North West Wales

Outgoing Anglesey council leader criticises new group

Anglesey council offices
Image caption Anglesey council has been run under special measures since July 2009

The outgoing leader of Anglesey council has criticised some councillors who have announced they will run the authority after he stands down in May.

They are part of a group made up of 30 council members which confirmed the new arrangement last week following Clive McGregor's decision to quit.

He has named some, claiming they are offering solutions despite being in a position to have helped in the past.

A member of the group said there was "no faith" in Mr McGregor as leader.

Gareth Winston Roberts said he believed Mr McGregor had "lost the faith of the majority of the council".

"How can you lead when you haven't got the confidence of the largest number of people in the council," he added.

Anglesey council has been run under special measures since July 2009.

A senior Welsh assembly source told BBC Wales that as far as the assembly government was concerned, the troubled authority had reached a "tipping point".

It is understood that a minister will reach a decision about the future of Anglesey council by mid March.

It is thought one of the options for the council, already under special measures, is a merger with neighbouring Gwynedd.

Mr McGregor said: "I am disappointed that people haven't learned from those experiences and there are people who wear, with pride, the fact that they have appeared before the public services ombudsman.

"I think that's a disgrace," he added.

He said the authority had failed consistently to deal with issues raised by successive audit reports from 2003 to 2008.

"The very same people now offering a solution were the councillors who could have resolved those issues," he said.

'Democratic renewal'

He names five councillors in a letter to the other 35 council members, saying the individuals "have been members of this authority for a long time and have had plenty of time to change the governance of the council on more principled grounds".

The 35 councillors have been urged to consider what the outgoing leader refers to as "democratic renewal" of the authority.

He called for younger councillors and reducing the amount of allowances paid to councillors.

Last week, a new ruling coalition led by Plaid Cymru was agreed.

The deal was sanctioned by the local Labour MP Albert Owen, and Plaid AM Ieuan Wyn Jones.

But it is understood the new arrangement did not satisfy the minister who announced an immediate inquiry into the way the council is run.

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