A Welsh council has become the first council to be taken over by commissioners following the sacking of Isle of Anglesey CC’s cabinet.
Their interim managing director David Bowles blamed the large number of independent councillors running the council. “The long-term survival of the council depends on very substantial changes to its running,” Mr Bowles told LGC. “The problem when you have a large number of independents is that they either have a charismatic leader who pulls them together or it becomes very divisive, which is what has happened in Anglesey.”
Mr Bowles said he had advised the local government minister for Wales to send in commissioners after infighting amongst the independents threatened the council leader’s position.
The whole council now faces the threat of an enforced merger with another council unless things improve on the political side (another first I believe).
Having written about ‘independent’ councillors before and their potential for a lack of leadership when they are running the council (a bit like herding cats, is my favourite description) I am tempted to crow a bit and say ‘see, I told you so!’.
However, I have to temper this with the feeling that the people who are supposed to be represented by these elected members won’t be judging them as ‘independents’, but simply as elected members who have let them down and that is not a good thing for any us, whatever our politics.