A Labour county councillor had defected to Plaid Cymru after accusing his former party of failing people badly on a local level.

Cllr Paul Penlington, ward member for Prestatyn North on Denbighshire county council since 2012, made the announcement through Plaid Cymru’s press team.

He said he believes Plaid represents the “best interests of his residents and had the most positive ideas for the county and Wales”.

Cllr Penlington said:  “I cannot in good conscience be part of a party that fails people so badly on a local level and that is allowed to do so by the national party.

“I have been impressed by the Plaid Cymru Group on Denbighshire County Council for some time.

“The group have consistently introduced fresh ideas, and challenged the established order.

“I found myself increasingly supporting their work, and wanted to be a part of their project, to improve the lives of people in Denbighshire.

“I have also been impressed by Adam Price MS’s leadership during the coronavirus crisis.

“His forensic scrutiny of decisions being made by both Governments has helped ensure better policies to tackle the crisis here in Wales.

“Its obvious to me that Plaid Cymru is the party that puts the welfare and the interests of the residents that I represent in Prestatyn first.”

Cllr Penlington added that there were many “excellent individuals within the Labour Group on Denbighshire County Council” and he would continue to work with them to push forward a “progressive agenda”.

His defection won approval from Plaid leader Adam Price, who said he’d “found his political home” with the party.

He added: “He will be warmly welcomed as a champion of Prestatyn and Denbighshire.

“The Plaid Cymru group on Denbighshire County Council have shown themselves to be an effective group, and people are recognizing the hard work that they are doing in the interests of the people of Denbighshire.”

The move boosts the Plaid contingent within the authority to nine and reduces Labour to 11.

The 15 Conservative councillors and  11 Independents hold the balance of power on the council and form the leadership group.

Cllr Rhys Thomas, leader of the council’s Plaid Cymru group, said he’d had the pleasure of working with his new colleague on many issues and “continuously found ourselves in agreement”.

He added: “Paul brings with him ideas and passion for his role.

“He’s firmly rooted in his community and is an excellent representative for his residents. He will be an asset to the Plaid Cymru Group.”