Letter to AberdareOnline
Dear Mr Callard,
LEE WATERS AM
Following our telephone conversation on Friday I am now sending you the letter I promised, together with supporting information (some in the form of links).
Before I continue let me make clear that I am not a member of any political party, nor do I support any political party. That said, like everyone else, I have views on many issues including how Wales is, and should be, governed. These views are expressed in my Jac o’ the North blog, social media, and elsewhere.
The reason I telephoned you at the suggestion of Mr Jonathan Thomas of the Welsh Assembly’s Standards Commissioner is that I believe the above-named person, Lee Waters, now serving as Assembly Member for Llanelli, made a false declaration on his nomination papers for last year’s Assembly elections. The document is attached, but may also be accessed via this link.
You will see that Mr Waters gives his home address as 25 New Zealand Street, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA15 3EN. My belief is that this is not his home address, and more importantly, was not his home address when the nomination papers were submitted.
For it is widely believed, and accepted in many quarters – including within Mr Waters’ own party – that his permanent residence, his home address, is in Barry Island, in the Vale of Glamorgan constituency. There is strong evidence for this claim.
First, 25 New Zealand Street is a modest bungalow, an unlikely residence for a couple with children, and a husband and wife with a combined income of well over £100,000 a year. The Land Registry tells us that the property is owned by a who, it is suggested, may be the partner of Waters’ mother. The Land Registry document is attached, and may also be accessed here.
Further evidence for Mr Waters living on Barry Island is provided by Companies House. This entry for the @ Barry Island Community Interest Company (No 07467406) has Mr Waters listed as a director, and his correspondence address as being in Barry. I am assured that this is his permanent, home address.
Admittedly, this company folded towards the end of 2012, possibly sooner, but it is another piece of evidence locating Mr Waters in Barry. To bring us up to date I submit this tweet (below) from Councillor Nic Hodges, who represents the Baruc ward on the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Councillor Hodges tells us that Mr Waters is a resident of the Baruc ward in April 2017. (It may be argued that Lee Waters AM is not mentioned by name, but that is who I was referring to and everyone knows it, including Councillor Hodges.)
It is clear that Mr Waters was a resident of Barry prior to the Welsh Assembly elections of 5 May 2016, and he is a resident of Barry today. This suggests that he was using 25 New Zealand Street, Llanelli as nothing but a temporary address during the election period.
I refer you back to the nomination papers which, as you know, ask for the ‘Home Address’. You will note that two of the candidates are quite open in stating that they live away from the constituency they hope to represent, one in Cardiff and the other in Newtown, Powys.
I’m sure that these candidates also stayed in Llanelli during the campaign, especially the closing stages, but they did not attempt to mislead the electorate by giving any temporary accommodation as their ‘Home Address’.
My complaint is that 25 New Zealand Street was not Lee Waters’ ‘Home Address’ at the time of the Assembly election in 2016 and therefore he made a false declaration on his nomination paper. This is what I would like Dyfed Powys Police to investigate.
It might be argued that few electors bother to check the registration details, but that’s not the point. Labour Party canvassers and others were telling people in Llanelli that Waters was a ‘local boy’, ‘lives down New Zealand Street’.
Given that Mr Waters won the seat with a majority of just 382 out of a total of 28,116 votes cast it is not fanciful to speculate that he would not have won had the electors of Llanelli known he was not a ‘local boy’.
I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, I may circulate copies of this letter to the media and other interested parties.