Senedd Bites #87: AM set to be suspended as a councillor for four months for misbehaviour

(Title Image: via Senedd TV)

AM provisionally suspended as councillor for four months

Neil McEvoy AM (Ind, South Wales Central) is set to be suspended as a Cardiff city councillor for four months – subject to appeal – after a Cardiff Council standards sub-committee ruled he had intimidated social services staff and brought the authority into disrepute.

On two separate occasions during 2018 he was said to have acted aggressively – including, in his own words, preparing to use a “judo move” – when he was denied access to a care home and a therapy session after allegations of assault  towards a resident child by a member of staff were made. The police decided not to take any action after discussing the abuse allegations with the child and staff.

The sub-committee concluded that McEvoy failed to use proper channels when investigating complaints and misunderstood the local authority’s role as a “corporate parent” of children in care – which doesn’t extend to individual councillors.

Police were called and supporters of McEvoy were removed from the meeting after they became aggressive towards the disciplinary panel following the ruling. McEvoy described the ruling as a “stitch-up” and is currently subject to several standards investigations at the Senedd.

Newly-elected Tory MP “should be suspended, misled press” over questionably website involvement

Labour MPs have called for the recently-elected Jamie Wallis MP (Con, Bridgend) to have the whip withdrawn and also accused him of misleading the press after it was revealed his company Fields Group, based in Pencoed, had been subject to more than 800 complaints to Bridgend trading standards and 20 enforcement visits.

Wallis has issued a notice of legal action against Bridgend Council for revealing the information following a freedom of information request.

He also denied being involved in a company (SD Billing Services) hosting some questionable websites, including a dating site for people seeking “sugar daddies” (a relationship with a wealthy person who often provides financial support in exchange for company and/or sexual favours). Companies House records show Wallis had a controlling interest in SD Billing Services.

New Dyfi Bridge approved

The Welsh Government has approved a £46million A487 crossing of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth. The road is currently subject to persistent flooding and the existing Dyfi Bridge is a narrow 19th century stone bridge. Flood protection will be constructed alongside the road.

Economy & Transport Minister, Ken Skates (Lab, Clwyd South), said: “This vital infrastructure will also complement the work the Welsh Government is doing to support the mid-Wales Growth Deal to develop new economic opportunities in this important part of Wales.”

The works are expected to be completed by summer 2022.

More consideration needed towards the mental health impact of skin conditions

87% of dermatologists surveyed for the Skin Foundation said not enough importance was placed on the mental health of skin disease patients.

A number of dermatology patients told BBC Wales that they were never offered mental health support despite their conditions – ranging from psoriasis, eczema and skin-picking disorder dermatillomania – often having a serious emotional impact or a psychological cause.

The joint-chair of the Royal College of GPs Wales said “GPs have 10-minute appointments most of the time, and that doesn’t give you long to cover the physical aspects of disease and the underlying psychological disorder. That’s where having continuity of care with a nurse and GP can be really helpful.”