Former council chief’s ‘stop the rot’ challenge to Blaenau
|FORMER council leader Des Hillman has tabled a fresh challenge to political leaders at Blaenau Gwent council.
The one-time council chief has formed his own party alliance to sit in opposition to the authority’s current leading group from 2012.
Last Friday, a notification was handed to the authority’s chief executive and chief legal officer to inform them that a minority group of Independent-elected members had been formed.
Coun Hillman, who resigned as leader of the council in October, has joined Coun Shirley Ford, Coun Mark Edwards, Coun Steve Bard, Coun Nigel Daniels and Coun Keith Barnes to form a new party group called Blaenau Gwent Real Independents.
The minority group, for which Coun Hillman will assume a leadership role, will sit in opposition to the current ruling Partnership Group and the Labour Party who, he believes, have become too “cosy”.
He told the Gazette: “We feel, as a group, that there is no appropriate opposition to challenge the leading group.
“Since the Labour Group joined with the Independents, I feel the council has become to cosy, and I want to make sure there is an appropriate group to challenge in the best interest of people of Blaenau Gwent and not any particular party.”
Coun Hillman resigned as council leader in October following a year of no confidence votes and damning inspectorate reports, including the Estyn report which identified “systematic” management flaws in the borough’s educational system.
But since then, Coun Hillman has hit out at his critics through the Gazette, questioning “unfair” criticism and treatment by Welsh Government ministers, and claimed that it was “skullduggery” within the Independents’ Group which forced him to leave his post.
Then in November, the former council leader sent a letter to the Gazette suggesting he was forming a new team of “proper Independents” that excluded current Independent councillors, later denying claims he was rallying a team to challenge the new united council structure.
At the time, Coun Hillman said that this wasn’t an attempt to oust members of the partnership group, but instead a bid to continue to bring new people into politics and challenge Labour seats.
He said that it was something he had done at every election since 1997 to engage the public.
Today, Coun Hillman said: “What I hope is that some of the current Independents will start to challenge the leading group.
“I do feel that they have let the people of Blaenau Gwent down.
“I have said all along that I believe we have been blackmailed by the Welsh Government. The Estyn report said that we had failed the children in the borough, but I don’t think it was that bad.
“I think – and I know there is nobody who can prove it – that someone was instructed to say we were only ‘satisfactory’.
“I will probably be chastised for saying this but I believe that the schooling in Blaenau Gwent is not as drastically bad as they made out.”
An official statement from the new group said it intended to provide a “robust, positive and open” opposition to the current partnership group and Labour executive.
The statement goes on: “For decades, Blaenau Gwent residents have been let down by consecutive Labour administrations and finally they get a council who are capable of delivering great change and a new age of opportunities, only to see the old Labour faces implanted into BGCBC.
“Make no mistake there is only one agenda from the Labour-led Welsh Assembly Government and that is to return Blaenau Gwent to a Labour-led council.
“Independent members must act now to protect Blaenau Gwent and to protect the people who voted for them.
“A call to arms to all real Independents, stop the rot, remember why you were elected and remember the people that elected you.
“Remember the bad old years, the bad old decades of Labour rule in Blaenau Gwent.
“Join the Real Independent group to save Blaenau Gwent and help deliver for the people who live in Blaenau Gwent for years to come.”
des hillmanHow thick is this mans skin, blames everybody else for his shortcomings you were forced out because you are useless,setting up new party for the people of the area rubish you are missing the 40k you were getting for letting the people down, i hope people aint fooled by you and dont forget nantyglo school, you said that wasnt your fault but you were in charge, i cant name one thing youve done that was good, go away and dont come back.
Re: des hillman
|DIPDAP wrote: |
|How thick is this mans skin, blames everybody else for his shortcomings you were forced out because you are useless,setting up new party for the people of the area rubish you are missing the 40k you were getting for letting the people down, i hope people aint fooled by you and dont forget nantyglo school, you said that wasnt your fault but you were in charge, i cant name one thing youve done that was good, go away and dont come back. |
I think I'll declare an interest in this one (for a day or two at least).