There were heated scenes in Anglesey County Council yesterday when the Council Leader, Cllr Clive McGregor, with the backing of Interim MD, David Bowles, broke apart the current ruling coalition and formed a new 'Grand Alliance" with opposition parties:
- Council Leader, Cllr Clive McGregor, has essentially disbanded the 'Original Independents' grouping (one half of the current ruling coalition) and formed a new group called Llais i Fôn ("Voice for Anglesey").
- Cllr McGregor has further called for an Alliance with the other Parties/Groups (i.e. Plaid Cymru, Labour, Môn Ymlaen, and the Menai Group) to be composed of councillors who will agree to the 'key principles' of: (a) working in cooperation with those who have demonstrated a commitment to moving forward to address the challenges facing Anglesey; and (b) leaving behind those who remain motivated by past grievances and personal animosity
- A new 'Informal Board' will be established to replace the current Executive. Portfolio Holders on this board will be selected from all Groups/Parties and agreed amongst Group/Party Leaders in accordance with an agreed numerical distribution. - In the case that this Informal Board cannot reach agreement on certain matters the Council Leader (Mc Gregor) will make the final decision.
- The Informal Board will prioritise budgetary and efficiency issues, schools rationalisation, the future provision of leisure services, residential care for the elderly, Social Services, and matters relating to the economy of the Island.
- The Leaders of each Group represented on the Board will give a personal, public and written undertaking to:
- 1. Make no reference, verbally or in writing, in public or in private, to any issues relating to past conduct, allegations or grievances in relation to other Alliance members.
- 2. Commit unequivocal support to the Recovery Programme to include ongoing governance improvements to develop structures and processes which will avoid any return to the "winner takes all' culture
- 3. Create a unified and unifying vision for the Island of Anglesey, through establishment of a sub-group with input from external stakeholders.
- 4. Agree that a major objective of the Alliance will be to isolate those who have consistently blocked progress and, by their actions, have refused to embrace new ways of working. This will include publicly identifying those individuals. Any member of the Groups within the Alliance who does not publicly support this stance, and refuses to "sign up" to the principle described in the paragraph above, or whom their Group Leader considers has failed to demonstrate sufficient ongoing commitment to the recovery, shall be ejected from their Group.
- 5. Agree not to admit to their Group, or work with, or support in any way those individuals identified by paragraph 4 above.
- 6. Collectively take steps to robustly "name and shame" anyone who obstructs the recovery.
- 7. Reform and modernise the agreement reached among the Groups with regard to Group Leaders' meetings and to the allocation of chairs, vice-chairs, and allowances in relation to those identified by the actions described in paragraphs 4 and 6 above.
- 8. Publicly and robustly condemn Cllr Schofiend and Cllr Durkin in a clear statement supporting the Council's position in reporting these individuals to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for breaches of the Members' Code of Conduct.
- 9. Take any and all opportunities to expose and marginalise those identified by paragraphs 4 and 6 above and to highlight the damage which their actions and conduct have caused, and continue to cause, to the Council.
- 10. To support every appropriate effort to ensure that only members of the Alliance, and those unaffiliated members who have demonstrated their commitment to the recovery, shall be nominated to the role of chair or vice-chair of any committee, or to serve on any outside body, or receive any special responsibility allowance.
- 11. If those Members identified by paragraphs 4 and 6 above seek to disrupt the business of the Council, for example by call-in, or calling extraordinary meetings of the Council then, wherever possible, the rules will be changed to limit such disruptive conduct.
- 12. Any member of those Groups comprising the Alliance who fails to publicly support these undertakings, or undermines the Leader of their Group in discharging these undertakings, shall be disciplined collectively by the Group Leaders of the Alliance.
- 13. It shall be an aspiration of those Alliance Groups composed of independent members, to develop sufficient common ground and positive working relationships that, in due course, they shall be in a position to consider the merits of merging into a single, unified, independent group.
A document entitled 'Terms of Engagement for a Political Alliance to secure the future of Anglesey County Council' has been prepared listing all the above terms (attached below). It has apparently been signed by:
- Cllr Clive McGregor on behalf of 'Llais i Fôn
- Cllr Bob Parry on behalf of Plaid Cymru
- Cllr John Charlton on behalf of the Labour Party
- Cllr Winston Roberts on behalf of Môn Ymlaen (Anglesey Forward)
- Cllr Hefin Wyn Thomas on behalf of The Menai Group
It was witnessed by both Interim MD, David Bowles, and Monitoring Officer, Lynn Ball.
++ Developing - more to follow ++
Terms of Engagement