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13  July

Councillor explains walkout reason

17/05/2024 @ 06:13


The division on Welshpool Town Council came to the fore again this week when four councillors stormed out of the annual meeting following a clash over standing orders.

And one of the councillors, Cllr Billy Spencer, has explained that he felt he was left with no choice but to protest with his feet after claiming that it was “another meeting going around in circles”.

Just moments after Cllr Phil Owen was elected as the new Mayor, Cllrs Phil Pritchard, Estelle Bleivas, Chris Davies and Spencer walked out during the debate over how many councillors should sit on the staffing committee.

The councillors wanted the number to be increased, but the standing orders state that up to 10 can sit on each committee, so could be less than 10 members.

The day after the night before, and Cllr Spencer double downed on his decision to walk out with his three colleagues.

“I had to agree with Cllrs Prichard, Blevais and Davies,” he said.

“There were also other Councillors who didn’t leave but agreed that when decisions are made and agreed on they stand and who like me had spent lots of time trying to perfect these standing orders for the betterment of the town and to move this council forward with transparency.

“The reason we have wanted the staffing committee to be a proper committee like all other town councils is because it is made up of the chairs of each committee, that’s four councillors, plus the Mayor.

“The Town Council has 15 councillors. The staffing committee in the past has been abused and used to make decisions that haven’t always come to council.

“Therefore, as an elected councillor trying to serve my town I cannot do so properly when decisions, may I add bad decisions, have been made in private session of the Staffing Committee.

“In order for this council to move forward I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again we need more transparency, more working together and less of this “cloak & dagger” business.

“This is public money, all councillors should be treated as equals but most of the meetings are made up of gaslighting, tactical voting and decisions being made by councillors who have been co-opted on to the council, not elected, and don’t come from Welshpool or know its history.

“I will continue to serve my constituents and help any member of public if I can but it is starting to prove very difficult and frustrating. I urge members of the public to attend council meetings and ask questions if you have any concerns in the public question time and participation section.”