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I want new Independents

FORMER Blaenau Gwent Council leader Des Hillman, pictured, has denied claims he is rallying a team to challenge the new united council structure.

A letter sent by Coun Hillman to the Gazette seemed to suggest he was forming a new team of “’proper Independents” that excluded current Independent councillors and those who had crossed the floor previously.

But Coun Hillman said this wasn’t an attempt to oust members of the partnership group, but instead continue to bring new people into politics and challenge Labour seats.

The letter reads: “In the interests of democracy I am seeking new Independent Candidates for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council elections to be held in May 2012. Candidates who are interested in democracy and want to make a difference to their areas will be offered the appropriate training and information on the role of a County Borough Councillor, I am particularly looking for Candidates in the Wards of Llanhilleth, Badminton, Beaufort, Cwm, Ebbw Vale North, Ebbw Vale South, Rassau, Nantyglo, Georgetown Tredegar, Tredegar Central & West and the Sirhowy wards, but anyone from any ward will be considered.

“Anyone interested can contact me through the council web site where my details are being held. I am only looking for ‘proper Independents’, anyone that has crossed the floor or are not ‘true Independents’ and any of the present crop of Independent Councillors at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council need not apply.”

When questioned about the call to arms being interpreted as the formation of a new group, Coun Hillman said it was something he had done at every election since 1997 to engage the public.

“If I was attempting to challenge current Independents, wouldn’t I pick wards that were full of Independents? All the wards I mentioned have at least one Labour member, though Cwm was chosen because Coun Abbott is moving and there will be a gap,” he said. “I’m not trying to start up a rival party, nothing like that. If I wanted to set up an alternative Independent group, could I do it? Absolutely.

“All I’m trying to do is encourage independent thinkers into politics in Blaenau Gwent, who don’t have someone telling them what to do.”

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And this from a man who, having espoused 'openness and transparency', went behind his colleagues' backs and talked to the Labour Group leader about power sharing in a member of the public's private house.

Oh, and then he added a resolution that would inter alia give him powers to alter roles, to a report without giving his colleagues forewarning of it.

Yes, one thing Cllr Hillman is, and that is a true independent.
The sort that used to be termed 'a lone wolf'.

If anyone's waiting for it I'm afraid it won't be forthcoming.
People have had enough of Cllr Hillman, the sad end to his Leadership and the subsequent lamentable events, so I won't be writing a letter.

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