Posted: Sat 15 May 2021
This article is old – Publication: Saturday May 15, 2021
Councilor Rob Walsh, who represents Llay on Wrexham County Borough Council, decided to leave the Liberal Democrats citing “the need to change direction politically”.
Rob Walsh has been a member of the Lib Dem group of the council since he was first elected in 2015. However, says the experiences of the past few years have led him to “question the dominant party political system. all levels of government ”.
Cllr Walsh said: “The last few years have taught me that although each of us is different, we must all work together for the good of all of our local communities”
“We have a duty of care to all of our residents to be both allies and opposition to one another. As a result, I think the party system we have in Wales and beyond prevents that from happening, so I want to get out of the party political system. I do not criticize anyone who is a member of a political party, but it is no longer for me ”.
Cllr Walsh will now join the Independent Group of Wrexham Council – the largest council group and the largest administration in power, “I am really looking forward to working with the members of the Independent Group. I have some very good friends there who are first class advisers. I really missed working with my fellow advisers in person during the lockdown. My hope for the future is to work closely with them and all of the other Wrexham Council members from all other groups. Together we are stronger.
Wrexham Head of Council Councilor Mark Pritchard, who is also Head of the Independent Group, welcomed Councilor Rob Walsh saying: “I and the Independent Group are delighted that Councilor Rob Walsh has joined our political group. I have known and worked with Rob for many years, he is a dedicated and committed local member who represents the Llay neighborhood and we all look forward to working with him in the future ”.
Cllr Walsh also mentioned her former Lib Dem colleague, Councilor Alun Jenkins, who is now listed as “unaligned” on the Wrexham Council website because you can’t have a group of them – a move that might thrill them. members of Plaid Cymru. because it means one less “group” on the board, which will perhaps increase the weight in the all-important division of president positions.
Cllr Walsh said, “It is difficult to have to leave Alum’s group because he is a wonderful counselor and a great honor to the council and his ward. However, I still look forward to working with Alun, albeit in a slightly different way. I am also very grateful to my former colleagues at Lib Dem for all the support they have given me over the years. I wish them all the best of luck on a personal level.
In 2017, as part of our question-and-answer exercise with each candidate, we asked everyone “Ten. As happened recently in Wrexham – if you change your political allegiance from what you are currently seeking to be elected for (eg resigning or joining another party), will you call a by-election? ? If not, why not? ”. Cllr Walsh responded with a response that indicated that the council election fired an individual rather than a party, saying “I don’t think it is essential to step down from your seat just because you left your party”, but then concluded by saying “I have no intention of leaving the Welsh Liberal Democrats, but if, in the unlikely event that I do, I call a by-election out of courtesy to the residents I represent.
We took this position to Cllr Walsh and asked her why no byelection had been called. still facing the pandemic, I think having 2 elections for the same post in such a short time would not be a good use of public resources in my opinion. I asked a small sample of residents in my department what they thought about it and they agree with me that it is not worth it, so less than a year.
Despite the group changes, Cllr Walsh is adamant he made the right decision: “At the end of the day, it’s about the residents we represent, and especially the residents I represent in Llay. I hope this more collaborative approach that I take will make me a better advisor to the good people I have been elected to represent ”.
Top photo: The new team of the Independent Group.