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Sacked councillor attacks leader in letter

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 26, 2013

sacked Councillor David Lewis has circulated a letter following Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas's decision to relieve him of his cabinet role.

Comments (6)

A SWANSEA Valley councillor has launched an attack on the leader of Neath Port Talbot council in the wake of being axed from a cabinet post.

Alltwen councillor David Lewis has circulated a letter to colleagues following Ali Thomas's decision to relieve him of his role as member of cabinet for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Mr Lewis said: "It would be disingenuous of me to say that I haven't felt shocked or felt hurt or let down or betrayed by the sacking.

"So this letter is not one of bitterness but one of me sharing my thoughts and concerns for the fitness of the Leadership to manage a disparate but loyal Group of members, while at the same time trying to operate at higher levels of government in Wales."

Mr Lewis said that when he confronted Mr Thomas for a reason behind the sacking he was staggered by the alleged response.

"I was gobsmacked when he said that it was because of the way I had been sitting during the council meeting for the selection of the New Director of Education."

The leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Ali Thomas, said that he did not want to comment on the matter.

Labelling the alleged explanation "pathetic" Mr Evans maintains that he was forced to lean back to avoid smelling an electronic cigarette that was being smoked by councillor Mark Jones. "The Leader's recognition of my inappropriate posture must have been at the limit of his observational skills because he failed to recognise an explanation for my seating actions sitting immediately next to me.

"Throughout the whole meeting, Councillor Mark Jones smoked one of two artificial cigarettes, not constantly but randomly. He did not hide his actions and blew clouds of smoke throughout the meeting.

"I disliked the smell intensely. While it didn't have the pungency of real cigarette smoke I disliked it intensely.

"Not wishing to create a fuss during the proceedings the simplest thing for me to do was to push my chair back and then lean back further and so avoid the smoke when he smoked."

Mr Jones, who pointed out that electronic cigarettes are perfectly legal, insisted that they had no smell whatsoever.

He said: "It's an electronic inhaler system with water vapour and no smell at all.

"It's very disappointing that councillor David Lewis has tried to make me a scapegoat for his own failings."

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  • JJFtz  |  June 28 2013, 6:39AM

    What a fiasco. What was presumably a private letter has obviously been leaked, what control and respect you have in your labour group Cllr Thomas! Completely agree that the Leader is unfit for his position, I'm sure he had an element of dynamism a few decades ago, but every time Cllr Thomas does or says something it's trully embarrassing. Have some respect for the people of Neath port talbot cllr Thomas, step down let someone younger and more dynamic take over and spend some time in the garden or doing some sudoku, although with your management of the budget over the last few years, ths may be a little more difficult. This is obviously nothing to do with the way cllr Lewis was sitting in the meeting, more of creating opportunities for the more dynamic and younger members of the council to be in the cabinet and hence not threatening the leaders position. it's about time councillors like al Thomas stopped thinking about themselves and more about the people and the communities they claim to serve.

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  • MabCwmtawe  |  June 26 2013, 1:20PM

    Well done Ali the Leader. Lewis was always a pain in the rear at Lliw Valley.

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  • missbuffay  |  June 26 2013, 1:04PM

    NPT doesn't allow smoking within 10 yards of their buildings unless you're the Chief Exec, Director, a Cllr or a Social Worker.

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  • uksubs3  |  June 26 2013, 12:32PM

    Utterly shambolic and thoroughly embarrassing. Degrading and offensive to all the people of Port Talbot and Neath. Over £30,000 a year claimed in allowances by each of these undignified self-aggrandising buffoons. This is a perfect illustration of the undesirability of the 'professional' councillor mentality which is anathema to democracy and accountability. Step down Mr Thomas, you are unfit for purpose. I'm sure you must have some gardening to do.

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  • Dai_Chotomy  |  June 26 2013, 10:41AM

    Watching the battle between Councillor Thomas and Councillor Lewis is quite embarrassing as it always is when two elderly men decide to have a row. Frankly retirement should be the option for both.

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  • neathguard  |  June 26 2013, 7:52AM

    Thought smoking was banned on all Council premises.

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