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Conservative councillor joins rival council group

Created on 17/02/2021 @ 07:30
A Conservative Newtown Powys county councillor has left the party's political group, instead joining the Action for Powys group.

He has been joined by another Newtown county councillor, Joy Jones.

Both Cllrs Joy Jones, and Les Skilton confirmed the move, which takes the Action for Powys group numbers to six.

Following the resignation of Neil Morrison in September 2019, Cllr Skilton was elected for the Conservative Party for the Newtown South ward in November 2019

A non-aligned councillor for nearly two and a half years Cllr Jones, who represents Newtown East, had left the Independent group in October 2018.

Cllr Jones, who is also the Powys County Council’s anti-poverty champion, said: “After much thought I decided I would join a group of councillors who believe in working to support their residents.

“This year the cabinet have proposed a 3.9 per cent rise. As anti poverty champion I cannot support the proposed rise.

“It is detrimental to many residents who are hard-working and trying to keep their head above water at this time."

Cllr Jones added: “As this pandemic continues it is having a greater effect on peoples finances.

“Residents are fed up of paying more but receiving less services it’s time as councillors we take a stand and fight for our residents and their well being."

Cllr Skilton, said: “I’m there for my constituents not for anyone else. I can’t support the 3.9 per cent increase, I don’t think that people in my ward could afford the increase, and there’s no way I could sell it to them.

“After the year we had we should not be asking for more money from people, it’s not a fair thing to do.”

Action for Powys group leader, Cllr Jeremy Pugh, said: “We are pleased to have them both join the group, and look forward to working together for a better future for their wards and Powys.”

This means the make up of the Council is now:

Independents = 24

Conservative = 16

The ruling coalition is Independent and Conservative Groups = 40

Liberal Democrats & Green  = 15

Labour = 8

Action for Powys – 6

Plaid Cymru = 2

Non-aligned = 2

Total = 73

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service and Edited by MyNewtown