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”.]
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”.
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.