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A NEW political group has been formed by councillors in Powys.

At a (PCC) meeting on Thursday, March 4 it emerged that Cllrs Karen Laurie-Parry and Liam Fitzpatrick had joined forces.

As part of the Council Tax resolution debate Council chairman, Cllr Gwynfor Thomas, gave all opposition group leaders the opportunity to speak on the issue, and he called upon Cllr Fitzpatrick to speak for the “New Powys,” grouping.

Due to technical issues, Cllr Laurie-Parry spoke on behalf of the group to say they were not supporting the budget.

After two years in the wilderness as a non-aligned councillor, former cabinet member, Cllr Fitzpatrick (Tal-y-bont on Usk) explained why they had created the group.

“New Powys is a new post- political group that is determined to stand up for residents in Powys who we believe have been unfairly treated by Powys politics for some years,” he said.

“This combined with an opposition that doesn’t really oppose  has left us all totally disconnected form what is happening.

“County Hall isn’t a gentleman’s club where everyone is very polite and doesn’t want to upset anyone – it’s where we go to represent our residents and New Powys believes they have been forgotten, and worse than that, ignored.”

Cllr Fitzpatrick, believes it was possible to have had to have frozen council tax, by using reserves, and cabinet members should have made sure that all the savings/cuts that were proposed for 2020/21 were made.

Cllr Fitzpatrick intends New Powys to be a political force into the future, and hopes to be able to recruit more members at next year’s elections,

Last week, following the full council meeting which narrowly voted in favour of the 2.9 per cent Council Tax rise, Cllr Laurie-Parry announced that she had left the group.

She had been unhappy with the council tax rise and voted against it

Cllr Laurie-Parry, said: “Liam is the leader as he has far more experience as a councillor and former cabinet member, I have 26 years’ experience as a local government officer.”

Last month moves were made by three other councillors.

Cllrs Les Skilton and Gwilym Williams, both left the Conservative group which is part of the ruling coalition, to join Action for Powys.

Anti-poverty champion, Cllr Joy Jones who was non-aligned, also joined Action for Powys.

This means that the make-up of the council is now:

Independents = 23

Conservative = 15

The ruling coalition is Independent and Conservative Groups = 38

Liberal Democrats & Green  = 15

Labour = 8

Action for Powys – 7

Plaid Cymru = 2

New Powys = 2

Non-aligned = 1 – Cllr Claire Mills is a member of Abolish The Welsh  Assembly Party.

Total = 73

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