Monday 26 September 2016

By Election in Cilycwm

The Carmarthenshire County Council By Election in Cil y Cwm ward was not a bed of roses for People First and our candidate Jacqui Thompson, deserves praise for her fortitude. Rural North Carmarthenshire is a neglected and remote area but it became quite a busy political area as all major political parties, ourselves and 2 independents all competed for votes. We were threatened with a very negative campaign against us and I think it was delivered. By elections are difficult as there is little time to prepare and effectively no time to rebut false allegations or unrealistic promises. I hope the ward benefits from the interest engendered by the election,


 We did well in getting 2 leaflets out and talking to as many people as possible. We could not match the numbers of activists from all over Carmarthenshire and beyond fielded by Plaid, Labour and the Lib Dems but that's not going to be such a problem in the next County Council Elections when the major parties will be fully stretched.

However, one unpleasant lesson learned was that although Bell's Principles adopted by People First instruct us to treat our political opponents with courtesy and respect, it is now clear that it is unwise to allow certain  political opponents to visit you at home. One party at least is happy to send in a leading party activist to aggressively press you to stand down as a candidate or face a negative campaign against you and even then decline to leave when asked! A new edition to our candidate training programme is certainly in order!

Results:   Plaid Cymru                                            201               22nd September 2016
               Independent                                              151
               Labour  [pro Corbyn]                               123
               Independent  Conservative [pro Remain] 105
               People First                                                64
               Liberal Democrats                                     62
               Official Conservative                                 15                Turnout 61%

Just thelist of candidate parties shows quite a lot going on. Although the more successful Independent allegedly denied he was likely to join the Affiliated Independents the group leader popped up at the count just in case.

 I have no idea exactly what is going on with the local Conservatives.The Liberal Democrats threw everything into the campaign. I met more leading Labour members from Llanelli in this campaign than I ever come across socially in Llanelli in a similar period, I just hope that this area gets a bit more notice now the election is over.

One persistent rumour was that the son of the former County Councillor' Tom Thheophilus, is definitely standing next May. He's said to be a Plaid member and several people in Cil y Cwm village [where Plaid got by far the majority of their vote] seemed to think the current successful Plaid Candidate, Dafydd Thomos, was just a temporary stand in. It will be interesting to see how that one pans out.

A great deal has certainly been learned and the dirty tricks become less of a problem when they have been used against you once!

Many thanks to Jacqui whose bravery and tenacity is inspiring to us all.

 Siân Caiach,

1 comment:

  1. I would hope the Cilycwm constituents really read the People First campaign leaflets and even (if they have one) get on their computer and study the People First website, Jacqui's blog and Y Cneifiwr's blog to understand how often the CCC has caused unnecessary suffering to ordinary Carmarthenshire people. Truth is they can and do act against the public interest with impunity aided by weak, if not, non existent scrutiny and a reluctance by the Ombudsman, WAG and the Police to take them to task. The only way for change is for Cllrs themselves to see the light and start standing up for their constituents who have been wronged and with other decent Cllrs supporting their efforts. This should be happening whatever party the Cllrs belong to as the protection of the public interest must come before CCC's reputation or their own self interest. Jacqui understand this Council's culture and it's failures better than most members of the public. If the CEO can go complaining to the Ombudsman about certain Cllrs who stand up to him then Cllrs should be able to complain when others fail to act in the public interest whether Officers or Cllrs if they refuse to put matters right. I think too many voters believe an independent candidate is truly independent in thought and deed (their own wo/man) but in the CCC that's far from the truth. I wish Jacqui well if she throws her hat in the ring next May. But whatever happens I hope she continues to publish her blog and keep us up to date with what the CCC is up to.


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