Jacob Williams
Monday 5th June, 2017

Why so shy, Dai?

Why so shy, Dai?

Residents of Pembroke’s St. Mary North ward will find out in the next few weeks if they’re to face a county council by-election.

The prospect has arisen because, in a bizarre twist, the newly-elected Conservative candidate in last month’s general poll – David Boswell, known as Dai – still hasn’t formally accepted his position.

The result of last month’s election

As well as overcoming the ballot box, to become a councillor a successful candidate must swear an oath accepting the office and sign an agreement to be bound by the councillors’ code of conduct.

This very unassuming declaration – which almost all councillors made on the Monday following the poll – takes less than a minute.

If it isn’t made within two months of the election, the seat is automatically declared vacant, leading to a by-election.

All sorts of rumours are doing the rounds to explain Dai’s reluctance to sign on the dotted line, including one, seemingly backed up by his failure to attend any induction or training events, that he’s been unable to find time.

Some other theories have been more eyebrow-raising.

And, you know what they say about extraordinary claims – they require extraordinary evidence, which, one day we might see put to the test.

One theory easily debunked is the suggestion that our could-be councillor – who I’m reliably informed is difficult to miss – is housebound or laid up ill.

Boswell was ceremoniously sworn in as Pembroke mayor a few weeks ago, and has been seen out and about elsewhere numerous times in the month since winning his county council seat, including as VIP guest at Tenby’s mayor-making do.

I’m told elusive Dai also accompanied fellow town councilors on a site visit they undertook the Thursday before last.

When asked why he was missing the coinciding annual general meeting of the superior county council to which he’s just been elected, he’s reported to have said that he couldn’t be “in two places at once!”

The local Conservatives are also keeping tight-lipped on Boswell’s hesitancy to consummate his surprise six-vote victory.

The consequences of the Boswell situation for the party are already tangible.

Their committee allocations are based on having only eleven sitting councillors, but the full complement of twelve Tories gives them more seats.

Some attribute the party’s inaction and silence on the mystery to political tactics – namely the desire to stifle awkward or bad news ahead of the upcoming Westminster election.

In other words, well on course to defending both of their parliamentary seats in the county, they’re letting sleeping dogs lie.

We may hear more after Thursday’s general election, or we may not…


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5 Comments...

  • Dave Edwards

    As one of the defeated candidates in St Mary North I have been following this closely.

    As I understand things Mr Boswell has tried to sign up as a councillor but has been told by Ian Westley that he can’t accept his declaration.

    The disqualification rules are laid out on the Electoral Commission’s website so I will let your readers try to figure out which one(s) could apply in this case.

    If Mayor Boswell’s declaration was in order at Pembroke Town Council where most of the same eligibility requirements apply, what is going on?

  • Keanjo

    Nothing is straightforward in PCC.

  • Malcolm Calver

    Surely all we have to do is wait a while and all will be revealed.

  • Dai Trump

    Keanjo, it does not appear to be anything to do with PCC, either Dai Boswell did not understand the rules or he did and thought he could get away with it, in which case he deserves everything coming his way.

    If Ian Westley is unable to accept his declaration there is obviously something seriously wrong and it is no good DB burying his head in the sand and saying he can’t be in two places at once, if he is in the wrong it reflects badly on him and possibly on his party but not on PCC.

  • Steve

    I’m surprised that nothing is forthcoming. Surely it is only fair for the voters in Pembroke to be made aware of the circumstances.

    With such a lack of information it leads to speculation and thoughts of dodgy deals being done.

    Perhaps the Herald needs to interview a few people for their next edition.

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