Joined the new Powys County Council Conservative 'Group' meeting at Llandrindod Wells this morning. Its only 9 strong. To readers in the South of England this might seem no big deal. Or in Monmouth or the Vale of Glamorgan for that matter. But in Powys, winning 9 seats in May's Council elections was akin to a blue revolution. The grand total at previous elections would have been none.
I consider myself to be a honorary member of the Group, as does Suzy Davies, our Parliamentary Candidate in Brecon and Radnorshire, and Assembly Member, Nick Bourne. We're very keen to operate as a team. Poeple are suspicious of political groups in Powys and traditionally have stood as and voted for 'Independents'. Our aim is to demonstrate, through the way we behave and preform that belonging to the Conservative Group is the best deal on the Council. I'll do whatever I can to help them do that.
Today we discussed two big issues. Firstly there was a motion before the Council to recommend removal of 'Development Control' powers from the Brecon Beacons National Park. And secondly there was an Assembly paper on restructuring the electoral boundaries of the Council. Both were interesting to me. The first because I pressed for a review of the role of National Parks in exercising the Development Control function when I was Conservative Spokesman with the relevant responsibility in the National Assembly for Wales. And the second because I've 'warned' (if that's the word) that once Councillors were paid a salary which doesn't contain within it a substantial 'voluntary' element, it would follow that the number of councillors would be slashed to the minimum. Can't say much about the discussion. wouldn't be invited again if I did.
Hugely encouraged by the way the group operates. Willingness to compromise and committment to the 'team' and a real sense of knowing where we're going. All of us want to build on the momentuim that we've built up.