South Wales Guardian opinion

First published in News

THE eyes not just of Carmarthenshire but also the whole of Wales will be fixed on County Hall tomorrow (Thursday) when councillors meet to discuss the findings of the independent reports by the Wales Audit Office into "unlawful" payments made for the benefit of Chief Executive Mark James.

Whatever transpires we fervently hope that the chaotic scenes witnessed at a recent meeting of Pembrokeshire council – when a London-based QC told several members they were unable to vote on a no confidence motion over unlawful payments having previously revealed their intentions to the press – will not be repeated.

Leader Kevin Madge and two other senior figures are the subjects of a Plaid no confidence motion. Rather than blindly obeying party lines it is vitally important that each and every member coolly weighs up all the evidence put before them before deciding where to cast their vote.

This is a matter for individual consciences – and all 74 members should remember that, ultimately, they will be judged by a watching public on their actions tomorrow.

To put it starkly, there is nowhere to run – nowhere to hide.

But far from wilting in the face of this heavy burden of responsibility, members should view tomorrow's meeting as a heaven-sent opportunity.

For this forum will truly give them the opportunity to draw a line under this whole unseemly mess and claw back public confidence in County Hall which – in the light of recent events – is currently at an all-time low.

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