Councillor is censured for ‘homophobic’ comment
A PLAID Cymru councillor has been censured for a comment he made that was considered homophobic during a meeting in September.
Nic Hodges, a member of Vale of Glamorgan Council, who is also the current mayor of Barry, was the subject of a complaint by Conservative councillor Leighton Rowlands, who is gay.
The council’s standards committee heard that during a discussion about diversity, an opposition councillor had referred to comments by Mr Rowlands in a recent press article, in which he had talked about progress on gay issues within the Conservative Party. There was an exchange about the number of gay MPs and AMs in the party and Mr Hodges was heard to say: “Are you asking for volunteers?” The decision to censure Mr Hodges has now been confirmed on the council’s website.
Mr Rowlands said: “It was really disheartening to hear a fellow councillor making such a disparaging comment, and I think the leader of Plaid Cymru should consider whether there is a place for remarks of that nature in Plaid Cymru. It’s tough to open up about such a personal aspect of my life on such a public platform but I made the decision to do so because I thought we’d moved on from such ignorance. It only goes to show the challenges we still have in the LGBTQ community in 2017.
“I know that the great majority of Barry residents have a much more accepting and progressive attitude towards homosexuality. It is a shame that an elected councillor has failed to show that same respect.”
Mr Hodges did not wish to comment, but a Plaid spokeswoman said: “A complaint was made against Mr Hodges after he challenged a councillor from another party who was making a misleading statement to score political points. Some parts of the complaint were agreed, others were rejected. The Vale Council has a policy for dealing with low-level complaints such as this which are not important enough to be considered by the Ombudsman, and so the matter is concluded.”
> Councillor Nic Hodges