The former deputy leader of Cardiff council is considering a legal bid to force a re-run of the election in his ward, claiming Labour misled residents over the Local Development Plan (LDP).
Plaid Cymru’s Fairwater councillor Neil McEvoy has long claimed a Labour-run Cardiff council would “concrete over” fields in the west of the capital.
The Plaid group leader said his warnings were vindicated when the new Labour administration unveiled its draft LDP Preferred Strategy.
The document suggests 45,400 new homes are needed by 2026, including some 18,250 on greenfield sites.
Coun McEvoy highlighted Labour election leaflets sent to Fairwater and Pentrebane households during the local election campaign.
One flyer pictures a group of children holding Labour placards in a field with a headline proclaiming: “Labour does NOT want to build on green fields”.
An article beneath the photograph states:
“Instead of intelligent and honest debate, Plaid have opted for negative campaigning, repeating the same dreary lies over and over again. For the record, Labour does NOT want to build on Waterhall fields or any green spaces.”
The flyers were promoted by Councillor Paul Mitchell on behalf of Labour’s Fairwater election candidates. At the May 5 election, Coun Mitchell won a Fairwater seat for Labour, while the other two were won by Coun McEvoy and his sister Lisa Ford.
Yesterday, Coun McEvoy said he was seeking legal advice with a view to petitioning the Election Court to force a by-election in Fairwater.
“If Paul Mitchell had any principle he would resign from the Labour Party,” he said. “If he does not resign from Labour he should resign the seat of Fairwater and run for election again, this time on the real ticket that his party are going to build on the green fields around Fairwater.”
Coun McEvoy insisted that had his party clung on to power as part of a coalition the council would not have produced an LDP.
Labour group spokesman Councillor Keith Jones said:
“The mess that the current Labour council inherited – a capital city with no Local Development Plan – was in large part due to Neil McEvoy, who failed in his time as deputy leader with responsibility for this crucial issue to produce a plan worth the paper it was written on. All of which makes his current smears and spin about the LDP all the more pathetic. Since taking office in Cardiff, Labour has moved quickly to produce a draft LDP and make good the failings of the McEvoy/Berman years.
“We have also nominated some of Cardiff’s great, green spaces for protected Fields in Trust status – another issue that Neil McEvoy talked about a great deal when in office, but actually did nothing about.
“His personal attacks on hard-working Fairwater councillor Paul Mitchell are beneath contempt, and not worth dignifying with comment.”