MS blames Caerphilly Council for Labour local election losses
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A Labour Senedd Member has blamed the corporate side of Caerphilly County Borough Council for the loss of two Labour councillors in the St Cattwg ward.
In a tweet, Caerphilly MS Hefin David said the council’s corportate leadership had consistently failed and tagged the council’s Chief Executive, Christina Harrhy.
Following last week’s council elections, two Plaid Cymru councillors and one Labour councillor now represent the St Cattwg ward – before the election it was represented by three Labour councillors.
Hefin David, who grew up in Penpedairheol and is himself a former St Cattwg ward councillor, wrote on Twitter: “Our losses in St Cattwg aren’t due to elected members but a consistent failure of the corporate leadership of Caerphilly County Borough Council to take seriously the concerns of the community over many years.
“I remember the battle we had to set up a liaison group. Not good enough Christina Harrhy.”
The local concerns Dr David is referring to include the Bryn Quarry in Gelligaer – which has been the subject of controversy for a number of years.
In November 2021, plans to expand the quarry were refused by the council’s cross-party planning committee, following anger from residents and ongoing complaints of noise, dust pollution and lorry movements.
Ms Harrhy said: “As Chief Executive of the council, my role is strictly non-political and the authority has a duty to ensure that businesses within the area comply with all appropriate legal, planning and environmental requirements.
“The council is aware of ongoing concerns in the community relating to operations at the Bryn Quarry site and we are working with a range of statutory agencies to closely monitor activity.”
When speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Dr David said he wanted the liaison group to be re-established and to include Natural Resources Wales and Public Health Wales in addition to the council.
He added: “This goes way beyond communication, I shouldn’t have to battle to get these things set-up.”
Ms Harrhy assured residents that the council takes their concerns seriously and it has “options to progress appropriate enforcement action if required”.
The full results of votes cast for candidates standing in St Cattwg:
- Haydn Pritchard (PC): 902 – Elected.
- Ann Gair (Lab): 848 – Elected.
- Judith Pritchard (PC): 843 – Elected.
- Carmen Bezzina (Lab): 822
- John Tully Toner (Lab): 784
- Catrin Moss (PC): 752
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.