6:00am Wednesday 11th July 2012
LABOUR members on Ammanford town council have been urged not to “block” the election of a Plaid Cymru mayor next May.
The plea comes from Plaid’s county councillor Deian Harries, whose party unsuccessfully tried to get rookie councillor Emma Thomas appointed deputy mayor at May’s annual meeting.
Cllr Thomas – who was among the Plaid ‘wave’ swept on to the authority at the May local elections – lost out to Labour veteran Irena Hopkins, who is now deputy to mayor Paula Treharne.
In a highly unusualmove, Cllr Treharne, of Pantyffynnon, was ‘parachuted’ into the role in her first meeting as a councillor.
With the council nowsplit – eight Labour members to Plaid’s seven – Cllr Harries wants the civic role to alternate between the two parties in future.
“I would like to ask the Labour councillors to reconsider their stance on their decision to block a Plaid Cymru mayor being chosen,” he said at the council’s recent meeting.
“Most councils alternate.
“I believe that if you show this fairness towards us, this will prove to me and my colleagues that you are here for the good of the town and you are willing to work with us to make Ammanford a better place for us all to live in.”
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Harries said: “This is nothing personal against Irena. I just feel it would be fairer to alternate the role of mayor like every other council seems to do.
“I happen to think Paula is doing an excellent job as mayor.”
Cllr Hopkins, who served as mayor last year, said she had merely put herself forward as deputy as it was felt Cllr Treharne would benefit from having an experienced number two.
Asked if she felt the mayoral role should be alternated, Cllr Hopkins replied: “I think it should go to the best person for the job – regardless of their political colours.”
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