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Pencader councillor suspended over wind farm vote  

Credit:  Cambrian News | 19 August 2015 | www.cambrian-news.co.uk ~~

A local councillor was paid thousands by a renewable energy company, then failed to declare an interest while voting on their planning application.

Llanfihangel ar Arth community councillor Haulwen Lewis has been suspended from taking part in council duties for three months, following a hearing by the Adjudication Panel for Wales in Carmarthen on Thursday.

The panel, chaired by Peter Davies, heard that Cllr Lewis had a personal and prejudicial interest in RWE’s plans for Brechfa Forest West wind farm – which was approved by planning inspectorate inquiry – as she and her husband owned the adjoining land.

The couple had entered into agreements with the company and had been paid £30,000 for access over their land, with further money to be paid in future.

She admitted breaching two paragraphs of the council’s Code of Conduct before the hearing began.
Panel chairman said: “This is a serious matter. The issues lie at the very heart of public confidence in the democratic process and the standards of behaviour the public should expect.”

He said Mrs Lewis was a very experienced councillor, and would have been ‘well aware’ of the need to declare a personal and prejudicial interest.

The panel heard that Cllr Lewis had 30 years of unblemished service on the community council, and letters praising her work in the community were considered.

Source:  Cambrian News | 19 August 2015 | www.cambrian-news.co.uk

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