The Assembly Government is proposing new legislation which would allocate responsibilities for county council scrutiny committees on the basis of the numbers of councillors in each party. This would represent a major change in Carmarthenshire, where the ruling Labour and Independent parties have systematically excluded the 29-strong Plaid Cymru group from any positions of influence. In a meeting of the council, Plaid’s Cllr Emlyn Dole referred to the impending legislation, and urged the council’s leaders not to wait for it to be passed.
Cllr Dole said, “I made it clear to them that, if they don’t implement the change now, then they are going to be dragged kicking and screaming into implementing a more democratic system in the council when the law changes. I asked them if that was what they really wanted. The answer I got was basically yes – they made it clear that, as far as they are concerned, democracy will only come to Carmarthenshire when the law forces them to introduce it. It is a very sad reflection on the two ruling parties.”