Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cardiff Labour: Split down the middle.

There has been no clear news on the actual numbers who voted on the attempted Coup  by some Labour members on Cardiff against leader Heather Joyce as I commented on Tuesday

The  size of her win over the challenger, Riverside backbencher Phil Hawkins, was not disclosed to the 46 Labour councillors at the group’s AGM.

However according to Wales Online Several Labour sources, however, said last night that Coun Joyce won the ballot by 24 votes to 22, meaning the vote of a single councillor could have tied the contest."As reported, the deputy leader election remains undecided. After two rounds the incumbent, Trowbridge’s Ralph Cook, remains tied with Canton’s Ramesh PatelBoth camps will spend this week lobbying to secure the extra vote they need, but Coun Patel is now considered the favourite when voting resumes at a second meeting on Monday.Although their bid to topple Coun Joyce and snatch the top job failed, the rebel challengers were last night claiming they were the real winners from Monday’s elections by a score of 2-1.

Not only does the deputy leader post remain tied, but Mary McGarry defeated Russell Goodway for group treasurer and Sue Lent comfortably beat Gretta Marshall to remain chief whip".

I suspect that if Councillor Joyce had one by a margin of over 10  Then Labour would have announced at a special convened press conference 

 Labour group secretary Coun Keith Jones ,however seems to believe the Electorate of Cardiff should not be told of the extent of the revolt  on their Council

He said:
“Councillor Joyce was democratically re-elected as Labour Group Leader at the group’s AGM. She has the support of the entire Labour group as Labour continues to deliver on it’s manifesto commitments to the people of Cardiff.
“Already the Labour council led by Coun Joyce has delivered a freeze in council tax, introduced a living wage for council employees, protected green spaces in Cardiff by designating Queen Elizabeth II Playing Fields, and has increased spending in education and social services.
“The Labour Group will never comment on idle and unfounded speculation as to the internal workings of the Labour Group. The economic challenges facing the council are too grave for us to spend one second pandering to malevolent gossip.”
So that's alright then. 

Still the rebels have a strong platform in which to alter the balance of power in their  favour of the rebels on Monday when the committee chairmanships are also elected by Labour councillors.

The nine-strong Cabinet are not able to cast vote for these £22,000-a-year jobs, meaning the rebels have a clear path to appoint their own people.

Councillors Michael Michael and Bob Derbyshire, known to be loyal to Coun Joyce’s administration, look likely to lose their positions as chairs of the Planning Committee and Environmental Scrutiny Committee respectively, while the Lord Mayor Derrick Morgan is stepping down as chair of the Licensing and Public Protection committees.

So it means that even if the Rebels win there will be a number of embittered Councillors sulking in the backbenches and glaring at their supposed colleagues  who ousted them.

It may be that is is a row between Councillors of the Left and righrt , the latter unhappy with the extent of the Council cuts

But from the outside it looks like a case of ambition on both sides a nd the Labour Group now consists of two opposing fractions.

A Collation in fact  not of diffrent parties or ideology but of those who see their ambition being met by a diffrent leader.

Does Cardiff real need to be run by a bunch of councillors who seem to be putting their own political future above the interests of the people who elected them only a year ago?


  1. I have just had a copy of a Labour leaflet in Fairwater, it mainly blames Plaid for the proposed building on greenfield sites in the area. It is positively poisonous in its tone. Since Plaid opposed the vast expansion of Cardiff on greenfield sites and Labour supported it I am not sure how they come to that conclusion. The sooner this group is out the better.

  2. As long as you have divided opposition in Cardiff, then Labour can be assured of a majority or if not a minority led administration. Plaid have no chance of winning a majority in Cardiff, they may have increased their vote, but the FPTP system goes against them, in fact its why the Liberals lost Grangetown and Butetown and why Plaid lost seats in Fairwater and Riverside, things could have been different. As far as Phil Hawkins is concerned he saw no policy difference between himself and Heather Joyce. There is no left vs right.

    1. I see no future for an United Opposition and the electorate need to know what they are voting for not just an anti Labour group it would soon fragmate. anyway.

  3. Cardiff under Goodway was an ego driven authority - run top down. Voluntary organisations were frozen out of decision making. The current leadership seems fairly invisible, the only one making a public impression is Goodway. Plans to demolish county hall and build a new one is just empire building. I don't think changing the faces at the top will make a difference. For all its fault I felt the Liberal Democrat/Plaid coalition was at least listening.

  4. When Jack Brooks deposed the then left wing leader of South Glamorgan County Council he claimed that Bob Morgan was "too democratic" for local govermnet so since Russell is jack Brooks spiritual heir so continues that boss tradition of running things