Machynlleth councilor slammed for youth club comments

A Machynlleth councilor has come under fire for falsely claiming council members did not “fight tooth and nail” to save the town’s youth club when it closed in 2016.

At a meeting on April 25, Machynlleth councilors slammed Cllr Ann MacGarry for her comment at a council meeting earlier this year on January 31.

At the time, Cllr MacGarry told councillors, ‘triggered by damage to the Gerddi Bro Ddyfi Gardens’, that they had received a grant to build and place benches in the grounds of Y Plas, for young people to stand come together in an effort to curb the rise of anti social behavior.

Cllr MacGarry was reported in the Cambrian News as saying: “It’s tragic we don’t have a youth club, when we did we didn’t have the same issues. But Powys County Council cut funding across Powys.

“We should have fought tooth and nail back then, but we didn’t. “

Fellow advisers have since criticized Cllr MacGarry for the comment, which they say is untrue, but also for not sending an apology for the comment to the Cambrian News for publication.

Cllr MacGarry said she apologized at a meeting on February 28, which the Cambrian News was unable to attend, as she was unaware her statement was incorrect.

But she added that she did not send the apology to the press because it was up to the Cambrian News to publish the apology, which was printed in the February minutes. The minutes were publicly posted on their website after the next council meeting on March 28, where councilors again asked if Cllr MacGarry had apologised.

In April, Cllr Gareth Jones continued: ‘I was the person named in the record. I did not ask Cllr MacGarry to apologize to the press. Good manners should have been enough to say she had to do this.

“She didn’t know that wasn’t the case with the youth club, yet she was quoted in the press as saying otherwise. The question arises, why was the original comment said if she was unaware of the circumstances? That’s why I asked for an apology.

“Simple decency would have been enough to say someone should apologize.”

Councilor Michael Williams said he wanted to ‘highlight the role played’ by deceased councilors ‘in trying to keep the youth club open’.

Cllr Noella Elliot added: “There are two advisers who are not here to defend themselves, Sylvia Rowlands and Dai Speake, who were respected advisers and also members of the community.

“If you didn’t know the facts, you shouldn’t have said anything. My father taught me to be sure of your facts before you say anything.

Cllr MacGarry replied: ‘I didn’t make a statement to the press, I made the comment at the council meeting. Maybe I should have checked first.

“If the Cambrian News didn’t choose to report the apology, that’s it.”