PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL will hold an Extraordinary Meeting next month to discuss a Notice of Motion of no confidence in the Leader of the Council, Cllr David Simpson. The meeting, scheduled for Thursday 18th May, will be attended by council members and will consider the motion submitted by Cllr Jamie Adams on behalf of the Independent Group.
The Notice of Motion has caused concern among some council members, who fear that it could lead to a power vacuum and disrupt the smooth functioning of the council. Others, however, have welcomed the motion, saying that it is a necessary step in ensuring that the council remains accountable to the people it serves.
On April 18, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Independent Group – the largest opposition group – confirmed it had submitted a notice of no confidence in the local authority’s leader Cllr David Simpson.
The no-confidence motion arrived on the first anniversary of last May’s local elections.
Cllr Simpson has led the Council since 2017.
Cllr Jamie Adams, leader of the Independent Group and previous leader of the Council, said: “The people of Pembrokeshire deserve a change from the downward trajectory which Cllr Simpson has overseen for many years.
“Within the last few months, there has been a spate of issues with the administration running the authorities’ finances into disarray.
“There’s been a damming Audit Office Public Interest Report; overspends into the millions on the Haverfordwest Transport Interchange, Haverfordwest Quayside Haverfordwest Castle, and Pembroke’s South Quay; and the simple, yet costly, mistake of not ensuring rent increase letters are delivered on time.”
“All of this happened while the administration hiked residents’ Council Tax higher than necessary and now threatens to close much-needed public toilets, adding a disadvantage to our most vulnerable residents and harming our vital tourism economy,” Jamie Adams said.
Cllr Adams said he would not be a candidate to replace Cllr Simpson if the no-confidence motion succeeded.
“The public voted many new councillors onto the Council in May 2022, signalling they want a change.
“I won’t seek re-election as leader of the Council, but I feel it is only right that the people of Pembrokeshire should not be burdened financially by this current Leadership’s failures.”
Cllr John Davies, a previous council leader and Independent Group member, added: “I will not seek re-election to lead the Council. However, I strongly feel that under Cllr Simpson’s leadership, much of Pembrokeshire has been left out in favour of large, unaffordable projects.
“Due to the significant challenges the authority now faces, the Council requires a strong, effective, and visible Leader at the helm”.
Any nominations for the post of Leader must be received by Friday 5th May, ahead of the meeting. The Extraordinary Meeting will take place at County Hall in Haverfordwest at 10am on Thursday 18th May, and will be webcast as usual.