Conwy council leader faces leadership contest

Councillors Gareth Jones and Sam Rowlands Image copyright Conwy council
Image caption Gareth Jones (left) removed Sam Rowlands from his cabinet last week

The leader of Conwy council is facing a challenge to his role with a motion to force him out of the job.

Councillors will discuss whether Gareth Jones should be replaced and a new leader appointed next week.

The call to hold the motion was signed by five councillors from three different political groups, prompting a full council meeting on Monday.

Mr Jones leads a coalition of Conservative, independent and former Plaid Cymru councillors.

He is part of a group called Plaid Annibynnol, but said the motion was motivated by the "naked political ambition" of a former cabinet member and "misguided loyalty".

Conservative councillor Sam Rowlands, who had been the cabinet member for finance, was removed from his post last week by Mr Jones - who accused him of holding discussions with other councillors about changing leader and members of the cabinet.

Image copyright Geograph | Meirion
Image caption The special meeting takes place at Conwy council's HQ on Monday

Mr Rowlands said: "I've spoken to [Mr Jones] on a number of occasions about the need to build a larger majority coalition in Conwy and made no secret of the fact I've been discussing this with others.

"Having a minority administration makes it difficult to deliver the improvements local residents deserve.

"We need a stable, majority administration in Conwy and I will continue to work to achieve that."

Mr Jones said: "As a cabinet we have had to take difficult decisions over the last two years but we did that collectively as a team based on trust and a shared goal of delivering the best services for the residents of our county under difficult, sometimes almost impossible circumstances."

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