Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Cllr David Simpson: ‘I wasn’t sacked, I resigned’

Published

on

Cllr Jamie Adams: Simpson says he is 'a capable boy with bad judgement'

Cllr Jamie Adams: Simpson says he is ‘a capable boy with bad judgement’

THE HERALD can reveal the story behind the shock departure of popular and respected County Councillor David Simpson from the Council Cabinet. In an official statement, the Council have claimed he was sacked. Councillor Simpson, however, a Justice of the Peace, told The Herald that the truth is that he resigned.

CLLR SIMPSON: ‘I RESIGNED!’

CONCERN about the conduct of a fellow Cabinet member was one of the reasons why David Simpson decided to step down from the Cabinet and leave the IPPG.

Councillor Simpson described the efforts of Cllr Rob Lewis to derail the investigatory committee into Bryn Parry Jones as the key reason for his decision to resign.

Speaking with our assistant editor Jon Coles on Friday afternoon after his departure from the Housing portfolio he has held for eight years, Councillor Simpson said:

“I decided to go that because of some of the things that have gone on. Two members came to me, Peter Morgan and Mark Edwards: Mark was very, very concerned that Cllr Rob Lewis the Deputy Leader was trying to intimidate Peter; particularly that pressure was being applied to stop Peter appearing before the Committee (investigating CEO Bryn Parry Jones) next Monday. Rob Lewis was doing his best to dissuade Peter from attending.

“I had heard about this over the preceding days while I had been away on holiday. I met with Peter and Mark yesterday evening and what they said was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I made a decision then that I would resign.”

Cllr David Simpson: "the straightest and best man on the whole Council", said Cllr Peter Morgan

Cllr David Simpson: “the straightest and best man on the whole Council”, said Cllr Peter Morgan

The Herald spoke to The Havens representative Peter Morgan about what David Simpson had told us.

Cllr Morgan told The Herald: “David is the straightest and best man on the whole Council. If there was ever anyone you want to talk to about a problem you are having, it is him; everyone on the Council will tell you that about him. Pembrokeshire County Council can’t afford to do without him.”

He added: “I spoke with David last night and said that Rob Lewis has spoken to me about appearing before the investigatory committee. My position is that pressure won’t work on me. I will do what is right. When I spoke to Jamie Adams last night, I told him the same thing.”

Pembrokeshire Herald readers will recall that it was Cllr Rob Lewis who acted as Bryn Parry-Jones’ intermediary when Peter Morgan and Mark Edwards were summoned to meet the CEO and subjected to a foul-mouthed tirade for voting that he should be asked to return money paid to him unlawfully by the Council. Cllr Lewis was also suspended from the Council for his underhand activities in using the Council’s facilities to run the IPPG’s last election campaign. He is widely credited with creating the dodgy dossier handed by Monitoring Officer to Tim Kerr QC ahead of February’s vote of no confidence in Bryn.

The Herald understands that Rob Lewis arranged a meeting between Peter Morgan and Laurence Harding, the Council’s own Monitoring Officer who is supposed to ensure members abide by the Code of Conduct. We understand that the meeting took place in the members’ room at County Hall, where Peter Morgan found the Monitoring Officer waiting to see him.

We put Laurence Harding’s involvement to Peter Morgan, who confirmed: “Laurence Harding met with me to discuss my attendance at the investigatory committee on Monday (Sep 29). He told me that if I didn’t want to attend, if I just left him a signed note it would all be okay and I wouldn’t have to go.”

Monitoring Officer Lawrence Harding: Cllr Simpson said he told him he didn't have to attend Bryn investigation meeting

Monitoring Officer Laurence Harding: Encouraged Cllr Peter Morgan that he could make a written submission instead of being questioned by councillors on Monday’s CEO disciplinary investigation.

 

“CABINET HAVE BEEN KEPT IN THE DARK”

On the subject of his meeting with Jamie Adams this morning, David Simpson said:

“I met with Jamie Adams, the Leader, this morning (Friday, Sept 26). I have had concerns for several months, if not two years, about the make-up of the Cabinet, about the dissemination of information down to the Cabinet, and the fact that the Cabinet is a two tier system. You have the leader and his two deputies and then the rest of the Cabinet; the rest of the Cabinet are just kept in the dark.

“I have been unhappy with this for the last two years and I have told Jamie that on many occasions and have been dissatisfied. There have been several instances over the last few months that I have been unhappy with.

“Last night, after meeting with Mark and Peter, I spoke to Ian Westley, the acting Head of Service, to tell him of my resignation. I also phoned Lyn Hambidge, who has been especially supportive during my time in Housing. She was vital to the achievement of my first goal in housing, which was to drive down the amount the Council was paying in bed and breakfast for homeless people. That was over a million pounds a year when I started and I think was under £20,000 last year.”

County Hall: News of Simpson's departure from cabinet a shock to many

County Hall: News of Simpson’s departure from cabinet a shock to many

HOW ADAMS SPUN THE NEWS

When The Herald discussed the morning’s events with David Simpson, a very different picture emerged than that reported by the Council. Cllr Simpson told us:

“I met with the leader this morning. He told me he was getting rid of the two deputies, which is something I had hoped for, although I was disappointed they were remaining in the Cabinet, and there were also two members coming out of Cabinet. One was David Pugh, which I thought was a good move after the debacle with the grants scheme, and then he informed me that the other one was going to be me. I was aghast and reminded him that I put more hours into my Cabinet role than he did, or any other member of Cabinet and I have never embarrassed him like others have in the past and have been very supportive of him.

Cllr Simpson added: “When the email from Bob Kilmister suggesting that I could be a leader of a “Grand Alliance” came round, I knew nothing about it. I laughed about it really and thought it was a marvellous thing to do – from Bob Kilmister’s point of view – to put the cat among amongst the pigeons.

“I told Jamie that I had not envisaged being sacked and I came here this morning intending to resign – and that can be verified by Ian Westley and Lyn Hambidge – and so I told him, before you ask me to step down, I resign.

“I drove five minutes down the road to County Hall; phoned Sue Sanders, who does administration for members and asked for the form to sign as I was resigning from the Cabinet and the Independent group – I think it was impossible for me to remain in the group and preserve my own integrity – and she said: “Haven’t you looked at the website yet?”

“It was clear everything had been pre-planned, but the fact remains I resigned.

THE DOWNFALL OF THE IPPG

On the subject of the Leader, Cllr Simpson said: “I think Jamie Adams is a very capable boy at public speaking but has a lot of bad judgement in the people he appoints. I haven’t got a lot of time for him anymore. I fully supported that man as leader. I told him I was there to support him. I told him that Cabinet was there to support him. But unfortunately he doesn’t confide in Cabinet.”

“I have told Jamie Adams that under no circumstances would I stand against him. For the last two years I have been asked to stand against him on a number of occasions. On each occasion I have refused because I thought he needed a chance to get on with the job. I have also had disputes with him in as much I do not like some of the decisions and appointments he has made. But I was Cabinet member and he was the leader.”

“I have no intention of starting a campaign for me to be leader against Jamie Adams. I never wanted it. I don’t want it now.”

One of the key points the Justice of the Peace made when we spoke to him he said “I can see the downfall of the Independent group.”

“Brian Hall is trying to form his own group at the moment and he supposedly has several members. If you take three or four people out of the Independent Group plus Brian Hall, you are taking votes away from Jamie and his majority.

“Jamie will lose his position. He is doing it himself. He is on the self-destruct button.

THANKING THE STAFF

“Housing has been my passion for the last eight years. I have been wonderfully supported by the housing staff over the last eight years. I can tell you that everyone in that department gives 110%. They are fantastic and helped make my job a lot easier. Where I go from here I don’t know. Being in the opposition was the furthest thing from my mind in my entire political career.”

The full report of David Simpson’s straight-talking interview will be in next week’s Pembrokeshire Herald: Issue 66, Friday October 3.

Continue Reading
11 Comments

11 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

Published

on

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby.

The scheme, which is due to start on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Friday, September 10, will again see the walled town divided into three ‘zones’, each having varying degrees of vehicle access.

Whilst all necessary plans are being put in place for it to start and finish on the above dates, the scheme will remain under constant review in light of Government guidance relating to Covid-19, and the Council will provide any updates as necessary.

Possession of an ‘access permit’ does not provide any exemption from Government restrictions, and any regulations relating to travel and the occupation of holiday accommodation or second homes must be observed at all times.

Following the success of last year, the permit application process will continue online, with paper application forms and guidance notes no longer being delivered to residents and businesses.

The application form and guidance notes are available from pembrokeshire.gov.uk/tenby-pedestrianisation

Residents and business within Tenby are encouraged to complete the application process as soon as possible, to ensure that there is sufficient time for the application to be processed.

Permits will be issued approximately 7-10 days prior to the start of the scheme.

For enquiries, e-mail tenby.pedestrian@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Continue Reading

News

Join the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel as an independent member

Published

on

THE Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Panel is looking for two members to join them in their work to support and challenge the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Panel is made of up of members nominated by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys county councils along with at least two independent members.

Opportunities have now arisen for two independent members to join the Panel and carry out key statutory roles that will support the Commissioner exercise his role effectively.

Members will be expected to attend and take part in regular meetings and take part in decision making, creating reports and making recommendations to the Commissioner.

They will review the Commissioner’s annual draft Police and Crime Plan and annual draft budget, review and scrutinise his decisions and actions, and if necessary review the proposed appointment or removal of the Chief Constable and other senior police force appointments.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they can take a balanced and objective approach in supporting the Panel and the Commissioner, make strategic and well-informed decisions, and interpret and question financial, statistical and performance related information.

They will also need to be able to act as a ‘critical friend’, challenging views or proposals for change constructively.

Applications close on May 31, and appointments to the Panel will be made until October 31, 2024. 

For further information, visit www.dppoliceandcrimepanel.wales

Continue Reading

News

Successful Fire Service and Health Board partnership to enhance COVID-19 vaccine roll out comes to end

Published

on

TUESDAY 11 May 2021 marked the end of a hugely successful partnership between Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Hywel Dda University Health Board, initiated to enhance the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine to the communities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Since February, Community Safety Staff from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service have transported 125 passengers over 9450 miles to ensure they were able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.

Chris Davies, Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Recognising the configuration of our Service, the areas we cover and indeed the people we employee, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us to widen our response to the pandemic and support our partners in safeguarding our communities.

“Whilst we already collaborate with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, this opportunity enabled us to expand our assistance further within the health arena. This partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board was the first of its kind for Fire and Rescue Services in Wales and paved the way for a number of similar partnerships for us and the other Fire and Rescue Services in Wales.

“I am extremely proud of our staff who have participated in this collaboration and have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Their contribution has without doubt had a positive impact on our response to this global pandemic”.

Mydrian Harries, Corporate Head of Prevention and Protection for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, coordinated the Service’s response to this call for assistance.

“Our communities are at the heart of our core business. Knowing we were in a position to make an impact, we put in place a robust solution in record time, to not only ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff, but to also safeguard those who were eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination, but may have had barriers preventing them from attending their appointments.

“Using this partnership as template within which we could expand, we have since been able to offer our assistance to other Health Boards across the Service area. Indeed, a group of 10 vaccine heroes from our Service have joined Powys Teaching Health Board’s vaccination team, playing their part in distributing vaccines at mass vaccination sites in Newtown and Builth Wells. This is another fantastic example of how working together has been vital in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Continue Reading
News9 hours ago

Permit applications open for Tenby pedestrianisation scheme

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is now accepting applications for vehicle access during this year’s Pedestrianisation of Tenby. The scheme, which is...

News2 days ago

Public engagement exercise over new hospital between St Clears and Narberth

HYWEL DDA is asking the people of Pembrokeshire to help it further shape and deliver future services by taking part...

News3 days ago

Police looking for a couple with a dog after teenage girl bitten in Haverfordwest

POLICE hunting for the owners of a ‘pitbull’ type dog which bit a teenage girl in Haverfordwest last month. Dyfed-Powys...

Business3 days ago

An experimental nuclear fusion reactor could be built in Pembrokeshire

PEMBROKESHIRE could be the location of an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, which could produce abundent clean energy, if the council...

News4 days ago

Graffiti damages area of scientific and historical interest in Pembrokeshire

GRAFFITI painted on stones of historical and environmental importance at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park has caused environmental damage that could...

News5 days ago

Plaid’s Dafydd Llywelyn re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner

THE NEW Police and Crime Commissioner for the Dyfed Powys Area has been announced. Incumbent, Dafydd Llywelyn, of Plaid Cymru...

News6 days ago

Mark Drakeford says: ‘Thank you Wales for going red’

LABOUR is staying in power in Wales after matching its best-ever Senedd election result. It won exactly half of the...

News6 days ago

Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap. Sam Kurtz...

News6 days ago

Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency. He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895...

News7 days ago

Dyfed-Powys Police criticised for failing to record thousands of crimes

A SHOCKING new report says that Dyfed-Powys Police failed to record thousands of crimes, despite being told to improve two-and-a-half...

Popular This Week