A HAVERFORDWEST MAN has told The Herald that he would rather serve time in prison than pay his council tax demands from Pembrokeshire County Council.Ex-Army Commando Mark Llewhellin, 39, of Catherine’s Gate, Merlin’s Bridge says that he is refusing to pay because of cuts in vital services and council staff pay, for key workers, including many of hisfriends.
Mr Llewhellin, who in 2001 broke a world-record in running, said:
“I think that council boss Bryn Parry Jones is a bully. Seven people who are my friends, who work for the council, told me that he sent a memo around to staff ordering them not speak to him unless he speaks to them first.”
The ex-body guard and personalfitness trainer added: “He has lost track of his true job role, which is as a servant of the people, not the dictator of the county.”
“Why should I pay money to Pembrokeshire County Council when they have agreed to allow Bryn Parry Jones to avoid paying tax on his pension scheme?”
“There should not be one rule for him and another for us.”
Mark Llewhellin said
“Thomas Jefferson principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States once said
‘If a law in unjust a man is not only right to disobey it he is obligated to do so’.
“If they put me in prison this will cost more than I owe in council tax. It will be a complete waste of the people’s money. I have been in the toughest prison in the United Kingdom, The Glasshouse in Colchester. Going to Colchester after coming off the All Arms Commando Course was like Butlin’s to me. Going to a normal prison will be like going on holiday in Disneyland.”
The Herald asked Mr. Llewhellin about the possibility of the council employing bailiffs to take away and sell his personal possessions. But, Mr.
Llewhellin told our reporter:
“I have a Mazda RX8 with a private plate, an Armani watch, and a brand new mountain bike. I have Honda CBR1100 motorcycle and £77 in cash. This all adds up to £7,000 worth of assets.”
“I have decided to give away all of these possessions in a competition to take place in the near future. Once these possessions have been given away, there will be nothing for any council bailiff to take away and sell.”
Mr. Llewhellin concluded:
“I feel that the main role of a Chief Executive in a county is that you must be kind to people, and you must be down to earth and be able to relate to people from all walks of life.”
Mr. Llewhellin currently organises charity running events around the world. A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said “Customers should not refuse to pay their Council Tax. There is a statutory recovery process prescribed by the Welsh Government. Persistent default will result in a summons to appear in Magistrates Court and can result in the imposition of additional costs of approximately £63. If the debt remains unpaid the regulations allow magistrates to consider a custodial sentence.”