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Simpson gains Conservative support in leader bid

DAVID SIMPSON has gained the support of the Conservative group to replace Jamie Adams as the Pembrokeshire County Council leader.

This morning (May 15), Conservative members met in Haverfordwest and decided to support Cllr Simpson in his leadership bid, which brings the total number of members supporting him to 26. He would need 31 votes to secure the leader position, with a total of 60 seats at County Hall.

Cllr Simpson is also supported by the Labour and Plaid Cymru groups.

A spokesperson for the group said: “An initial AGM of the Conservative Group of Councillors elected to Pembrokeshire County Council took place this morning in Haverfordwest. All members were in attendance. This group is now the largest Political Party on Pembrokeshire County Council.

“The meeting decided by an overwhelming majority to support Cllr David Simpson for the Leadership of Pembrokeshire County Council. This matter will be decided on the 25thMay 2017 at the AGM of full council.

“The support for Cllr Simpson, should he be elected, will however be met with very careful scrutiny revolving around policies on an issue by issue basis. ”

Last week, Cllr Simpson said: “The recent election results have sent a clear message that Pembrokeshire will not stand for the old way of doing things any more. The way the Council has been run in recent years has been unacceptable. Change is needed and nobody can pretend it’s not time for that change to happen.

“I will not buy support for my leadership by promising Cabinet seats and cosy ‘jobs for the good old boys’. People are fed up by votes being bought by nods, winks, and the promise of position. Pembrokeshire’s electors are not daft – they’ve had enough of a flawed system. I am asking my fellow councillors to support me only if they think I am the best person for the job.”

Cllr Simpson said that his wide business experience, and his previous stint as Cabinet member for housing, equipped him to drive forward improvements in the way council delivered services.

And he promised a more open administration, involving all 60 members, with party differences set aside in the interests of providing better services and value for money.

“Under my leadership, Cabinet members will be appointed on merit. If you want the best for Pembrokeshire, you have to pick the best people – not just those who will nod things through without scrutiny. Ability will count and that is what I will be looking for if I am elected leader by those who feel like I do: the time for change is now,” he said.