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Newtown councillor resigns from Conservative group

 
Created on 03/06/2019 @ 14:50
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A Newtown Powys County Councillor has resigned from the Conservative Group because he claims he is being "constrained by others."

Cllr Mark Barnes, who represents the Newtown West and Llanllwchaiarn ward, resigned today and will become a non-aligned member of the council. He remains a member of the Conservative Party.

In a statement to MyNewtown, he said: "Firstly may I start on a positive note.  I have met some of the best people that I’ve ever met in Powys County Council since May 2017.  Some are truly inspiring and I am grateful to know them.
 
"This is very much the same within the Conservative Group.  Some of the group are amongst the most passionate and dedicated people that I have met.  So together we should be able to do wonderful things for our communities.
 
"Sadly, as a collective we Councillors seem to be constrained by others and this always seems to be down to playing politics and protecting Group position."

He added: "You may be aware that I opposed the Council Tax increase and I recently stood against my good friend and hardworking Cabinet Member, Aled Davies for Leader of the Conservative Group.  So twice in as many months, I have gone against party view.
 
"I have increasingly become challenging of the views of the Cabinet Members in the Conservative Group and I don’t support the Council’s Leader, Cllr Harris.  This has made supporting my Group difficult.
 
"I want to be a Councillor to deliver something tangible and campaign for greater opportunities for Powys residents.  I want to challenge the establishment if I find it lacking and I’m not afraid of fighting for what I believe at the cost of anyone’s, including my, position in the Council.
 
"I believed that together we are stronger but I find the opposite to be the case.  There are too many reasons to not do something, if you play politics so, with this in mind, I have resigned from the Conservative Group and will remain as a non-aligned Councillor should my residents be content with that.  I will, over the course of the next few days deliver a letter to every household in my ward explaining my position."

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