Friday, 17 October 2008

Remains of the Ratepayers

If the Neath Port Talbot Ratepayers Alliance thought that they could quietly draw a line under the 2008 elections by relaunching themselves openly as a political party, registered by the Electoral Commission as the Neath Port Talbot Independent Party, they reckoned without Cllr. Lella James. In the council chamber last Thursday, the (truly) independent councillor for Sandfields East savaged what little remained of the reputation of the group. It didn't help that leader Cllr. Tutton was absent - at a funeral, one understands - and that deputy Cllr Tallamy had to defend the new party on his own.

Cllr. James praised the original founders of the Ratepayers Alliance, but chronicled its decline as they had passed on, until it had become, in her words, the "pathetic" party, or, with its reactionary views, the "Neath version of the UK Independence Party". She was extremely angry at the choice of new name, when there were genuine independents of long-standing on the council. She had even sought to challenge the Electoral Commission's decision to register the party, but had been told that there was no appeal.

In an interchange between Cllrs Hopkins, Tallamy and Vaughan it transpired that a then-member of the Ratepayers, who afterwards showed his true colours by joining the Conservative Party, had acted as a conduit between Central Office and the Ratepayers during the 2008 local government election campaign.

Updated 2008-10-22


Anonymous said...

I'm having a quiet chuckle to myself.....Good on Cllr James!!!!

Anonymous said...

May I suggest that you contine to call them the "Ratepayers" in Chamber to avoid any confusion.

Anonymous said...

There have been quite a few exits from the Ratepayers in recent years, the decision for Pam Spender to stand down in the Port Talbot Ward, must have been a signal to the two defectors that it's time to move on.