MERTHYR Tydfil Council is investigating a comment allegedly made online by a pub owned by a councillor which said “let’s party like it’s 1999” before the original coronavirus lockdown.
A standards committee hearing will take place in March after a complaint was received from Councillor Darren Roberts about the comment which was allegedly made on the website of a pub owned by Councillor Geraint Thomas the cabinet member for regeneration and public protection just before lockdown came into force in March 2020.
At a meeting of the committee on Friday, January 29, head of legal services at the council Carys Kennedy said:
“That was referred to me as a complaint. The suggestion being that kind of comment brought the council into disrepute. That Councillor Geraint Thomas should have had control of what was posted on that website because it is his pub.
“My initial feeling was that that was something that could be dealt with by way of informal resolution but the complainant wasn’t happy with it being dealt with in that way and wanted it to be referred to this committee.”
She then explained the reasons for the delay in bringing this item to the committee with the March meeting cancelled because they couldn’t have face to face meetings and they hadn’t set up anything remotely.
It was further delayed when a meeting scheduled for November but the democratic services staff were helping with mass coronavirus testing so it couldn’t take place then either.
The chair of the committee agreed to hold a hearing and then the committee agreed to a provisional date for the hearing of Friday, March 12 with March 19 to be used as a backup.
The complainant has 21 days to submit his evidence and the respondent will have 21 days to respond.
Councillor Geraint Thomas has been contacted for comment.