By-Election to be Held in Blaenau Gwent’s Ebbw Vale South Ward Following Resignation of Councillor Carl Bainton
A BY-ELECTION is set to be held in Blaenau Gwent’s Ebbw Vale South ward in the New Year, following the resignation of the council’s cost-of-living champion Cllr Carl Bainton.
Rumours have been circulating on social media for weeks that Labour’s Cllr Bainton would need to consider his future after Communities for Work Plus was brought under the council’s wing on October 1.
Legally councillors are not allowed to work for the local authority they represent.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, on Thursday, November 23, council leader Labour’s Cllr Steve Thomas clarified the issue and made a statement on Cllr Bainton’s future.
Cllr Thomas said: “It is with regret I have to announce the resignation of Cllr Carl Bainton, who has served the Ebbw Vale South ward since being elected in May 2022.
“This situation has developed because the council, at the request of the Welsh Government, were asked to transfer staff employed by the Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO) on Communities for Work Plus into the council to come in line with the model adopted by the other 21 local authorities across Wales.
“As a result, Carl, has transferred into the council under TUPE (Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment) regulations and has resigned as a member of the council.
“This is a unique situation; however, the provisions of the Local Government and Elections Act 2021 still applies.”
Cllr Thomas explained that Cllr Bainton had received advice throughout the transfer process, and it had been confirmed that the Act applied in his situation.
Cllr Thomas said: “During his tenure, Carl demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the betterment of our community and the citizens of Blaenau Gwent, working tirelessly to address the needs and concerns of residents.
“His efforts in areas such as his role as our cost-of-living champion have left a lasting impact.
“We are grateful for his outstanding service.”
Cllr Thomas also read out a letter from Cllr Bainton to councillors.
In his letter Cllr Bainton said: “It is with great sadness I find myself in this position.
“It was initially believed in these unique circumstances I may have been able to undertake a dual role.
“Unfortunately, it has been clarified that the legislation does not permit me to continue in both roles.
“Therefore, I have no alternative but to disqualify myself as a councillor with immediate effect.”
Cllr Bainton continued: “A massive sincere thank you to my constituents in Ebbw Vale South who have supported me to the hilt in both good and challenging times – I hope they are happy with my efforts as a first time councillor during the last 18 months.”
“I will sign off by saying hasta la vista and see you at the next election when my circumstances may be different.”
Cllr Lisa Winnett said: “It’s been a pleasure working with Carl and these are unprecedented circumstance which were out of his control.”
Cllr Bainton’s tenure started in controversial manner as he was elected in May 2022 as an Independent before crossing over to join the Labour group.
This caused uproar in some quarters and saw Cllr Julie Holt refuse to take the chair’s role at the Democratic Services committee due to Cllr Bainton being appointed deputy chairman for that committee.
Deputy chairman of the Independent group, Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “When he was first elected, he was part of my team.
“He came to me and said he can’t be on this side when his allegiance is on the opposite (Labour) side, and I respected that.
“I do admire him for having the honesty and integrity of saying – I have to follow my political views.”
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