Saturday, 8 September 2012

The New Term...and other news

The new term in County Hall kicks off with the full council meeting next Wednesday. I hope to attend and maybe Eric Pickles would like to join me. Amongst the items for 'debate' is a report from the ombudsman. I believe it will be the first of quite a few.

This particular report found maladministration through the council's failure to adequately house a disabled man, a failure to recognise it's statutory social care duties and, consequently, the complainant's human rights. It also catalogued the abysmal council complaints process (see earlier post; council fined £3000), this has become something of a theme recently. Further reports which will follow in the future concern the failure of planning enforcement with the extensive Breckman report and also a very serious investigation into Social Care, the latter is currently the subject of legal action.

Perhaps the councillors would also like to insist on a report about the recent decision by the Ombudsman to dismiss all the Chief Executive's complaints against their fellow Councillor, Sian Caiach.

Due to the lack of full council/scrutiny meetings over recent months there is quite a backlog of Executive, Planning and Licensing reports on the Agenda ready to be swiftly waved through. There have been four Executive Board meetings busy rubber stamping away throughout the Summer.
The full agenda is here and Cneifiwr has more details here.

A browse through the Council Diary reveals the next location of the Executive Board mystery tour of Carmarthenshire. This time (1st October) they're taking the convoy down to Kidwelly. Rather like Kev's Big Day Out to Ammanford, it should provide an endless stream of photo opportunities and spin to grace our local papers the following week.

On the subject of planning there was another glimpse into the strange world of the Planning Committee the other day My own Councillor spoke in support of this particular application, not as you may expect in such a quasi-judicial setting, on the technical arguments of material planning considerations but on the basis that he remembered the applicant's grandfather who had set up in business after the war. He didn't specify which war. The Chair had to remind him that it didn't matter who the applicant was and the application was refused.

Lastly, a letter in an edition of last week's Western Mail. I'm publishing it here as it seems that discontented residents of Carmarthenshire are having to go further afield than the local press these days to voice their concerns;

"SIR – The officials of Carmarthenshire County Council have given new meaning to three familiar words.

Firstly, “democracy”, the few gaining control over the many. The residents of Carmarthenshire elected 28 Plaid Cymru councillors – the largest group on the council – yet without a representative in the inner cabinet.

Secondly, “independent” – that an Independent party joins another party to form a ruling group.

Thirdly, “socialism”, when the chief executive receives an annual salary of £209,498, including more than £20,000 from the Ministry of Justice for his duties as elections returning officer, while the rank and file members of staff received an annual salary reduction of £1,700.

Little wonder that there is unrest in the land.

Mr O Owen
Llanelli, Carmarthenshire"

1 comment:

Cneifiwr said...

Mr Owen might also have queried Kevin Madge's socialist credentials as he settles in to his new limo.