Opposition councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council have slammed the Labour-run authority for its ‘lack of democracy’.
Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Colin Mann, said: “We’re concerned at the attitude of the Labour Cabinet and particularly the leader, Dave Poole, who believes he knows best.
“Their plans to shut Pontllanfraith Leisure Centre were blocked by the courts, yet it seems Cllr Poole is determined to push ahead regardless of the views of the local community.
“At the Cabinet meeting last week, Cllr Poole ranted that opposition councillors had called-in a Cabinet decision on proposed increases in fees and charges, complaining about how much it had cost to do so.
“He conveniently ignored the fact that the policy and resources scrutiny committee – majority Labour members – unanimously voted to send back the decision to raise charges to Cabinet for re-consideration. Cabinet then ignored scrutiny and put them up anyway.
“Showing scant regard for democracy seems to be the pattern of Labour in Caerphilly. Cllr Poole even walked out of a recent meeting with the Islwyn Labour MP. He appears to listen to no-one.”
Cllr Kevin Etheridge, leader of the Independent group, said: “Cabinet ignores my call-in requests after support by Plaid and Labour at scrutiny.
“This is not democracy as we were elected by the people for the people of the county borough, leaving scrutiny worthless.”
Cllr Gez Kirby, Labour group spokesman, said: “Cllr Mann and Cllr Etheridge are the last people to accuse others of ranting.
“With no ideas of their own for leadership of Caerphilly Council, they’re regularly reduced to lame attacks such as this.
“Caerphilly council leader Cllr Dave Poole and the whole Labour group of councillors passionately promote local democracy in our county borough and fully support robust scrutiny of council cabinet decisions.”