Carmarthenshire Council leader rejects formal coalition call to tackle budget cuts
A MEETING later today to consider how to tackle council cutbacks in Carmarthenshire has been branded a PR exercise by Plaid Cymru.
County councillors, business leaders, members of the public and the media have been invited to the event at Ffwrnes in Llanelli.
Plaid group leader on the council Peter Hughes- Griffiths said a delegation from the party would be going along to observe proceedings but they would not be taking part.
Council leader Kevin Madge has previously called for all 74 councillors to work together in a bid to protect services and jobs — although a call by Plaid earlier this year for a rainbow coalition at County Hall was rejected.
In a letter sent to the Post Councillor Hughes-Griffiths said: "As leader of the 28 strong Plaid Cymru Group on Carmarthenshire Council I offered the leaders of the Labour Group (Kevin Madge) and the Independent Group (Pam Palmer) our services by forming a joint coalition of the three groups to take responsibility for administrating and running the council. As the authority faces having to make the reported cuts of £12 – £18 million next year, my members felt that a formal coalition would be the most effective way of dealing with this unprecedented situation.
"Within the Plaid Group there are able and talented individuals who would make a valuable contribution in such a coalition."
He also said the welfare of the people of Carmarthenshire should be put first. But Mr Madge said no trust existed between the ruling coalition and Plaid Cymru to make such a pact possible.
"I am really angry about the letter, as these are the most serious cuts that the council are facing in a generation," he said.
"In my 36th year I can't remember it being as bad as this. Plaid want to play runaway politics from the people who elected them."