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Council leader ‘honoured’ to continue after surviving no-confidence challengeWS

PEMBROKESHIRE’S council leader David Simpson has said it is an honour to continue to serve in his role after surviving a no-confidence vote on Thursday, 18 May.

An Extraordinary Meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, on Thursday May 18, considered a Notice of Motion of no confidence in the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor David Simpson.

The Notice of Motion was submitted by Councillor Jamie Adams on behalf of the Independent Group, with Newport and Dinas Independent Group member Cllr Huw Murphy nominated as his replacement if the no-confidence call is carried.

Lampeter Velfrey councillor Cllr Simpson became leader in 2017, after leaving the-then ruling IPPG group after losing confidence in the way cabinet was being run by Cllr Jamie Adams, the leader at the time.

Cllr Adams’ notice simply read: “We hereby give formal notice of submitting a Notice of Motion of no confidence in the Leader.”

The no-confidence vote was 29 for, 31 against.

Delighted: Cllr David Simpson at the meeting on Thursday

During his speech before the no-confidence vote, Cllr Simpson said: “When I first became leader, there were many changes that needed to be made, some of them not so popular.

“We all know that we cannot please all of the people, all of the time and there will and should be healthy debate in the chamber.

“However, the ultimate goal should always be to make our county a place that we are proud to live in, knowing that as members, we have made the right decisions for all of our futures.”

He finished: “Regarding the vote before you today, I have no affiliation to a party or group, so the power lies within each of you.

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“Therefore, with respect, I am asking that you all make a democratic choice, which will hopefully allow me to continue as leader.”

Arguing for Simpson’s removal: Cllr Jamie Adams in full flow

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr David Simpson said: “I am of course delighted that the majority of members voted against the notice of motion.

“It is an honour to serve as leader of the council and, importantly, this result means that the administration and I can now continue with our important work for Pembrokeshire.

“This work includes pushing forward with the Celtic Freeport, delivering our town centre regeneration and improving council services such as education, housing, social care and safeguarding.

“I’ve always said that my door is open and that remains the case. I am happy to work with members from across the chamber for our common goal, to improve lives here in Pembrokeshire.”

Cllr Adams and Cllr Murphy have been contacted for their responses after the narrowly defeated no-confidence vote.