AMMANFORD town councillors have been forced to have a re-vote on Ammanford Cricket Club’s controversial plan to take over one of Ammanford Park’s four tennis courts – after discovering one member should not have been allowed to vote.
The South Wales Premier League champions claim the tennis courts are under-used and a double-lane practice area is essential to the club’s development. But a 400-name petition has been drawn up against the plan with many residents angry at the threat to a facility originally donated by Ammanford Miners Welfare. Councillors voted 7-6 last month to block the cricket club’s move – on the casting vote of chair Paula Treharne.
But town clerk Miriam Phillips revealed this week that Carmarthenshire county council had failed to inform her that county councillor Colin Evans – executive board member for street scene and technical services – should not have been permitted to vote.
She said the issue had been raised by an unnamed councillor unhappy that two fellow members had taken part in the original vote.
Cllr Evans – whose portfolio includes parks and recreational areas – confirmed that the local authority’s Standards Committee had granted him dispensation allowing him to speak, but not vote, during the previous month’s debate. “As a member of this town council has objected I’m going to have to declare that vote was void and we’re going to have to revote,”
said Mrs Phillips.
Cllr Evans and his fellow county councillor Deian Harries both left the council chamber as their colleagues again voted on the motion that the cricket club should not take over one of the park’s tennis courts. The motion was this time carried 5-4 on the casting vote of deputy mayor Irena Hopkins.