Outspoken Llanfair Caereinion county councilor Myfanwy Alexander has broken ranks to quit her party in protest at more proposed cuts in the town.
The latest proposal to close the town’s leisure centre and move its facilities to the local high school is the last straw for the fed up councillor (pictured) who was chairman of the Independent Group on Powys County Council.
She has accused her colleagues of “not listening to anyone” and described the policy as “manifestly injust”.
Llanfair is one of only two towns expecting to see its leisure centre either close or move – the other being Knighton – and her resignation coincides with a £1.5 million investment pumped into The Flash in Welshpool.
Below is the open letter that Myfanwy has sent to former party colleague Cllr Graham Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council.
I wish herewith to tender my resignation from the Independent Group and hence, naturally, as the group’s chairman.
I cannot in any way condone the policy of focussing further cuts to the leisure centres in the county in just two communities. This policy is manifestly unjust. I must put my loyalty to my community above any loyalty to the group.
I asked you for clarification as to why this cut was necessary and you referred me to the challenging settlement Powys had received from Cardiff.
When I asked if the Welsh Government had specifically demanded that cuts be targeted in Llanfair Caereinion and Knighton, you naturally said this was not so. In other words, the full responsibility for asking two small market towns to shoulder the whole of the service reduction lies with the current Cabinet.
The alternative suggested is that the leisure centre in Llanfair Caereinion be run by the High School. Would that be the same High School which was destabilised last year by the Cabinet’s inexplicable decision to unleash a highly contentious consultation upon it? Instead of concentrating on continuing the school’s proud tradition of academic achievement and unrivalled pastoral care, you suggest that an already over stretched school management team branch out into the leisure industry.
Would you like them to sort the roads out as well? Perhaps the teachers could put a bit of tarmac down on their way to work?
I do not expect my resignation from the group to have the slightest impact: this administration has long since given up listening to anyone. However, I will sleep better tonight growing that I do not lend even nominal support to the current Cabinet.
Powys is a wonderful county, full of hard-working, ingenious and public-spirited people who deserved to be governed better.