PLAID CYMRU now has a majority in Carmarthenshire County Council
A veteran Labour Carmarthenshire councillor has crossed the floor to join the Plaid Cymru group in County Hall. Cllr Colin Evans, who represents the Pontamman ward, was formerly an Executive Board member when Labour led the council up to 2015. This is a historic moment, because it means that for the first time ever Plaid holds the majority of seats on Carmarthenshire County Council.
Councillor Evans said his move followed a long period of reflection on the state of the Labour party, having been a member of the Labour Party for over 30 years, but that the determination of the Plaid Cymru group to improve the fortunes of the Amman Valley as well as having been well received by Plaid councillors had helped him make the decision.
The move marks another blow for the leader of the Labour group on the council, and a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, who in March of this year lost 5 County Councillors to the formation of the New Independent group following accusations of bullying and harassment.
In comparison to the results of the 2017 County Council Elections, the move by Cllr Colin Evans now sees the overall number of councillors per group as follows:
Plaid Cymru 38 (+2),
Labour 17 (-5),
Independents group 13 (-2),
New Independents group 5 (+5)
non-affiliated independent 1
Councillor Colin Evans said:
“It is a regretfully sad fact that I no longer recognise the party that I joined over 30 years ago.
“It is true to say that I am totally exasperated with the Labour party’s current direction of travel which is, of course, the Momentum group.
“I have also, over the past few years found myself increasingly at odds with the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn,both in terms of his nebulous stance on Brexit as well as other issues.
“I feel that it is not so much a case of me leaving the Labour Party, rather that the Labour Party has left me.
“I feel therefore that I have more in common with the policies, aims and objectives of Plaid in improving the quality of life of the residents of Carmarthenshire and the Amman Valley than those of my former party.
“Following a warm welcome, I look forward to working with my new colleagues in Plaid Cymru to deliver for the residents of Pontamman.”
Assembly Member and Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price with Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards extended a warm welcome to the new councillor. Their Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency now has 23 Plaid Cymru, 6 Independent and 1 Labour councillors.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards added:
“I am delighted to welcome Colin, an experienced and astute Councillor, to the Plaid Cymru team. We are particularly pleased that Colin has recognised the importance we have placed in delivering for the Amman Valley, and how this aligns with his priorities for the Pontaman ward he represents.
“Adam and I look forward to working with him more closely over the coming months and years.
Plaid Cymru Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Councillor Emlyn Dole said:
“I’m delighted that such an experienced and highly-respected councillor has decided to join us.
“Colin is a prudent and politically intelligent person, so his decision is highly significant and carries considerable clout. It is a recognition of this council’s ambitious and successful agenda in fields such as housing, leisure and regeneration, and our fight to defend services such as education and social care in the face of year-on-year cutbacks from central government.
“Colin Evans’ move may also be viewed in the context of a wider national movement, with clear signs that Plaid Cymru’s agenda is becoming increasingly attractive. Plaid Cymru now hold 38 out of 74 seats on the council, which they currently run in coalition with the Independents. That arrangement is unlikely to change at present.”