you romanticise the reasons for the emergence of Penarth First, Mr Rapier. It’s because of a falling out within the Conservative party.

  2. Chris David says:

    This looks encouraging. What would be nice is if some (more) of the councillors from political parties- I’m thinking in particular mad labour re-stood as independents. I know one Labour councillor whom is intelligent, experienced and capable of reasoned thinking! New blood would be best but any change from blinkered and laboured thinking must be worth a try.

    • DRT Andrews says:

      Wouldn’t anyone from “mad labour” simply become “mad independent”. Excepting, of course, your friend, the fellow free thinker.

  3. The Dairy Farmer says:

    Seem to recall we had a group of Independents who did very well about 20 or so years ago,
    Think Richard Snell was one of them, and they really made a difference in the time they were together.

  4. Peter P. says:

    I think they are all copying Kevin Mahoney now, because he is such a success.

  5. AK says:

    Didn’t we have some sort of Penarth Independent group some years ago which sunk without trace?

    Perhaps at last we will get local councillors who concern themselves with local issues instead of trotting out the party line at every opportunity.

  6. Frank Evans says:

    Anyone or group that that will put Penarth first has my vote.
    This might shake up some of vested interests.
    Remind you of anyone Lis? 😊

  7. St Augustine says:

    This is very good news for Penarth as party politics is ridiculous at local level.

    However, I’m a bit concerned, especially in St Augutine’s, that the anti Lis Burnet (Welsh Labour Gravy Train party) vote could be split and Labour could still get in. This would be a disaster for St Augutine’s.

    • Sarah says:

      I think this is a concern – I’m undecided about who to vote for (although clear about who I’m not voting for).

      I want independents but concerned about previous party politics. Also I don’t like the idea of family members standing together.

  8. sjleworthy says:

    nice to see them all photographed in Barry

  9. LJS says:

    Penarth desperately needs councillors to put Penarth First and put Penarth above party politics. Victoria, may I ask if you live in Plymouth ward?

  10. Victoria Humphries says:

    In response to your question LJS, yes I do live in the ward, I live on Plymouth Road and grew up in The Paddocks so have spent some 30 years (of my 42!) living in the ward. Not that I think that living in the ward is essential to putting the needs of the local residents first, but it helps that I am on your doorstep. My hope is that I will be able to meet those people who do not know me and find out what their main concerns are. I will be delivering leaflets this week and anyone who wants to chat with me on my rounds would be welcomed. I am an enthusiastic member of the community that wants to see positive change for all of Penarth. If elected to the Vale Council I would not be solely concerned with the interests of those in the Plymouth ward, but of all residents in Penarth. If elected to Penarth Town Council, I will of course be committed to representing the interests of Plymouth Ward, but also what is good for Penarth in general. I hope this addresses your question. This is my first post on penarth online but anyone wishing to contact me directly can email me on vhumphriespfi@gmail.com.

  11. Tony Harris says:

    Pleased to read so many positive comments on PDN and we are grateful for the support. There is a big political void to fill and maybe the five of us might just strike a chord with an increasing number of disillusioned voters across a wide range of views and persuasion.

    Not enough locals are putting themselves forward and it is all too easy to take the mick from behind
    pen-names but to quote a well known game show host “come and have a go if you think you are
    clever enough”. Bit late now though and maybe it should say if you are daft enough.

    What we need is support from across the board as without we are all wasting out time and Penarth
    is in desperate need of some new blood and fresh ideas. One thing for sure is that it`s not going to be easy and we are not going to be all things to all men but with a fair wind we can bring some common sense to the party whilst achieving a good result for the benefit of the many not just the few.

    In some ways we are probably all mad as you need to be a bit detached from reality to want to
    be a local councillor but I am more cross than mad. (a step up from being merely disgruntled by
    the way) and if we are not careful the same old, same old faces will be turning up at the next Vale
    or Penarth Town meetings for another five years of eternal damnation. There is a lot going on and
    I for one am getting nervous. The more I read the less I like it and I guess I am not alone.

    How bad does it have to get before at least four current serving councillors on the Vale and Town
    councils get their marching orders from a grateful public. Thank you for your service but it`s time
    to give somebody else a chance.

    Only four weeks to go, so time to get serious. This really matters.

  12. Arthur King says:

    So Clive Williams believes that there shouldn’t be ‘politics at this level’. He has been happy with the concept for many years and seems only to have changed his mind when the Tories failed to select him. If they had no doubt he would now be standing for them now.
    I agree with him about poor attendance at meetings so I looked at some examples of his. From the beginning of 2016 he failed to attend any of the 6 meetings of the Audit Committee. Must be an important committee as he chaired from 2008 to 2012. He did manage 6 out of 12 meetings of the scrutiny committee he’s on.

  13. andrewsketty says:

    Campaigning is underway in Penarth for the forthcoming council elections on May 4th. So where do our prospective candidates stand on this important local issue? Local elections are often won – and lost – on local issues and right now the future of our Pavilion and the closure of our cinema are high up on the list.

    Many of our local councillors have been remarkable silent on the subject and have shown to genuine attempt to engage with us. Of course last week Penarth Town Council came out in support of the ‘fantastic efforts of PACL’ in managing the Pavilion – a move many of us are appalled at!

    Last week I sent another e mail to local VoG Councillors, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Independent Cinema Office as well as Stephen Doughty MP. This is what I said in it :-

    ‘Despite an inordinate amount of anger in the town over the closure of our wonderful cinema there’s a genuine desire to see it open asap. People are very aware of the complete lack of engagement locally and dialogue over a way forward. Naturally this leads to anger and suspicion.

    It is not of course helped by the many people and organisations that step forward with their own negative experiences of dealing with PACL.

    Whilst nobody is remotely suggesting that running a cinema is easy what is now common knowledge in Penarth is that we have lost our wonderful cinema as a result of PACL not paying you. It is an incredibly sad state of affairs which should have been avoided’

    As you may expect there was NO response. 

    The party leaflets are now coming through the door and candidates knocking doors. Press them about the Pavilion and cinema. It is unacceptable when they try to distance themselves from the issue claiming it is a matter for PACL. These people fund it, some sit on PACL’s Board of Trustees and the Vale of Glamorgan Council own the freehold

    At the end of last week I received the campaigning leaflet from the Penarth Labour Party – not one mention of the Pavilion and cinema – this despite Lis Burnett telling me in an e mail that she would ‘ leave no stone unturned’ in order to save the Pavilion.

    Us your vote wisely on May 4th!

    • Mary Sanders says:

      Lis Burnett telling me in an e mail that she would ‘ leave no stone unturned’ in order to save the Pavilion.
      This is funny, will she give instructions to the rats on how best to leave a sinking ship or constituency in her case!
      I am 100% behind the Penarth First group.

  14. cllr clive williams MBE says:

    Thank you Arthur for your comments. Your first point no politics at this level. I have honestly think this and tried to act accordingly. My record shows I have served all residents equally over my 34 years service,
    My MBE in 2005 was for services to the community, all residents, not a thank you from the Conservative Party.
    You are correct I would have offered my services under a Conservative banner, but as the four
    Turners de selected me, “they” made that choice. I decided not just to give in but to fight what I considered an injustice especially as I received so many emails of encouragement and support.
    You commented on missing council meetings for six months. There is an example of this currently on Penarth council. It is not my style to name names but you can check this yourself, as you have done on my Audit and Scrutiny on the Vale meetings. You are correct I have missed a percentage of these meeting, but as Cllr Maureen Kelly Owen was not very mobile I took her committees on I.e Planning, Standards, site meetings etc, together with being on certain meetings on the Town Council , i e. Audit where I could not have a substitute, which meant I often had to decide which of the clashing meetings I attended.
    I reply as a courtesy to you hoping my comments puts things into proportion rather than me having to make excuses to defend myself.
    I have introduced new blood in the three fellow candidates who I know have capabilities, otherwise they would not be where they are in business.
    I could have put my name only for consideration but I was delighted when fellow friends
    offered to stand with me as there is now more choice which I know is a healthy situation.

    • Tony Harris says:

      Well done, Clive. You have an exemplary record and were treated appallingly which is why
      we all got behind you to form Penarth First Independents. Yes, the Pier Pavilion is high up on the agenda but many other issues that can and will affect our lives are raised in our
      leaflets for the Vale and Town councils which are going to be delivered over the next week or so. We can only live in hope that they just don`t end up in the bin as, actually, all five Independent candidates have something to offer. Go on, change the habits of a lifetime and read what we have to say then draw you own conclusions.

      • andrewsketty says:

        Where does Penarth First stand on the issue of our cinema reopening, the complete silence and lack of transparency over the Pavilion and should PACL continue to manage our Pavilion in its current guise

    • Arthur King says:

      From my experiences councillors serve all residents in their wards. That wasn’t my point. You suddenly decide that there shouldn’t be politics at this level only after you are not selected. Presumably for the past 34 years you have believed the opposite.

      I have looked again at the Vale’s website and can indeed see that you replaced Cllr Kelly Owen on the Standards Committee and attended one meeting out of three. I can also see that Vale meetings don’t clash with each other and therefore there should be no reason other than for example health to miss meetings. Again I would make the point that you failed to attend a single meeting of Audit where surely your expertise as a previous Chair would have been invaluable. If Vale meetings clash with meetings of Penarth Council then you should not be on both councils. It should be remembered that you receive what many would consider to be a generous allowance as a Vale councillor, you should attend its meetings.

  15. Chris David says:

    The new blood is an excellent contribution. Lets see more of it.

  16. Frank Evans says:

    Penarth First people.
    Is there any posters to put up in our windows or gardens to show support?
    I’m sure many will be unaware.
    Anyone into Facebook could they put something up?

    • Local Supporter says:

      We could put up the following:

      and the full size artwork if you want to print it is here:

  17. Another Local Supporter says:

    Maybe the poster just needs something a bit red it to balance things out!

    There, much better. All they have to do is get people out to vote on May the Forth be You day 🙂

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