With the nominations period set to open next week on March 21 for the local elections in May, members of Pembrokeshire County Council have called for a ‘fair and respectful election campaign’ following allegations of ‘abuse, threats and intimidation’ towards a number of councillors and candidates.

The Local Government Elections take place on Thursday, May 5 and PCC is underlining the importance of people standing for election from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities they wish to represent.

A statement issued by the local authority’s leader Clr. David Simpson on Monday (March 14) also signed by other members of PCC reads as follows: “Unfortunately, we are seeing an increasing number of councillors and candidates being subjected to abuse, threats and intimidation.

“As well as being totally unacceptable, this behaviour undermines the principles of free speech, democratic engagement and debate.

“We endeavour to treat everyone with courtesy, kindness and respect and, as leaders, we stand together to call for an end to abuse, intimidation and harassment of any kind.

“This is particularly relevant as we enter the key period in the run up to the local government elections in May.

“We pledge to participate in a fair election campaign which is based on positive campaigning and merit, rather than personal attacks and smears against individuals.

“We encourage all elected members and candidates in the forthcoming election to do the same. In addition, we will publicly ‘call out’ any such inappropriate behaviour and take a zero-tolerance approach to abuse.

“We all have the right to carry out our civic duties without fear of being attacked or abused.

“Any inappropriate behaviour, whether that be verbal, physical or in writing on social media, is totally unacceptable and action will be taken if deemed necessary.

“Please be kind and fair in all that you say and do,” signed - Clr. David Simpson, Leader of Council; Clr. Jamie Adams, Leader of the Independent Group; Clr. Rob Summons, Leader of the Conservative Group; Clr. Paul Miller, Leader of the Labour Group; Clr. Michael Williams, Leader of the Plaid Cymru Group; Clr. Bob Kilmister, Liberal Democrat; Clr. Paul Dowson, UKIP; unaffiliated members: - Councillors Steve Alderman, Phil Baker, Michelle Bateman, Pat Davies, John Cole, Tim Evans, Dr Simon Hancock, Paul Harries, Jon Harvey, Tessa Hodgson, Phil Kidney, David Lloyd, Neil Prior, Michael Stoddart and Viv Stoddart.

A further event is being planned for Pembrokeshire people to find out more about standing in May’s Local Government Elections.

If you are passionate about your community and want to help make people’s lives better, becoming a Town, Community or County Councillor could be for you.

To aid those wanting to know more, the Council is holding a further Candidates and Agents Briefing event.

The event will be run by Returning Officer Will Bramble and held virtually on Microsoft Teams at 6 pm on Wednesday, March 16.

The information provided in this session will be the same as during the previous events held on March 1 and March 4, so if you have already attended there is no need to attend again.

Another event is planned to take place after the close of nominations on Thursday, April 7 at 3 pm.

To book a place and receive joining instructions please email: [email protected]

Some important dates to keep in the diary are:

• The nominations period will open on March 21.  Nominations can be delivered on each working day between 10 am and 4 pm up until the close of nominations at 4 pm on April 5. 

• Nominations can be delivered by hand or by email.  Further details will be contained in the Notice of Election published on March 18.

Nomination papers now are available on the Council’s elections website: Elections and voting

• The Electoral Commission Guidance for Candidates and Agents is available on the website.

Remember, this year anyone aged 16 and over on May 5 and legally resident in Wales can vote in these elections as long as they are registered to vote.

If you want to vote at this election you must register to vote at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Please register now if you have not already done so - as soon it will be too late. Applications to register must be received by midnight April 14.