Council row over freedom for singer Bonnie Tyler
A ROW about a pop star has left political rivals feeling less than bonnie.
The mayor of Neath Port Talbot had been holding out for a hero when the time came to decide who should be awarded the freedom of the county.
Councillor Pam Thomas was expecting former chief executive Ken Sawyers to be the sole nominee, believing it was only fair he should have his moment in the spotlight after 15 years at the helm before his retirement.
But no sooner had members unanimously agreed to Mr Sawyers getting the freedom than, faster than the speed of night, Liberal Democrat councillor Keith Davies stood up to propose singer Bonnie Tyler should get it, too.
He pointed out she was from Skewen and had scored number one hits in 60 countries around the world. Councillors unanimously supported her nomination. Yet as the meeting was closing there were audible mutterings of disapproval at Councillor Davies's unexpected intervention.
"I was annoyed," Councillor Thomas later told the Post. "But I couldn't say anything because I was chairing the meeting and I am the mayor.
"I thought someone might have said something but they were all gobsmacked.
"I don't begrudge Bonnie Tyler the freedom but I don't think she should have been nominated in the same meeting as Ken Sawyer. It should have been done another time.
"I was a bit miffed about it. Ken Sawyers did a valuable job. He did more for Neath Port Talbot than Bonnie Tyler has done. Keith Davies pulled a flanker, I think."
It's a heartache for the mayor, maybe, but as far as Councillor Davies is concerned it's a rocking good way to get one of the area's most successful exports recognised.
"Bonnie Tyler is a great ambassador for Skewen and for Neath Port Talbot — she has had hits all over the world," he said. He said he believed that, during the full council meeting in question, members were entitled to put forward anyone they felt should get the freedom of Neath Port Talbot.
But he admitted he had not raised it with Bonnie Tyler herself.
"I wasn't trying to take the shine off Ken Sawyers," he added. "I fully supported it but I thought Bonnie should be recognised too. I'm glad to say it was voted through unanimously."
Bonnie could not be contacted for comment.