The grip on power of the Liberal Democrat/Labour/Green coalition in Powys just got weaker as another Lib Dem councillor quits the council.
Anita Cartwright, who was elected as the Liberal Democrat Powys County Councillor in May 2022 for Talybont-on-Usk, has announced that she has resigned as a councillor.
This sees the Liberal Democrat group numbers at the council drop to 19 from the high of 24 elected in May 2022.
Three are no longer councillors and Cllrs Little Brighouse and Tom Colbert are now non-affiliated councillors.
Cllr Cartwright’s time as a councillor has been affected by ill-health and the controversial purchase by the Welsh Government of Gilestone Farm for £4.25 million last year, with a view to leasing it to the Green Man organisation.
Gilestone is in the ward and the deal has caused much anger and polarised the community there.
For personal reasons Cllr Cartwright was granted a leave of absence from the council from May 18 to August 31.
On her Facebook page Cllr Cartwright said: “It is with a little sadness that I have come to the decision to tender my resignation and have stepped down from my role as county councillor for Talybont-on-Usk.
“It has been an honour to serve you.
“The last 18 months have been a roller coaster and with my unexpected diagnosis of breast cancer coming so shortly after the election.
“I feel I have been given another chance at life and a new track.
“Given the pressures I have faced in office, coming in tandem with the traumatic experience of cancer, this feels like an inadvisable path for me right now.
“I will therefore be prioritising my lifelong dream of farming and restoring nature on our smallholding, whilst enjoying the gift of the younger years with my children.
“Thank you again for this privilege.
“I wish all the residents in my ward the very best.”
Last month it was revealed that husband and wife team Matt and Sarah-Jane Beecham had resigned from their roles as councillors for the Crickhowell with Cwmdu and Tretower ward.
They have moved away from the area over the summer to live in Pembrokeshire.
A notice for the by-election has been published and anyone considering standing as a candidate has until 4pm on Friday, October 13, to submit their nomination paper to the council’s returning officer.
If an election is contested, it will take place on Thursday, November 9.
The council have been asked but have not commented on when an election will take place in Talybont-on-Usk.
This leaves the make-up of the council at:
Liberal Democrats – 19
Labour – 9
Green Party – 1
Conservatives – 14
Plaid Cymru – 3
Independent group – 8
Independents for Powys group – 6
Non-affiliated councillors – 5
Total = 68 and three vacancies.