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'Party more important than council' claim rejected by Swansea Labour

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 31, 2014

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LABOUR councillors in Swansea have rejected claims they put party politics above a council meeting to discuss the state of the city's roads.

Independent councillor Wendy Fitzgerald and Lib-Dem member Mary Jones said councillors and officers were due to discuss strategies for managing Swansea's roads, pavements, litter and dog fouling at a meeting two days ago.

But they claimed Thursday's 5pm evidence session was rescheduled for 5.30pm and then postponed at short notice because Labour councillors were required to attend a political meeting shortly afterwards.

"That is surely putting party and politics before the interests of the people of Swansea and cannot be right," said Mrs Fitzgerald, ward member for Penllergaer.

Killay North member Mrs Jones added: "It's really disappointing that so little progress is being made looking at issues that impact on everyone.

"Properly managing our streets now that substantial budget cuts are being made is vital, so it's quite wrong for the scrutiny panel to have been cancelled."

But Labour councillor John Bayliss, chairman of the scrutiny panel, said the meeting was not postponed at the request of Labour members, rather because officers representing the authority in court on an enforcement issue could not attend until well after the start.

"The postponement was to accommodate the officers, not the convenience of members," he said.

"My Labour colleagues and I take our scrutiny work very seriously and would have attended all of the meeting."

He suggested his two adversaries had too much time on their hands: "This is petty stuff.

"Councillors Fitzgerald and Jones seek to make a political point where there is none.

"The reference to the political meeting misleading.

" This is a very important topic and required more time than was then available, which is why I sanctioned the postponement."

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  • paul0453  |  June 02 2014, 5:06PM

    Lady Killay & the Duchess of Penllergaer with egg on their faces!

  • Kaiser_Macsen  |  June 01 2014, 1:06PM

    What a feeble excuse. Lib Dem and Independent Councillors are far more important than any Court of Law and they've got Valentine's Day cards to prove it.