Councillor Ashley Govier has hit out out at parents for seeking referendum on the future of play centres ahead of next week’s key vote.
Days before parents in Grangetown meet in an attempt to gather 150 signatures to trigger a local referendum, Coun Govier attacked their decision to continue their campaign despite the Council’s announcement to keep the centres open for a year.
He said: “This referendum is a waste of money and waste of time.”
“All they’re going to do is cause the centre more problems, they’re going to put the centre more at risk.”
He warned the referendum would cost £20,000, which he said the council does not have. “What’s the point of doing it now?”
“It’s irresponsible, let’s work constructively.”
In response to Coun Govier’s attack, mother-of-three Deb Cummings, 45, said: “When Mr Govier stated during a phonecall the cost of referendum and how he thinks it is a waste of money, it did make me feel very bad, as it’s ‘the people’s’ money that pays for it. But I feel the children of Cardiff, not just children in my area, have the right to a play centre, somewhere safe off the streets”
Rob Gee-Wing, 45, of Clive Road said: “We did not cause this waste of time. They published the proposals report a month earlier to get the public’s reaction.”
He blamed Coun Govier for failing to take on the fight for Grangetown’s play centre due to conflict of interest. He said: “In a meeting, Govier told us that if he backed us he’d have to resign and then he’d be no good to anybody.”
Mr Gee-Wing called on Coun Govier to take action. He said: “Stand up for Grangetown or stand down as councillor!”
But Coun Govier has also pointed the finger at political figures who he claimed make use of the centre to further their own agenda.
He said: “They don’t have the centre’s best interest at heart, it’s all about political gain.”
Councillor Neil McEvoy, who was one of the earliest supporters for the referendum, said: “We’d like to put different options to the people.”
“I think he [Coun Govier] misunderstands the referendum.
“I think he’s out of touch.”
Coun McEvoy then turned to criticise Grangetown’s other Councillors.
“Labour councillors in Grangetown sold out their constituents.
“I think it’s very worrying the Labour party is a different party than it used to be.”
“The Labour party are red Tories, no difference in ideology. They both believe in privatisation.”
The meeting on the referendum is scheduled to take place on 26 February, at 6pm in Channel View leisure centre on Jim Driscoll Way.