A THIRD Independent councillor has resigned from Blaenavon Town Council in less than six months.

Cllr Janet Jones has stepped down, saying she felt her honesty and integrity were being called into question.

Cllr Jones is the third Independent councillor to quit the council this year, with councillors Stuart Evans and Barbara Lewis resigning in May.


“I felt my honesty and integrity were being questioned,” said Cllr Jones. “I felt it left me with no option.

“I felt that there was no respect among the other councillors and I didn’t think it was a very good working environment to be in.

“I’ve always been proud to work on Blaenavon Town Council, and this decision was not taken lightly.

“I’m passionate about Blaenavon and that’s why I am continuing to represent our residents on Torfaen council.

South Wales Argus:

Ex-Cllr Janet Jones. Picture: Torfaen Council

“Both Stuart [Evans] and myself are still Torfaen ward councillors, and we still work for the residents of Blaenavon.

“We are still contactable at any time. We hold our surgery on the first Saturday of every month from 10am to 11am.”

Cllr Jones had served on the Town Council since 2008.

Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Jac Denley-Jones said: “No allegations of a lack of honesty, integrity or trust have been levelled at Cllr Janet Jones – not by any councillor nor by council staff.

“I can also confirm that at no time during their term in office had former town councillors Lewis, Evans or Jones raised any matters of concern to the clerk of the council.

“There is an excellent working environment here. All members support one another in their aim of doing their best to make Blaenavon a great place in which to live.

“This is reflected in the results that we’ve achieved over the past two-and-a-half-years, including our award-winning Intergenerational Project, together with £79,000 worth of investment linked to regeneration and projects in the town.”

South Wales Argus:

Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Jac Denley-Jones

In May, former Independent town councillors Stuart Evans and Barbara Lewis both resigned.

Former town councillor Mrs Lewis had raised concerns in April’s full council meeting about Cllr Phyllis Roberts’ attendance at meetings.

Cllr Roberts has attended five of the 18 council meetings up to October 2019, and seven of the meetings, including the AGM, in 2018.

Town councillors have an obligation to attend one meeting per six-month period.

South Wales Argus:

Cllr Phyllis Roberts

The Argus' sister publication the Free Press attempted repeatedly to contact Cllr Roberts, but she was unavailable for comment.

A Blaenavon Town Council spokesman said: “In April 2019, letters of complaint against Cllr Barbara Lewis were sent to the clerk to the council by four councillors and a member of the public after she made the comment in a council meeting that Cllr Phyllis Roberts was ‘not physically able’ to do the job of councillor because of her age and should resign.

“In line with procedure, the complaints against Cllr Lewis were forwarded to the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales. Cllr Lewis was notified of the nature of the complaints against her. In May 2019, Cllr Lewis together with Cllr Stuart Evans - who had openly supported the comments made by Cllr Lewis - submitted their resignations to the Town Council.”

Former councillor Lewis was cleared of any breach of the Code of Conduct by the Ombudsman.

Cllr Evans, who had served on the Town Council since 1999, told the Free Press this week he left in support of former councillor Lewis.


“I was disappointed in the councillors’ treatment of former-councillor Barbara Lewis,” he said. “I felt they treated Barbara very shoddily and I felt I had to support her as her principles had been questioned.

“I didn’t feel I could share the respect of my colleagues on the council after that. I didn’t feel comfortable. Cllr Janet Jones and I are both still representatives of Blaenavon on Torfaen County Borough Council. If a member of the public has any concerns, we are able to take them up with the council.”

Former councillor Lewis did not want to comment.