A Plaid Cymru Councillor in Gwynedd has announced that he has joined Senedd Member Neil McEvoy’s currently unregistered Welsh National Party.
Cllr Peter Read, who represents Abererch ward, is the second councillor in the county to have done so after independent Dylan Bullard who represents Pwllheli North joined at the end of April.
The Welsh National Party is currently unregistered following a threat of legal action by Plaid Cymru over their name, which they claim is too similar to their own.
The party, formed at the beginning of this year, now has seven Councillors across three local authorities, as well as one member of the Senedd in Neil McEvoy.
Cllr Peter Read said that his opposition to Gwynedd’s Local Development Plan was forefront in his decision to join the McEvoy’s party.
“Joining the WNP is a positive decision to shake up politics in Gwynedd and Wales,” Cllr Peter Read said.
“The Welsh National Party will be seeking amendments to Gwynedd’s Local Development Plan at the earliest opportunity. Planning needs to be at a human scale, not geared towards big developers.
“It often seems like it’s easier for a person from outside Wales to build a house here, while young people just can’t get a mortgage. And we must stop family homes being converted into yet more holiday homes. Local housing must be there for local people.
“The WNP Gwynedd Council Group is also calling for urgent action to stop the coming influx of visitors this Whitsun holiday, after the relaxation of regulations in England. Road restrictions should be put in place. Those travelling to second homes should be fined and sent home.
“I’m a strong believer in the WNP’s policy of community sovereignty. Communities should decide what happens locally. Because what the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us is that we still have a strong, proud community. When it mattered we could rely on each other and it’s brought us closer, but it’s also shown us the cracks. We can’t go back to the way things were before.
“I joined the WNP because its politics are fresh and clear. Wales and Gwynedd have enormous potential. Now we have a party that can be better for Wales.”
WNP Leader Neil McEvoy MS said that there was “real momentum” behind his party and that he was forming an “excellent team”.
He said that Gwynedd was a place that he “loved” but had been “overlooked and let down for too long”.
“We will be putting forward solutions going forward, starting with Gwynedd’s Local Development Plan,” he said. “We need housing and jobs in Gwynedd that prioritises people who are actually from Gwynedd.
“The WNP is the real Welsh alternative now. The cosy Cardiff Bay consensus is coming to an end as we take power back to the communities in Wales.”
Neil McEvoy was originally elected for Plaid Cymru to represent the South Wales Central region in 2016 before being expelled in 2017.
He withdrew his application to re-join Plaid Cymru in July of last year and registered the new Welsh National Party in January of this year.
In January he was suspended as a Cardiff councillor for four months after a council panel ruled he had bullied a care home worker.