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Tory politician apologises after ‘moonlighting’ complaint

14 Dec 2021 3 minute read
Gareth Davies appearing on Zoom in a Senedd session. Image Senedd TV

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

A Conservative politician has apologised after breaking the rules whilst serving as an MS and Denbighshire County Councillor, using Senedd resources for both jobs.

Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies serves on Denbighshire County Council in the Prestatyn South-West ward but has only attended 50% of council meetings since mid-June.

But that’s not what has landed him in hot water.

Fellow Denbighshire councillor Paul Penlington made an official complaint to the Senedd, citing that Mr Davies was ‘moonlighting’ and breaking Senedd rules by doing other work from his Cardiff office – namely attending virtual Denbighshire council meetings.

A Senedd Member currently receives £67,649 a year, and according to council records, Mr Davies also receives a £14,217 council salary, plus pension contributions.

Stepping down

A spokesman for Mr Davies apologised and said he would be stepping down from his role as a councillor in May, adding that he was donating his council salary to charity.

When asked for the details of when the donation was or is being made, and to whom, the spokesman was unable to comment in the time-frame provided.

A Welsh Conservative spokesman commented: “Gareth Davies has proudly served constituents in South-West Prestatyn since 2017 when he pledged to make the area a better and safer place to live, work and play.

“His record of delivery locally was recognised by people across the Vale of Clwyd constituency last May when they voted for him to be their next member of the Senedd.

“Like other recently elected members who were also county councillors, he’s committed to see out his term which finishes next May, rather than inflict a costly by-election worth thousands of pounds on the taxpayer. Gareth is also donating his councillor salary to charitable causes.

“As a new member, he was not fully aware of the rules regarding the Senedd and attending virtual council meetings and has since made a full apology to the Presiding Officer and the Standards Commissioner, making clear this will not happen again.

“Gareth has been thoroughly honoured to have represented his local community over the past five years and will continue to assist them and work hard on their behalf – including opposing the proposed housing development on the land adjacent to Alexandra Drive – until he steps down in May.”

Cllr Paul Penlington made the complaint to the Senedd and said: “Prestatyn county councillor and member of the Senedd Gareth Davies has only attended 50% of meetings at Denbighshire County Council, most often from his office in Cardiff during time he should be working at the Senedd.

“His two-timing lack of local representation is costing taxpayers over £81,000 a year, plus expenses.”

Cllr Penlington added: “I have now made a complaint to the presiding officer of the Welsh Government objecting to his using his Senedd office to pop into a Denbighshire meeting for a brief appearance once every few months instead of doing the job he is very well paid to do.

“Apart from misusing his time and resources in the Senedd, he is making a mockery of the people who expect him to represent them. If he wants the pay, he should work at the job. It is usually the honourable thing for a councillor to step down if he takes higher office. That does not seem to be the case with two-jobs Cllr Gareth Davies MS.”

The Senedd declined to comment.


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Ed Jones
Ed Jones
11 months ago

Plaid supporter here. Genuine question = where have the decent Tories gone? They must surely be angry with what has happened to their party and the utter incompetents who now represent them?
With regards to this fine example of a political grifter, anyone really surprised?!

blc
blc
11 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

Most of them were ousted, sacked, or had the whip removed, and usually because of Brexit issues. In the Tory party that’s your reward for standing up for your constituents or voting for what is best for the country. People like Dominic Grieve; you might fundamentally disagree with them when it comes to policy, but you could hold the utmost respect and esteem for them.

Last edited 11 months ago by blc
Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
11 months ago
Reply to  Ed Jones

What makes you think. Middle England Tories don’t want to be represented by Grifters, Cancers and Claptrappers?

j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago
Reply to  Owain Morgan

Whole point of Brexit, for Tories, was keeping the offshore tax avoidance afloat?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

More Conservative corruption without consequences. Crooked Gareth Davies was elected to serve his constituents where in reality has served himself.

If I had my hand in the till would be sacked.. This is theft of public resources. He should resign.

It makes me sick how these Tory apologists come from under their stones to defend the indefensible. One rule for us one rule for them.

#YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #Ymlaen 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #FreeWalesFromToryCorruption 🇬🇧

Last edited 11 months ago by Y Cymro
Richard
Richard
11 months ago

I have never met or have any link to him – and didnt vote for him but i think his guy needs to become his own person – representing all of us in Dyffryn Clwyd – rather than the rep of those sitting in other legrslatures….which sadly appears the case. We need a full time constituency member only focused on doing his best for his patch.

Last edited 11 months ago by Richard
Quornby
Quornby
11 months ago

Is that the gobble grunt of another Tory at the trough I hear?

Grayham Jones
11 months ago

Stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago

Cymru needs a new conservative party, focused on serving our land. Tories out!

Llyn expat
Llyn expat
11 months ago

Card-carrying Labour member here, so not naturally sympathetic to a Tory. But I really don’t think dialling into a council meeting from a Senedd office is such a bad thing. it’s not as though he is using Senedd facilities for private gain, he is taking part in the governance of a part of Wales. The MS is seeing out the rest of his council term after his election and so avoiding a by election (nothing wrong with that in my opinion) so is still a councillor. The other options for him all seem worse — either don’t turn up, bill… Read more »

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