Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2023

Flintshire Council: Independent group joins main opposition party

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 20th, 2023

The main opposition group on Flintshire Council has increased its number with four new members.

It is understood that all four councillors in the FCC Independents group which was led by Northop Cllr Marion Bateman, have joined forces with another group of Independents which has now increased its number of seats in County Hall from 22 to 26. The Local Democracy Reporting Service reports.

The council is led by Labour which has 31 seats.

Along with Cllr Bateman, the other councillors joining the Independent group are fellow Northop Cllr Linda Thew, Trueddyn Cllr Allan Marshall, and Penyffordd Cllr Roy Wakelam.

The Independent group is the largest of the opposition parties on Flintshire Council and is led by Connah’s Quay Central Cllr Bernie Attridge.

After being a member of the party for three decades, Cllr Attridge quit the Labour group in 2019 after he was sacked as deputy leader and from his cabinet position on the council, before going on to form his Independent group afterwards.

Cllr Attridge confirmed the new members had joined at a meeting of the Independent group on Thursday night and welcomed their decision which he says strengthens their ranks.

He said: “I am delighted they have decided to join us and I welcome them to the group.

“Our numbers have increased and we are a group people want to join.”

Speaking to the LDRS today (January 20) about the decision to join the group eight months after being elected, Penyffordd Cllr Roy Wakelam said: “For me it was a personal decision.

“I’m quite a new councillor and initially I joined a small group of like-minded people but moving forward I can see the benefit of being part of a larger group.

“There is a wealth of experience in the Independent group and it is very helpful to be able to draw on that depth of experience and understanding, especially when it comes to dealing with ward issues.”

After Labour and the Independents, the 67 seat council comprises of a group of four Liberal Democrat councillors, the Eagle group of three councillors, two Conservatives and one non-aligned councillor.

Flintshire Council has been approached for comment.

By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter

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