THE APPOINTMENT of a community councillor to Pembrokeshire’s standards committee has been called into question.
Cllr David Bryan said he had concerns about “how the nomination was carried out” following the proposal to include Stackpole and Castlemartin councillor David Edwards in the committee membership.
He said that declarations of interests should have been made with members of the appointment panel knowing Mr Edwards through the Labour party.
Cllr Joshua Beynon was on the panel and told full council he had no help in his election campaign from Mr Edwards and was not a close personal associate.
Cllr Jacob Williams, also on the panel, rebuffed accusations from Cllr Jamie Adams that it was “jobs for the boys” or that council leader Cllr David Simpson had influenced panel membership.
“If you divide everyone up into either friends or enemies I would call him [David Edwards] a friend but not a close personal associate. That’s the threshold for personal interest let alone prejudicial,” said Cllr Williams.
He added that full council appointed the panel members, himself, Cllr Beynon, and Cllr Vic Dennis.
There were five or six applicants, all were interviewed and scored on a matrix, Cllr Williams said, with Mr Edwards coming out on top.
Cllr Adams said he would refer the lack of declarations of interest to the monitoring officer, adding he had “no confidence” in the appointment process which was “fundamentally flawed.”
Mr Edwards told the local democracy reporting service that he declared his Labour party membership to the monitoring officer, as well as his knowledge of panel members.
It was accepted by the independent chairman of the panel, he said.