Friday 21 April 2017

Election Tour 2017: Llandybie, Llandeilo and a little bit of Llanelli (Updated)

Update 21 April - Parliamo Italiano!

As Cllr Anthony 'Whitey' Davies prepares to head off to enjoy the almond blossom in Italy, it seems that some residents in his ward are hoping that it will be a case of addio (farewell) rather than arrivederci (goodbye until we meet again).

Planning application E/34305 would re-open a landfill site at the former Abernant Farm for the dumping of materials after extensive taxpayer funded remediation and restoration works. As one resident put it,

The proposal would adversely affect residents of Heol Ddu, as 3,100 loads of material would be carried by 32 tonne/9.1m long 8 wheel tipper lorries along the very narrow lanes through Heol Ddu to reach the site (lorries exiting through the housing developments along Nant Y Glyn Road in Glanaman). The dumping would continue for many years, operating six days a week.

Among the statutory consultees listed are three county councillors: Anthony Jones (Lab.) and Anthony 'Whitey' Davies (Ind.) for Llandybie, and Dai Jenkins (Plaid) for Glanaman.

Locals threatened with having their lives made hell for years to come naturally assumed that their councillors would respond and put the case against the proposed development forcefully.

It seems that only Dai Jenkins did, with neither of the Llandybie councillors bothering.

Stronzo! as they say on Montalbano.


It is almost a cliché to say that Carmarthenshire is a county of contrasts; it is in its way a mini-Wales with its post-industrial, semi-rural communities in the east, Llanelli in the south and the overwhelmingly rural north and west with their market towns.

That mix is reflected in the election campaigns now underway. Compared with the bitter trench warfare which is going on in Llanelli, fuelled by the peculiarly toxic nature of the Labour Party there, the local government election campaign in the rest of the county is a much quieter and more civilised affair.

But before we leave Llanelli for the moment, news came in yesterday that Labour has reported two more opponents to the police for errors in the imprints on their election material. One of those is Theressa Bowen (Ind., Llwynhendy), while the other is understood to be Huw Richards (Ind., Felinfoel).

Dyfed Powys Police will breathe a sigh of relief when election season finally ends because the Labour Party has clearly decided to shore up its campaign by using threats of legal action and criminal prosecution to intimidate its opponents as it spews out bogus claims of harassment, hacking and abuse of candidates' partners and children.

It is significant that Llanelli Labour is directing its attacks at Plaid and the Independents while developing a much more cosy relationship with the Tories and UKIP.

What many voters do not realise is that a good proportion of the claims made by Labour candidates that they have gone to the police are complete fabrications, while others, such as Rob James's bizarre attempt to rubbish his attendance record in Neath Port Talbot, should constitute wasting police time.

But let's leave the madhouse and head north, where some quieter but nevertheless very interesting contests are taking place.

One of those is Llandybie, where Anthony 'Whitey' Davies (Ind.) is going on holiday to Italy, saying that he booked it a long time ago, having apparently forgotten that the date of the election has been known for the last five years.

Nobody can remember the last time Cllr Davies made a contribution to a council meeting - or even if he has ever spoken.

Also representing Llandybie is Anthony Jones (Lab.) who has traditionally been able to take his support for granted without wasting too much shoe leather. His pompous delivery in County Hall never won him many friends, and on the odd occasion in the past he threw a few spanners in the works of his neighbour and colleague Kevin Madge, fuelling speculation that he had ambitions to lead the Labour Group.

All the indications are that Anthony will be spending a lot more time with his family after 4 May.

Llandybie is represented by two councillors, but Anthony Jones is the only Labour candidate. UKIP is represented by Nigel Humphreys (Isle of Wight), while Plaid is fielding Karen Davies and Dai Nicholas, both from the village. Karen's background is in the health service, while Dai has very extensive experience in marketing, business and project finance.

Also standing are Sandra Morgan (Tory) and another independent, Pat Jenkins.

Another interesting contest is taking place not far away in Llandeilo, currently held by Edward Thomas (Ind.). Also standing are a Tory and a LibDem, but this is in reality a two horse race between Keri Lewis for Plaid and Edward Thomas.

Edward Thomas is a nice enough man, but in common with most of his Independent colleagues he has little more to offer than being a local man, with no wider vision for the county beyond Llandeilo.

Keri is young by county council standards, energetic and very much of the new generation of Plaid candidates. This is the first time he has stood for election.

Labour is not bothering, which should come as no surprise considering Lee Waters' idiotic opposition to the town's £50 million bypass scheme on the grounds that, in his view, it made a mockery of Leanne Wood's green credentials.

Keri is a Chartered Environmentalist and understands the science behind the pollution which has afflicted Llandeilo for so long. In particular he has highlighted the threat to the long-term health of children in the town caused by particulates which make their way from the lungs into the brain and other organs of the body.

In an online debate on the bypass with Lee Waters (Barry Island, Lab.), it is fair to say that Keri won a slamdunk victory over the blundering AM whose time at the IWA seems to have convinced him that he is an expert on everything from the Welsh language to environmental science.


Anonymous said...

I think you will find that Anthony Davies was out campaigning in his ward this week and is not away on holiday . So Cneifiwr do a bit of fact checking !
Also you will find that Cllr Edward Thomas speaks regularly in County Hall and was active in campaigning for the by pass before Keri Lewis moved to Llandeilo less than a year ago.
I know Cllr Thomas looks after his constituents in Llandeilo & Dyffryn Cennen and is that not what you want from a local county councillor?

Anonymous said...

Edward Thomas is my local councillor, and a very good one he is. He knows his constituency and constituents very well - you will see him happily chatting to people in Welsh or English in Llandeilo every day. He is an excellent local councillor who knows the issues we have in here and works hard for the people. I don't think you can ask for any better than having a diligent and approachable local man as councillor. I am, by inclination, a strong Plaid supporter but frankly they haven't exactly covered themselves with glory since taking over from Labour on CCC so I will be voting for Edward Thomas. But in the forthcoming General Election I will be voting Plaid. This will be my family's first opportunity to vote since moving back here after many years away,

Cneifiwr said...

Anon @14.11 He hasn't gone yet, so we are both half right. I'm told the weather is lovely in Pisa at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Labour has come in for another bashing. I understand that the Police have been inundated with complaints about candidates predominantly from one Party which isn't Labour. They have almost made it a lifestyle choice. Don't suppose they will readily give details of these though given the stance you usually take. I am wondering why you aren't standing for Plaid given that you are the best propaganda machine for them as far as this blog goes.I wonder how far it actually goes..... It is more varied though than your friend from the North and you don't allow personal insults against people most of the time which is reassuring and at least you do nail your colours to the mast unlike your friend who is downright abusive to everyone except his cult followers.

Anonymous said...

Re : Anthony Davies - what a shallow argument to criticise someone for taking a holiday. Surely I don't need to remind you that the Councillor's role is for a set period - and it is in that time that the electorate get to know what you do for the community. His commitment to the village is first class - no politics involved - just doing what's best for his community. Canvassing for votes is a nice 'to do' but an ever open door policy over the term of office is much better. If more of the political animals in County Hall took Anthony's approach , and not just do it for their own self interest and gain , Carmarthenshire would be a far better place to live.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Labour in Llanelli are really scraping the barrel with their batch of candidates. In Hengoed for example in desperation they have rolled out a previously disgraced AM and I understand their newest Labour convert, described by some as a local "business woman" in the area, has a history of involvement in some very dubious business practices. Frankly they must have struggled for candidates for these elections as a quite a few of them are of very questionable intelligence and low moral standing within their communities.In their desperation the local leadership really hasn't done its homework. The dirty tricks campaign they have embarked on also does little to inspire. Shame on you Labour Llanelli, you must think the electorate are stupid, you have genuinely turned into the nasty party.

Anonymous said...

Well yes they are scraping . Ex *cough*postmistresses ex drs surgery staff who are or were supposed managers and social workers ? Hospital shop staff . Why are they all ex staff then as some are in 40s i find that very early retirement age !

Anonymous said...

ET is a nice gentleman and does work hard in the community. However what are his political principles? Is he right wing left wing liberal authoritarian? Surely all candidates should declare this. As for the bornnbred ere mentality...that attitude beggars belief

Anonymous said...

Re:Llandabie. Why is someone from the Isle of Wight standing for election in West Wales or is that a misprint? Iv'e heard of MPs and AMs not wishing to live in the constituency that they represent but Isle Of Wight is surely a stretch too far!!

Cneifiwr said...

The UKIP candidate, Nigel Humphreys, moved to the area from the IoW some years ago. He is actually quite a likable old so-and-so, and it's a pity he's got mixed up with the Kippers.

Anonymous said...

Just had to comment to state that Edward Thomas is not only a "nice enough man" but genuinely works hard for the local community. He not only reacts to problems but seeks out and resolves issues as a good councillor should. No one should be so wedded to political parties that they cannot appreciate people who improve their communities as independents. One does not need grand visions to be a councillor - though I should add that Councillor Thomas has worked with surrounding community councils on several cross-cutting issues and has consistently worked to end Llandeilo's pollution problem far more than any other individual.

Anonymous said... Welcome to wales & llandeilo the conservative candidate for Llandeilo . 24 mins into the broadcast , well done Lib Dems & Indie for actually speaking Welsh

Anonymous said...

How is this relevent?