Propel candidate for Newport elections is currently living and working in Dubai
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A Propel Wales candidate who is standing in the Newport council elections in May is currently living and working in Dubai.
Shane Anthony Williams is standing in the Tredegar Park and Marshfield ward – where three seats are available – despite not currently having a home address in Newport.
Mr Williams has been teaching in Dubai for the past five years, but has said he has handed in his notice and he intends to return to Wales on July 6 – two months after the election on May 5.
Candidates must meet one or more of the following requirements to stand in a council election:
- Registered to vote in the area.
- Lived in the area for the whole of the last 12 months.
- Rented or owned land or premises in the area for the whole of the last 12 months.
- Had their main job in the area for the whole of the last 12 months.
Born and bred
Mr Williams said: “I am standing for Propel, because I believe people are looking for genuine political change. I am born and bred in the area and taught at Duffryn High for five years, before teaching abroad.
“My life experiences living away give me that bit of extra insight and I want to make a difference in my community. I have seen and experienced the ongoing issues faced especially by young people and senior citizens.”
Propel Wales is a political party that was formed by Neil McEvoy in January 2020.
Mr McEvoy was expelled from Plaid Cymru in 2018 and is a former Member of Senedd representing the South Wales Central region.
Mr McEvoy, who is standing for re-election in the Fairwater ward in Cardiff, said: “Propel is delighted to be breaking ground in Newport with such high-calibre candidates. Shane is a working class boy who has done well. His longing for Wales has pulled him back home and he wants to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in. ”
Here is a full list of candidates standing in the Tredegar Park and Marshfield ward:
Wayne Anthony Cresswell – Conservative
Rhian Howells – Labour
Celia Jones – Propel: Not Politics As Usual
Catherine Jane Linstrum – Green Party
Brian Miles – Conservative
Sarah Louise Nurse – Conservative
Allan Screen – Labour
Trevor Watkins – Labour
Shane Anthony Williams – Propel: Not Politics As Usual
Leader of the Newport Conservatives, Matthew Evans who is standing in the Allt-yr-yn ward, described the situation as “bizarre”.
Mr Evans said: “If you’re entitled to stand, you’re entitled to stand. The electorate will decide if they want to vote for someone who doesn’t live in Newport or even the country.”
A spokesperson for the Gwent Green Party said: “People want to be able to elect councillors who are visible all year round, and the Green Party prides itself on choosing candidates with a track record of hard work in their communities.
“Catherine has worked with residents to bring broadband to St Brides, clear fly tipping and save the Gwent Levels. The people of Tredegar Park and Marshfield will of course decide for themselves, but we struggle to see how this level of representation could be achieved from Dubai.”
Newport Labour and Newport Independents Party have been contacted for comment.
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