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Pembrokeshire conservative councillor standing for council leadership

Councillor Di Clements hopes to become Pembrokeshire's new leader (Pic: Pembrokeshire County Council)

PEMBROKESHIRE Conservative group leader Councillor Di Clements has announced she is standing for the council leadership.

The announcement by Cllr Clements, county councillor for Martletwy and current chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, follows current leader Cllr David Simpson officially stating earlier this week he is to step down.

The position will be decided at the council’s forthcoming Annual General Meeting on May 10, with Cllr Clements, a councillor since 2017, the first to put her name forward.

Cllr Clements said: “It is with a profound sense of duty and optimism that I put my name forward for leader of Pembrokeshire County Council.

“Our community deserves robust leadership that not only understands our unique challenges but also the immense potential of our beautiful county. I am proud to call Pembrokeshire my home and I am committed to working hard to ensure we as councillors prioritise spending for the betterment of all residents.”

She added: “As your council leader, I pledge to ensure that taxpayer funds are spent wisely and not to shy away from the responsibility of managing council spending.

“We must ensure that every pound is invested in a way that delivers real value and benefits directly to the taxpayers of Pembrokeshire.”

Pembrokeshire Council Leader David Simpson is to stand down (Pic: Pembrokeshire County Council webcast)

‘Honour of a lifetime’

Cllr Simpson gave official confirmation he was to step down at April 22’s Cabinet meeting, saying his seven-year tenure has been “an honour of a lifetime”.

Lampeter Velfrey councillor David 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.

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Chairing his final Cabinet meeting as Leader today, April 22, Cllr Simpson said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family.

Cllr Simpson said: “It has been the honour of a lifetime to be the Leader of your council and the best part of the job has been meeting so many people who are committed to making this county a better place to live and work.”

Cllr Simpson will continue to serve as the county councillor for Lampeter Velfrey.

Leadership challenge

Cllr Simpson had faced a narrowly-defeated challenge to his leadership last May.

An Extraordinary Meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council, on May 18, 2023, considered a Notice of Motion of no confidence in the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Councillor David Simpson.

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