Some two months after the deadline, Penarth Town Council has finally published – as it is legally obliged to do – the details of its members’ interests
The information given is much more comprehensive than that which was made public when the respective councillors were standing for election in May – but it still falls a long way short of being a comprehensive dossier on all the Penarth town councillors.
Each councillor is required to answer a series of 14 questions about employment, business interests, land and property ownership, and their membership of political parties and organisations in the council’s area .
Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) Leader of the Council answered only one of the first 9 questions about business/property interests . Asked to declare bodies to which he had been appointed or nominated by the council “as its representative”, Cllr Cuddy declared he is a trustee of PACL (Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd leaseholders of Penarth Pier Pavilion).
[ PDN Note :The chairman of PACL – Professor Tony Hazell – expressly disputes the assertion that any councillor can sit on the board of PACL as a trustee to “represent the council” and that it is not within the power of Penarth Town Council (or of the Vale of Glamorgan Council) to appoint councillors as trustees or directors of the company.]
Councillor Cuddy also says he is a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Standards Committee – subject to appointment and also sits on the board of “Cadarn / Newydd RSL [ i.e. Registered Social Landlords] Share Member” and the “Dewi Prys Thomas Trust ” .
[PDN Note: The Dewi Prys Thomas Trust is an architectural award scheme – the most recent winner of which was the distinguished Penarth architect Chris Loyn – who has designed the controversial Northcliff Lodge 30-apartment development]
Cllr Cuddy – although he stood as a Labour councillor – does not give an answer to the question about his membership of any “body whose principle purposes includes the influence of public opinion or policy” – although normally this is the point in the form where councillors DO declare their membership of a political party.
As far as trade union & professional association membership is concerned, Cllr Cuddy says he is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and is a retired member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Cllr Cuddy does not respond to the final question on the form (regarding his membership of any “private club, society or association” in the area). His form is (wrongly) dated “19/8/2017” and was submitted two months after the legal deadline.
Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward) states that he is not employed, does not have a business or any business interests, is not a company director, has not received expenses from anyone and has no contract with the council. He has only a beneficial interest in the land of his home address in Penarth and states he is chairman of the Lower Penarth Community Association.
Cllr Turner states that he does not belong to any “body whose principle purposes include the influence of public opinion or policy” . This declaration would appear to suggest he is not a member of a political party – notwithstanding the fact that he is the chairman of the Penarth Branch of the Conservative Party.
Cllr Nigel Humphrey (Labour St Augustines) declares he is the principal of MAS Architectural Design and is also Principal and Joint Owner of “Ty Cwch”.
He also notes that apart from his home he has a “beneficial interest” in the form of an allotment on the former Billybanks land . Cllr Humphrey also declares that he is a member of the CIOB [the Chartered Institute of Building].
Cllr Liz Fahy (Labour St Augustines ) declares that she is a “self-employed website design and hosting business – Gecko Surfing”.
She is also a company director the “Womens’ Training Network” which is described as a “private limited company without share capital” .
Cllr Laura Rochefort (Labour Cornerswell) states that she works for “IPSA e Hirondo Ltd”. She also works for Kevin Brennan (Labour MP for Cardiff West) and Andrew Currie. The political connection with a local Labour MP is a factor which some local voters in the May council elections may not have been aware of until now.
Cllr Rochefort declares that she is a member of the Cardiff South and Penarth Labour Party. She also notes that she is a member of the UNITE trade union.
Cllr Ian Buckley (Labour Cornerswell) works for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. He declares a beneficial interest in his own home in Penarth and also in a home occupied by a member of his family.
Cllr Buckley is a union representative for the Fire Brigades Union. He is a committee member of the Old Penarthians, a member of the Ex-Servicemen’s club – and – somewhat surprisingly – a member of the Penarth Conservative Club.
Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative St Augustines) is a company director of Total Protective Solutions 360 Ltd . He also declares he is a shareholder in two associated companies – TPS Construction Ltd and TPS Roofing Ltd.
Cllr Allman is a member of the Noah’s Ark Appeal and is the only Penarth councillor to declare his membership of the Freemasons.
The current Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Ken Lloyd (Conservative) declares that he has no notifiable employment or business interests but in addition to his Penarth home is also in a “flat-owner partnership” in respect of an apartment elsewhere in the town.
Cllr Lloyd also declares that he is a member of the Conservative Club, Penarth Bowling Club and the Ely Valley Bowling Club.
Cllr Yvonne Murphy (Labour St Augustines ) declares that she works for a theatre company – Omidaze Productions (in which she is a partner) as a theatre director/producer and an educational theatre facilitator and runs the business from her home.
There are also 3 Penarth Town councillors about whom no Member’s Interests information has been published.
Cllr Angela Thomas (Labour Plymouth Ward) answered no questions at all – about anything on her Member’s Interest form .
She offered not a single reply to any one of 14 questions on the form and left every answer-section blank.
The only entry that Cllr Thomas makes on the form – apart from her address – is to sign a declaration saying “I have not omitted information that ought to be given in this notice”.
Two other councillors whose Member’s Interests information has – for whatever reason – yet to be made public are the Deputy Mayor of Penarth Cllr Jon Luxton (Labour Stanwell) and Cllr Ellie Evans (Labour Stanwell).
There is no explanation on the council’s website as to why this information on these two Labour councillors is not being published.
The two-months overdue list of Penarth Town Council’s Members’ Interests was released on August 9th – immediately after PDN had reported the failure to publish this information on time.
The Members’ Interests already declared by “twin-hatted” councillors who serve on both the Vale of Glamorgan Council AND Penarth Town Council (i.e. Cllr Rhiannon Birch, Cllr Mark Wilson, Cllr Ben Gray, & Cllr Kathryn McCaffer ) had already been included in an earlier PDN item. (See http://tinyurl.com/ybynugnn )