Councils' coalition talks latest - Powys councillor quits Conservatives just weeks after election

I've managed to speak to Powys councillor Gareth Ratcliffe who confirmed that he has left the Conservative group and become an unaligned Independent as I told you earlier. He said his reason for this was that he wants to take part in decision-making in any new administration.

His group had been in talks to form a coalition, first with Labour until that was halted by both parties' chiefs, and then with one of the independent groups. But Councillor Ratcliffe, says he felt he needs to have a say in the decision on controversial school and supermarket plans for Hay-on-Wye.

I was left with a choice to be in the tent or outside the tent. I could have avoided hard work and blamed the administration or been been honest with my residents. I was in opposition last time. I don't want just to be a voice not being listened to this time.

He admits to some discontent with his party but insists his main aim is to make sure his residents are listened to. He insists he doesn't know whether or not he'll be offered a cabinet role but says he has put his name forward to be part of the emerging Independent administration.

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