A co-opted Plaid Cymru Pembrey and Burry Port Town Councillor has called for the purging of Labour councillors from the serving Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.
In a post he made on his Facebook account on Thursday (Oct 12), (subsequently deleted) prior to the extraordinary meeting he claims he has the support of the Town Mayor David Owens and the independent councillors regarding the ‘outrageous’ behaviour of the leader of the Labour group, Cllr John James. Quite what that outrageous behaviour is or was is unclear. Cllr John James has denied any wrongdoing.
Llanelli Online contacted Cllr John James who told us that Peter Freeman a co-opted Plaid Cymru Town Councillor had made the mistake of relaying his intentions to rid the council of Labour to a man he shared a table with at a local cafe. Unfortunately for Mr Freeman Cllr James said, it turned out to be none other than Cllr James’s own nephew. We were told that Mr Freeman received short shrift and was asked to move tables.
Cllr Freeman took to Facebook to issue his rally call for what appeared to be a pitchfork rebellion against the Labour leader and what he called the ‘rent-a-mob’ supporters from Pembrey and Burry Port. He also said that the Mayor had asked for a police constable to be present.
His post on Thursday (Oct 12) (since deleted) reads as follows:
We contacted the Labour Leader Cllr John James for a statement. Cllr James said: “I can understand not wanting Labour councillors on the Town Council in the run up to an election but not when we are serving as a town council. That is very destructive as we are all here to work together on behalf of the Pembrey and Burry Port residents.
“Cllr Freeman has made some damaging remarks, most of which appear to be aimed at me. I am not sure if this is the Plaid Cymru agenda or his own agenda.”
We contacted the Mayor David Owens who said that he did not wish to comment.
We contacted Peter Freeman and asked what his statement about the Labour Leader’s ‘outrageous’ behaviour relates to?
We asked if his claims to have the support of the Town Mayor and the independent councillors were provided in writing?
We asked why he made the statement ‘I don’t want people to get involved in a row or confrontation unless the spirit moves you’ and what he meant by those comments.
Mr Freeman claimed to have invited an impartial journalist (note taker) from the Carmarthen Journal, Grace Powell (not working for Carmarthen Journal). Attendees told Llanelli Online that they saw Cllr Freeman and the note taker hugging prior to the meeting.
We asked how he could reconcile this as an independent journalism when he was seen hugging the note taker.
We asked Mr Freeman who it was he was referring to as ‘rent a mob’?
We also asked what the misleading statements he alleges they (rent-a-mob) made to the press and which press were they made to?
Cllr Freeman issued the following statement: “I only want to respond to a couple of items at this time. First, I mis spoke by saying “Support” I had the “Agreement” of the Mayor to hold an extraordinary meeting. Because this was my first time doing this.I also sought the agreement of Independent councillors on the question of whether I should call such a meeting. So the word Support is my error it should read agreement.
“Second, there is no Independent Group as such that I am aware of. I spoke to individual councillors. I will say that it is my opinion, and only my opinion, that the independent councillors should form a group to meet and discuss items in the same way that the Labour Party is currently doing. That is my opinion.
“Finally, when I say that I want the Labour, and other, councillors off the council, I am speaking as a member of Plaid Cymru. It is our intent to fight as many seats as possible at election time. It is the aim of every political party to replace the representatives of other parties with their own candidates. I do not expect to be unopposed at the next election so I am surprised that anyone would feel surprised that Plaid would seek to win the electoral vote. The above is as far as I am willing to go at this time.”