Wales Election 2016

Neil McEvoy placard claims denied by Cardiff council

Neil McEvoy

Claims Plaid Cymru campaign placards were removed from private gardens in the early hours of the morning by council staff "have no basis in reality", Cardiff council has said.

On Thursday, the authority admitted removing posters from communal areas around council homes.

But Plaid candidate Neil McEvoy claims officers have removed his posters from private property.

The council said it would "not accept being accused of political bias".

Plaid Cymru Cardiff West and South Wales Central candidate Mr McEvoy said Cardiff council had removed his placards from outside some private homes in the Cardiff West area.

"Many residents have expressed their dismay and disgust at the way in which Plaid Cymru placards have been taken down - some overnight - without their knowledge," he said.

But Cardiff council said allegations specific to Gorse Place in Fairwater that accused the council of sending staff out in the early hours of the morning to remove political sign posts from private gardens had "no basis in reality".

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"The council has not removed political boards from private properties," a spokesman said.

"Further communication will take place with all candidates and members to remind them of their responsibilities.

"The council will not accept being accused of political bias during the election period."

The statement said "no political signposting for any party is allowed in communal, council-owned areas".

Advice had been given by the council's monitoring officer and had been implemented by staff, the spokesman said, explaining that Vote Leave fly posters for the EU referendum were also removed from council property.

"The campaign group was notified to desist, or face being charged for any future removals," he said.

South Wales Police on Thursday told Mr McEvoy it had recorded a complaint about theft of and damage to Plaid boards. A police inspector said "that is still under investigation".

But he told Mr McEvoy he did not intend "to record any additional complaints of theft as a result of any disputes over ground ownership".

The inspector referred Mr McEvoy to a statement from the council on the removal and added: "I believe as a local councillor it is proportionate and reasonable for you to address this with your peers and resolve within your own organisation."

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