Kidwelly mayor quits post as Pelican debate hits boiling point
THE Mayor of Kidwelly has sensationally quit her post in the aftermath of furious debate by councillors over the former town council offices on Bridge Street.
Lynda Finch-Jones stepped down from her coveted position one week after debate over the offices — also known as the Pelican — hit boiling point, leading to behaviour from councillors that was described by Andrew Jenkins as being like a "bar room brawl".
The former mayor made the bombshell announcement at the latest estates meeting.
She told councillors that having lived in Mynyddygarreg for more than ten years and developed a keen interest in the community, she decided to stand to convey to the council what residents would like to see happen in the community and to "strive for total transparency".
"I am saddened to say that my experiences since my election have not been happy or positive and most recently quite painful and frustrating," Mrs Finch-Jones said.
"We all as councillors swore an oath to abide by the code of conduct — the essence of the code is that we agreed to act openly and honourably, and that we would never bring ourselves or the council into disrepute — show respect and consideration for others, not use bullying behaviour, or harass another person — how many of you can honestly say you have adhered to all these rules?
"I am afraid that I feel that we as a council have failed in miserably in following these guidelines especially in having a poor understanding of our town's views and needs.
"So many of the decisions we have made are then reversed."
Mrs Finch-Jones added that she felt the issue of the Bridge Street offices was "deplorable, had gone on far too long and totally dominates the council."
She said: "I have become more and more disturbed by the conduct and manner displayed by councillors while items are being debated at council meetings — utter contempt of members contributions have become common place in each and every meeting.
"While the clerk and I were assisting a councillor to exit the building last week in between meetings, a verbal confrontation took place between councillors, this was so loud that it was clearly audible from the car park, it was even louder than the music being played in the lower conference room beneath.
"When the clerk and I returned to the room and I reminded councillors that they were councillors 24/7 and their behaviour was unacceptable I was smirked at.
"This behaviour took place in front of members of the public and our local media reporter.
"I have always taken my role as councillor seriously, and since my election as chair and mayor I have come up against nothing but deplorable behaviour."
The former mayor stated her personal integrity and judgement had been questioned and that she had "constantly been treated with little or no respect."
She added: "This council is no longer a democratic body, you ignore the wishes of our residents' — the very people who elected us to serve and to that end I feel I can no longer be a part of such an organisation.
"I will continue to help the community and the organisations that I feel strongly about, and will be able to do this much better without being a councillor. It is with a heavy heart, that I tender my resignation not only as mayor and chair of this council but as a councillor, with immediate effect."