Under-fire Flintshire Council leader to reveal all today

Reporter:

Matt Jones

THE future of the under-fire leader of Flintshire Council will be disclosed today.

Cllr Arnold Woolley says he will reveal his intentions at the council’s executive meeting this morning, ahead of the full council meeting in the afternoon.

Cllr Woolley has been considering his future after some members of the Independent Non-Aligned group that he belongs to on the council joined two former Liberal Democrats to create a rival New Independents faction.

However, a spokesman insisted the New Independents group had not been part of any approach requesting Cllr Woolley to step down.

He said: “We believe this request actually came from within his own group and it appears all the ensuing in-fighting within Cllr Woolley’s group is solely down to that group’s leadership pressures and is in no way related to any advice from the New Independent Group.

“We strongly distance ourselves from the unattributed and irresponsible comments from various councillors reported last week, and from any suggestions or inferences that we are making demands of any individual or group.”

Although Cllr Woolley is leader of the council, the Independent Non-Aligned group, of which he is a member, is led by Cllr Fred Gillmore.

Insiders have revealed a vote of confidence in Cllr Woolley could be taken at today’s full council meeting if he opts not to resign.

Meanwhile, residents have leapt to the Buckley councillor’s defence.

Keith Cotton, of Lyme Grove, Buckley, said: “Cllr Woolley has been my ward councillor for six years or more.

“He has worked hard for this ward and its residents, just as he he done for the county for the past two-and-a-half years.

“He and his cabinet team have done well for us and this county, under conditions that are worse than past years and which will get worse in financial terms over the next few years.”

Mr Cotton said: “This county needs unity, not division, at this time. Those who are calling for a vote of no confidence and change need to think again.

“If they have useful ideas they should come out with them and support the leader and his team.”

Miss K. Morrow, of Kiln Close, Buckley, added: “My disabled boyfriend has been helped by him over the years and has nothing but has praise for him.”

The composition of the 70-member ‘hung’ council now is: Labour 22, Independent Non-Aligned 18, Liberal Democrats 10, Conservatives 9, New Independents nine, Plaid Cymru one, as well as Saltney councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun.

See full story in the Leader

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