He writes, "In your blog post, entitled 'Fear and Loathing in Llanelli', you have referenced a number of statistics on my attendance record in Neath Port Talbot. I believe this information to be incorrect, and this information has now been used in a Plaid leaflet. I would appreciate it if you could provide evidence of these figures and where you obtained them."
Rob was elected to Neath Port Talbot in May 2012 and remains a councillor for Bryncoch South ward to this day. According to the council, his home address is 11 Talbot Road, although according to his nomination papers in Carmarthenshire, his home address is 8 Old Road, Llanelli.
Residents of Bryncoch South may be wondering whether their councillor really lives where he says he does and whether, like them, he has been paying council tax in Neath Port Talbot.
Having been elected, Rob made his mark by turning up to one of the first meetings wearing shorts, a T-shirt and dark glasses perched on his head. The old-school Labour leader, Ali Thomas, was said to have been apoplectic.
Things went downhill from there, with increasingly rare appearances, and a fellow councillor said he could not recall a single contribution to a meeting by Rob during the first four years of his term in office.
Residents of Bryncoch South began to notice that something was not right, and in September 2016 a member of the public wrote to the council asking for details of Cllr James's attendance record.
In response, Neath Port Talbot council said that it did not publish attendance statistics for its councillors, although it was committed to open and transparent local government, because there was no statutory requirement to do so. It was however trialing some new software which it hoped would enable it to publish attendance statistics from May 2017.
In the meantime, the council decided to respond to the request under the Freedom of Information Act, and Mr Rhys George, the council's Electoral and Democratic Services Manager, provided Cllr James's record for the period from May 2012 to April 2016.
For the period from April to October 2016, Cllr James's record has been pieced together by trawling through the attendance records contained in meeting minutes.
The results are shown in the following table:
|Click to enlarge|
In addition to complaining to Y Cneifiwr, Rob has said that he has also gone to Dyfed Powys Police with a formal complaint.
To save a lot of police time and expense, we can only hope that the HM Constabulary refers Rob back to his council's Electoral and Democratic Services Manager.
In a separate move, Rob James says he has complained to Dyfed Powys Police that a leaflet distributed by the two Plaid candidates in Lliedi, Colin Jones and Dyfrig Thomas, did not contain an address on the imprint, as required under electoral law.
Turning to his followers on Facebook, Rob has also found time to complain that Plaid has subjected both him and his young family to "hateful attacks on an almost daily basis", and that Plaid has been spreading lies about him.
The "lies" presumably refers to Neath Port Talbot's attendance statistics. "Attacks on his young family" would be deplorable if there were a shred of evidence to back up Rob's claims, but readers will search his social media timelines in vain.
Welcome to the world of post factual politics.