Jacob Williams
Monday, 18th April, 2022

PCC 2022: Ones to watch…

PCC 2022: Ones to watch…

The 2022 Pembrokeshire County Council election is already notable for its high number of uncontested seats.

Nineteen of sixty councillors – your author included – have been returned without any opposition, meaning the 2022-2027 council is more than quorate before a single vote is cast!

I might do a bit of analysis about this aspect of the election in due course, and possibly even before polling day.

But, for now, I’ve been asked by a few people if I’m going to do an election preview.

Why anybody thinks my command of a few historic names, numbers and backstories means anything, is baffling – but it’s a bit of fun, if nothing else.

What follows is a long but incomplete trip around the county, flashing the spotlight on some contests which could be ‘ones to watch.’

A feature of many polls this time around is the long-running boundary review finally implemented for this election, which has resulted in a great mix of changes to the electoral map.

One of those who’s asked me – twice, now – when I’m posting my analysis is Cllr. Mark Carter.

So where better to start than the ward he’ll be trying to defend?

Ones to watch…

I’ve told Carter that I count Solva as one of the most vulnerable wards.

I think he thinks this is another way of saying I think he’ll lose, but it’s not. (Although I’ve admittedly wasted no opportunity to wind him up by telling him he’s toast.)

Even if he goes on to win the seat with a modest 70+ majority this time around – and he might – it won’t nullify pre-poll appraisals of the seat’s vulnerability, which is based on many factors.

The starting point would have to be the plurality with which he won last time around.

Carter surely knows he owes his maiden 2017 victory to the no-hope Green whose 75 votes outpolled his 51-vote majority over Labour candidate Joshua Phillips (287.)

This time it’s a rerun – but without the Green, so on paper things get interesting. But this isn’t 2017.

In Carter’s favour will be the power of incumbency. Whether it’ll help or hurt him, there’s also the familiarity, or perhaps overfamiliarity, he’ll have built up from his unsubtle style of poking his nose into everybody else’s business. (And that’s coming from me!)

There’s also the fact Carter’s defending a slim majority gained in an unprecedentedly good election for PCC’s Tories.

He also probably faces (as any Tory candidate might) backlash from the Westminster lockdown parties and the recent penalties, including PM Boris Johnson’s.

It’s a festering situation which could be much worse by polling day, amid claims that liability Boris is being ‘airbrushed’ from party leaflets and campaigns.

From recent literature Carter’s put out we can see a very deliberate attempt to tone down his Conservative party credentials.

A letter in his name includes the confusing: “I’ve always said that party politics plays no part in local elections.”

The same promotional material requires a magnifying glass to see the word ‘Conservative’ printed only once – within the bottom legally-mandated imprint.

As with others I’ve seen, the only other sign he’s a Conservative candidate from this letter is the party’s tree logo, up top.

But later on in this post you’ll see the Tories aren’t this year’s worst offenders in the party shyness stakes.

Whilst I say the Solva ward is among the most vulnerable, I wouldn’t bet on the outcome, just like I wouldn’t in the new Amroth and Saundersfoot North ward.

I could be way off here, and it may sound counter-intuitive, but I don’t think the two-vote majority Conservative councillor Tony Baron is defending from 2017 is his biggest worry.

I think ‘the unknown’ is more likely to be his pressing concern – the fact that the boundary changes tacked a big chunk of new voters from Saundersfoot onto his lowly-populated Amroth ward.

But this element of the unknown would also apply to some extent to any candidate in a newly-drawn division like this.

It could be close, although the winner will be either Baron or Alec Cormack of the Lib Dems – the same party whose candidate Baron squeaked past in 2017. I’ll go out on a limb and say the Greens’ Leigh McShane will struggle to register on the scale. But what do I know?

The remainder of the village – new ward Saundersfoot South – is being contested by two independents and a Tory.

The latter, James Bishop, won’t threaten here – but could prove decisive if he outpolls the winner’s majority in what’s anticipated to be a close race to replace outgoing Phil Baker.

The winner will be either Mike ‘Wiggy’ Wainwright, or Chris Williams. Toss-up.

In most elections there’s a standout contest with a notable number of candidates. This time it’s Kilgetty and Begelly.

Incumbent David Pugh faces five opponents. I would be surprised if he found himself in difficulty, and wouldn’t be surprised if he maintains or even increases his 2017 vote share.

Best story here comes courtesy of the last-minute ‘Plaid Cymru’ candidate, publican Peter Adams who was last placed in 2017 as an independent.

The story goes that Adams resigned his post on the executive of the local branch of the Conservative and Unionist Party only hours before announcing to the world his candidacy for the biggest and oldest Welsh nationalist party!

Adams’ shilly-shallying party past isn’t unique among this race’s runners – the 2017 Plaid Cymru challenger, Gretta Marshall, is this time standing for the ironically-named Propel party.

She was actually still serving as a Cardiff councillor when she stood against Pugh in 2017, coming second netting 212 to his 319 votes, with Adams trailing on 157.

Two other independents and a Lib Dem make up the Kilgetty and Begelly field in 2022, enough to narrow any pretender’s path to victory.

Since the last election the Jeffreyston community has come out of my East Williamston ward and now goes with Carew to form the new Carew and Jeffreyston ward.

Three independents will fight it out: Peter Everall, James Harrison-Allen and Vanessa Thomas.

Everall was out leafleting weeks ago, and is the only one I knew was standing before nominations were published, so he may have the first-mover advantage.

Having moved back to his hometown since 2017, Carew incumbent Paul Rapi (Plaid Cymru) is this time standing for the Tenby South seat, being vacated by long-serving independent, Mike Evans.

Entrepreneur Evans, who’s been in since 2004, surprised many by bowing out – a decision which allows us to recycle the old gag that he’s stepping down “…to spend more time with his money!”

I think Cllr. Rapi, former Tenby mayor, enters this two-horse-race as the underdog, but not everyone agrees. He’s facing current mayor, independent Sam (Samantha) Skyrme-Blackhall.

A clue as to Rapi’s state of mind might be found in an obvious place.

One of his two-sided flyers I’ve been sent makes not one reference – not even in the small print – to Plaid Cymru either by name or logo. It’s almost as if he thinks it would turn voters off!

In St. Davids, Cllr. David Lloyd (ind.) is in a four-way fight. He’s a longtime presence in this part of the county’s political scene – at least as far back as his membership of the old Dyfed County Council for most of the 1980s.

This year’s race to represent Britain’s smallest city includes Bethan Price, the sister of PCC founding member Tom Tudor (Labour stalwart for Haverfordwest since 1995 who, barring a monumental upset, will defend the county town’s Castle ward.)

Price – former city mayor – would well have fancied her chances, though interestingly stands as an independent despite declaring Labour party membership on her nomination papers, under new full disclosure rules brought in for this election.

Things get all the more interesting considering she goes up against an official Labour party candidate, Rachel Hurdley – potentially splitting the red vote – with Keith Missen completing the roster for Wales Green Party.

With various UK and European parliamentary bids under his belt for the Liberals, Lloyd’s a seasoned campaigner who’s suffered a mix of results including his 2012 comeback, and will know he’s got a battle on his hands, but shouldn’t be written off. Could even be favourite, given the circumstances.

It’s a right old recipe for a spread of the votes and any one of them (but the Green) slipping through to victory in possibly the single digits – narrowly avoided in 2017 by Lloyd, who put thirteen votes on Labour, his sole opposition that outing.

Another ward which sees a card-carrying Labour party member standing as an independent is Burton, where PCC’s Tory group leader Cllr. Rob Summons steps down.

I think Summons tried his best to keep his retirement a secret, in the hope his Conservative nominee successor, Danny Young, might get in without a contest.

They don’t call him Sneaky Summons for nowt!

Robin Howells – who I’m told is a big cheese in the Neyland Labour branch – put paid to that, by filing papers as an independent.

A contest which sees a Tory party member standing as an independent can be found in the new Bro Gwaun ward.

Delme Harries, variously known as ‘King of Wales’ and ‘Del Boy,’ will be going up against serving Lib Dem and finance cabinet member, Cllr. Bob Kilmister.

Now in normal circumstances this race wouldn’t be on the radar, given Kilmister’s grassroots connections and strong showing historically, but the boundary change does at least introduce an element of uncertainty.

In what was surely unwelcome news for ‘Budget Bob,’ his current ward basically loses his home community of Dinas Cross, and gains Scleddau – represented by the outgoing Samuel Kurtz, who was elected last year for the Conservatives as south-county Welsh Parliament member.

A Harries victory will see him join a long list of Del Boys elected to PCC…

Another contest featuring a card-carrying Conservative standing as an indy is to be found next door in the new Newport and Dinas ward, against another independent and a Plaid Cymru candidate.

The newly-elected rep will replace, in part, Kilmister and the retiring ten-year incumbent for the abolished Newport ward, Paul Harries (ind.)

Fishguard North East deserves special mention as one of two straight Tory/Labour races this year – this one will replace retiring independent Myles Pepper, who’s been in since 2008.

Among the contests guaranteed to produce a new councillor is Goodwick, where independent Kevin Doolin steps down. JW notices however that he’s the appointed election agent for his would-be successor, independent Peter John.

With my lack of north-county knowledge, the best I can offer – scraping the bottom of the ballot box here, I know – is that I’ve seen an online photo Peter John posted declaring his candidacy, holding his cuddly canine companion.

It’s a trend I’ve noticed a few other councillor wannabes exploiting.

This may have sealed up the poochy vote, but Labour’s Nicola Gwynn and the Conservatives’ Lynn Porter also have a dog in the fight.

If only the electorate voted with its paws…

We say of Pembroke’s Monkton councillor Pearl Llewellyn that “she used to be indecisive, but now she’s not so sure.”

Pearl the girl is stepping down from the county council – though she’s now standing for the town council, forcing an election there despite resigning in a huff a few years back. Some character, our Pearl!

A short hop away in Pembroke Dock, Cllr. Joshua Beynon has gone one up on wavering Pearl.

Readers of this blog might not appreciate that, I consider at least, I get on well with Josh despite my aversion to his brand of political correctness.

In my last blogpost I said how I thought – and still believe – that his big announcement in January that he was stepping down from the council at this election owed to his impending sense of doom.

To put it another way, the fear of enough of an ‘anti-Josh’ vote, and ammunition for adversaries, to pose a credible re-election threat.

But it would seem Josh has changed his mind about leaving the limelight. He no longer wishes to seek “some time away from the public eye,” and the crafty so-and-so secretly submitted his nomination papers at the last minute to contest the town’s new Central ward!

It may of course only be a coincidence that Cllr. Beynon’s quick and quiet change of mind came just days after he learnt that the councillor standards watchdog, the ombudsman, has discontinued its long-running investigation into allegations against him of unbecoming social media conduct.

Or news of the TikTok probe’s termination may have been the shot in the arm he needed.

Indeed, Beynon might well fancy his odds here against a Tory, Rhian Cowen (another whose promotional literature features a dog) and an independent, former town mayor George Manning.

It’s anybody’s guess where the anti-Josh votes go, or even if they are particularly numerous in this brand new ward to make a difference.

Elsewhere in the town’s new Bush ward there’ll be an anti-Dowson vote – against fellow town incumbent Paul Dowson.

Maureen Bowen (Lab.) and Sarah Harvey (ind.) will be fishing for votes in the anti-Dowson pond, which likes to pride itself on being less murky than the pro-Dowson pond.

The uninitiated are unlikely to know just how many angles there are in this race, among the various candidates.

Sarah’s husband Jon Harvey (independent Pembroke councillor and serving cabinet member) stood in last year’s local Senedd contest as an independent against Dowson, who stood for UKIP – a race which was won, as mentioned above, by a third PCC member, Sam Kurtz.

Whilst neither Harvey nor Dowson retained his deposit – with 2.7% and 3.1% of the votes respectively – the Harvey household will surely be giving all to avoid going down to a double Dowson defeat!

Dowson would surely have hoped for more than two opponents, given the notable style in which he slipped through to win his 2017 six-way.

Of 393 votes cast in that year’s memorable contest, only 24 separated the first four, with Dowson’s 102 votes securing victory by four.

Third in that race with 81 was Bowen – who then in 2018 came fourth of eight in the Pembroke by-election – beaten that time by, you’ve guessed it, Jon Harvey!

Bowen did however go on to comfortably defeat two others to win a by-election to Pembroke Dock Town Council in May 2021, and next month will be hoping to avoid a 2-0 loss at the hands of the Harveys!

The old cliche that these sort of contests often come down to turnout – particularly urban seats – might not be in play in this election, at least not as much as it was in 2017 when Dowson was relatively unknown.

Whether he wins or loses, Dowson’s got other battles to come – as multiple ombudsman cases are pending against him.

He claims the big bad O is politically-motivated and intends to defend himself. After the election an adjourned hearing is due to come back before PCC’s standards committee, whose sentencing powers for a code breach finding range from a slap on the wrist to a six-month suspension.

Later this year a separate ombudsman case is also due to come before the Adjudication Panel for Wales – whose upper sentencing limit for a code breach is a five-year disqualification from office.

According to the talk among some other politicos, but which JW finds hard to believe, one who might have a fight on his hands is Crymych incumbent and cabinet member, Cris Tomos.

Following boundary changes believed to be unfriendly to the Plaid Cymru member, he’ll be standing in the new Crymych and Mynachlog-Ddu ward against independent, Shon Midway Rees.

Tomos’ present ward loses its Eglwyswrw community to the present Cilgerran ward, which in turn loses its Manordeifi community to the new Boncath and Clydau ward – where a very similar battle might also be playing out.

It’s mostly represented by outgoing councillor Rod Bowen – whose successor as Plaid Cymru nominee, Hedd Harries, is facing independent Iwan Stuart Ward.

Whilst the above two divisions are both technically new ward boundaries, they will for obvious reasons be classed by Plaid Cymru as seats they’re defending.

Anything other than a win in both would be a painful upset for the party, whose options to make up elsewhere in the county don’t seem particularly healthy.

Even Julian Rutter, the Labour candidate going up against PCC’s former leader Jamie Adams, would have to admit it would be an upset if he defeated the well-connected dairy farmer in the agricultural heartland of Camrose.

Adams will know that his time to lose was in 2017. He was vulnerable, having led a controversial term of the authority, and only survived through a plurality of the votes (36.8%) in a crowded field (three opponents) whilst so many of his high-up henchmen and lowly-lackeys dropped like flies around him.

This year it looks like a hail Mary candidacy from Labour, with the smell of being one of those sneaky no-hoper ‘paper’ candidacies parties sometimes file against key opposition schemers to keep them busy during polling season.

The greatest irony is that, had there been an Adams/Labour lineup in 2017, Adams’ survival may have been the upset.

But stranger things have happened – Adams won’t be standing in exactly the same ward he defended in 2017.

Today’s Camrose ward consists solely of his home Camrose community – whereas back then, it additionally contained Nolton and Roch. I think he’ll not only be returned to the council, but will also be plotting his leadership return as we speak!

Labour might think if they can’t take the Johnston ward vacated by IPG member Ken Rowlands (who was initially elected for the party before doing the dirty on them) it might not bode well for their chances elsewhere in the county.

Making up the ballot paper are John Gray, independent, Daniel Metcalfe, Labour, and Aled Thomas, Conservative. This lineup might also encourage Labour.

But questions are looming over the party’s decision to field Metcalfe so soon after his January drink-driving conviction.

Indeed, it would seem the crime has become a feature of the campaign which Metcalfe’s indirectly sought to address – as he’s put out a long but unspecific statement, part of which says:

“I’m already disheartened to see some campaigns take swipes and pick at points of personal details on other campaigns instead of actually promoting the positives of their own.”

People make mistakes, and JW’s all for rehabilitation, but Metcalfe – who’s still early on in his two-year driving ban – hasn’t half created a problem for himself.

Not just in getting behind the wheel at nearly three times the limit, but in standing for election with this rather serious unspent conviction.

One of the 2012 intake like JW, Reg Owens, who was unopposed in 2017, faces a fight to keep a newly-redrawn St. Ishmaels ward, which for 2022 gains the Tiers Cross and Walwyns Castle communities.

Independents Claire George (who will be familiar to sitting councillors as PCC’s former scrutiny committee support officer) and Martyn Cheshire will scrap it out with a Green, Janie Harwood – who has form.

She’s the one I mentioned above, who polled more than enough to let Tory Mark Carter slip past Labour in Solva in 2017.

Reg Owens must be hoping she doesn’t adversely affect his chances in the same fashion.

Another who’ll be feeling the heat nearby is Peter Morgan (ind.) in The Havens.

The former British Lion centre who’s served since 2008 faces local businessman Nick Neumann for the Tories, in the ward which loses Walwyns Castle community, but gains Nolton and Roch from Camrose.

Haverfordwest Prendergast councillor Alison Tudor steps down unexpectedly this time because, she tearfully tells me, of the public abuse she’s experienced since first elected in 2017 – which she says ramped up after starting her 2022 re-election campaign.

She even filed nomination papers, but withdrew them late on, reluctantly citing the pressure of online attacks and anonymous vilification.

Her loss is a great shame – a more friendly, caring and attentive councillor I’ve yet to meet.

Cllr. Tudor will be replaced on the ballot for Labour by Philippa Thompson, the party’s 2017 and 2019 parliamentary candidate.

There’s a fact JW likes to remember about Thompson’s unexpectedly-close 2017 Westminster bid.

Coming only 314 votes behind Stephen Crabb in Preseli Pembrokeshire, of all 650 seats contested in that UK election only one Tory-held seat came closer to being taken by a Labour candidate – Southampton Itchen (31 majority.)

I digress!

Thompson will face Andrew Edwards, Conservative. Labour probably counts this in the bag, but if the name Edwards sounds familiar, Andrew’s uncle Mark Edwards held it for a long time.

Mark got in at a by-election after the 1999 election as a Tory, but soon defected and was re-elected thereafter as an independent until calling it a day in 2017.

Retiring Narberth councillor Vic Dennis will be replaced as Labour’s offering by Marc Tierney (the party’s regular Westminster and Cardiff Bay tryer) who goes up against an independent, Victoria McAndrew.

It might not do Tierney any favours that he’s a Carmarthenshire resident, but I think it’s unlikely to be a deciding factor.

Meanwhile in Maenclochog, Cllr. Huw George steps down, claiming he’s suffered “personal attacks” for “the last 16 years.”

The candidate he beat by 110 votes last time, Hefin Wyn, is trying again for Plaid Cymru in what the party will probably see as their best chance for a ‘proper’ gain at this election – where he’ll have to overcome Labour’s Ben Levy and independent Simon Wright.

Milford Haven’s Central ward incumbent, Cllr. Stephen Joseph (ind.) is instead challenging veteran Plaid Cymru member Rhys Sinnett next door in Milford West.

For those with long memories, it was Cllr. Sinnett who encouraged Cllr. Joseph’s political career, successfully promoting his 2012 campaign under Plaid Cymru’s banner in which he ousted the Central ward’s high-profile ruling-group incumbent, cabinet member Anne Hughes.

Joseph left the party not too long after, and won re-election in 2017 as an independent by just three votes against four others, with only 24 votes separating first from fourth.

With Joseph busy in Milford West, Central will see four battling it out to replace him, including a surprising bid from Pembrokeshire Herald owner and editor, Tom Sinclair. He stands as one of three independents including past town mayor, Terry Davies, who several sources see as the front-runner of the race which also includes a Tory.

Whilst Milford North incumbent Stan Hudson is retiring from the council this year, the Conservatives might yet keep a representative in the town.

The race to replace him sees Bill Abbott standing for the party against Alan Dennison, independent, who was last year’s Reform UK Welsh Parliament candidate.

Council leader David Simpson will face longtime senior Tory party staffer Lizzie Lesnianski in Lampeter Velfrey.

She’d be a credible councillor, but it’s difficult to see whether this is a credible nomination – because of the Tories’ long history of fielding paper candidates in local polls, a trend which is no better exemplified this year than in Lamphey.

There, cabinet member Tessa Hodgson (unaffiliated independent) goes up against just-turned-eighteen Josh, the son of Pembroke councillor Aaron Carey (Con.) – a fight in which the poor lad’s best hope must be for a full recovery.

One of the Conservatives’ hopefuls this year who can’t reasonably be deemed a paper candidate, is to be found in the new St. Florence and St. Mary out Liberty ward: Rhys Jordan.

The Plaid Cymru incumbent for part of this new division, Cllr. Jonathan Preston, will no doubt be feeling the pressure. But he has a history of fending off Tories in tough challenges.

He did it when first elected in 2012 by 21 votes, and in 2017 – when they threw the proverbial kitchen sink at this key target, yet still polled 73 behind, despite a slew of slim Conservative gains everywhere else.

The St. Florence portion will be new terrain for Preston, whose early literature also makes no reference to Plaid Cymru, although I’m told his latest leaflet does.

The Tories are once again heavily invested in this contest, in an area you wouldn’t think is natural Plaid Cymru territory.

Speaking of which, Manorbier and St. Florence incumbent, Phill Kidney (ind.) isn’t expected to face much trouble in the new Manorbier and Penally ward going up against Plaid Cymru’s candidate Steve Thomas, who JW understands is both new to the area and unknown, unlike Kidney.

Finally, I’ve uncovered what I think is a remarkable statistic about this countywide election: that only twelve losing candidates from 2017 are standing again in 2022.

Three of them, as I hinted in my last blogpost, are to be found in the new Monkton and St. Mary South ward: David Edwards (Labour) and independents Daphne Bush and Jonathan Nutting – all former councillors.

It’s the only multi-member ward in Pembrokeshire to emerge from the long-running boundary change review.

With the old Monkton ward and St. Mary South ward crudely melded into one, it cues up a contest in which the two candidates with the most votes both win a seat.

Both main national parties are fielding a full slate: Aaron Carey and Jonathan Grimes for the Conservatives, and David Edwards and Marcel Laval for Labour.

The only other party candidate is the sole Lib Dem, Lee Herring, with the remainder standing as independents: Daphne Bush, Reginald Ebrey, and Jonathan Nutting (whose campaign literature also features a dog.)

It’s anybody’s guess how things will pan out, but it’s not unreasonable to wonder if Aaron Carey, as the only sitting councillor on the menu, has enough sticking power to become the one to beat.

If so, one wonders if voters will stay in the blue column and return two Tories, or venture elsewhere in casting their second X – with many seeing Ebrey as a potential beneficiary here, particularly in and around Monkton.

This new constituency is also, by definition, large in terms of population – candidates have to get around many houses which, until now, had been spread across two divisions, both distinct communities of their own.

There aren’t many wards where I’d hint at a winner – and even though there’ll be two winners here, this isn’t one of them!


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9 Comments...

  • Malcolm Calver

    Excellent report Jacob, but no indication as to which candidates you believe would reduce the size and the cost of Pembrokeshire County Council on the beleaguered council taxpayers of the county.

  • Keanjo

    I really would like to believe that the new council will improve the governance of our County but I know it won’t.

  • Mark

    Malcolm the size of the council would be a decision of the Senedd not the council, and given that most parties in the Senedd are keen to significantly increase the number of their members (I believe against public feeling) I can’t see them looking to reduce councillors (and therefore seats on the gravy train) at the same time!

  • John Hudson

    Keanjo, I am afraid I share your pessimism. Most councillors appear not to be interested in dry, dusty matters such as the constitution which are the rules on how they are allowed to govern.

    They will be indicted on these by council officers and/or LGA reps. I think Jacob did a piece on this “member training” once.

  • Malcolm Calver

    Mark, a slight misunderstanding. In my comment I meant the size of the council itself, I realize that the number of county councillors is fixed but with salaries of over £200,000 being paid out to chief executives and a bloated amount of staff at all levels a cutback is necessary and long overdue at all forms of so called “local government” in Wales.

  • Pembs. Exile

    I hope Pembrokeshire voters when they vote this year will have in mind the money which has been wasted in illegal payments.

    This is your chance to vote for change. I cannot recall anyone having been held accountable for these inefficiencies.

  • John Hudson

    Pembs. Exile, I do not think that this illegal payment can be classified as an “inefficiency”. It arose out of a deliberate consideration of a matter, supported, or at least not corrected by impartial senior officers at the time.

    The Council also decided to allow the payment to stand, without as you say any accountability for incorrect process. We have yet to find out the total inclusive cost of correcting this unlawful matter.

  • Keanjo

    On the subject of money wasting, several years ago Bluestone owed PCC £1.8 million for a loan and the construction of a roundabout. There was some difficulty in obtaining repayment and the council accepted a 3% share in the company in lieu.

    Recently I asked the position on PCC’s investment and received the reply under FOI. Apparently the share holding has now been reduced to 0.5% and no information could be given on the present value of the holding.

    It really is alarming that our money can be wasted without any apparent control. It is no wonder our council tax is rising so rapidly but will a new set of councillors be able to bring matters under control?

  • Pembs. Exile

    John: “Supposition” until someone accepts responsibility or someone is held accountable.

    The Auditors have declared it an “illegal payment” but few have raised a voice or done anything on behalf of the voters to right the wrong.

    I long for the good old days when if an illegal payment was made members/senior officer could be held responsible for the repayment. “Dream on, dream on” I hear you say!

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