Member reveals split within Ammanford town council

South Wales Guardian: CHRIS JONES: 'Cosy club has been broken up.' CHRIS JONES: 'Cosy club has been broken up.'

AN AMMANFORD councillor has revealed the deep divisions within Ammanford Town Council after members agreed not to raise the town precept at a special meeting at Ammanford Town Hall last night.

Labour councillor Chris Jones said there was a clear split between old members and new as the new influx of councillors had broken up the authority’s “cosy club” that had existed for many years.

"At the last election four new Labour councillors and six new Plaid councillors were elected, breaking up the cosy club that had existed for many years where the council has been able to make decisions unopposed," he said.

Cllr Jones added that he had some sympathy for Plaid councillor Emma Thomas who claimed last week she had been "targeted" since joining the authority in May 2012.

"Like Cllr Emma Thomas, I feel as though I’ve been targeted due to my outspoken nature, to the point where I rarely have any response to my communications with the clerk and the mayor,” he said.

Cllr Jones warned the towns’s parks and play areas would “fall into rack and ruin” if the council didn’t take them over as part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s asset transfer programme, but members agreed to avoid a precept rise by dipping into their reserves if necessary to ease the burden on ratepayers.

The council are expected to consider the employment of a technical officer as well as the local authority's asset transfer programme at their February meeting.

Moves to raise the precept had been bitterly opposed by residents who handed in a 384-signature petition at last week's meeting.

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