Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Budget - further comment


A few hours after Mark James's budget was approved on Tuesday, Labour Minister Leighton Andrews issued a statement, again referring to Council reserves as he had already done last year.
Carmarthenshire, it turns out, has a total of £122m in reserves, twice as much as Cardiff.
Mr Andrews said;

"Whilst it is prudent for Authorities to prepare for more challenging financial times, it is also reasonable to want to see evidence that Authorities are making financial decisions in the best interests of their communities."

If you haven't realised it by now, those that are running this council are not acting in the best interests of their communities. Mr James personally intervened to reject outright the opposition proposals to use a tiny proportion of the earmarked reserves and the Labour/Independents followed like sheep. He acted unprofessionally and with arrogance.

Quite why the Plaid opposition didn't shout out their objections there and then and stop him in his tracks, I don't know.

Don't forget, whilst Kevin Madge, Meryl and Co are cutting your services and raising your council tax they were complicit in approving a tax avoidance scheme for Mr James and shelling out thousands to defend him. Along with the unlawful libel costs, the whole affair was nothing short of criminal.

And the only reason the Labour group refused to rubber stamp his golden handshake was because there's an election on May 7th.
You will note that £3m has already been transferred into the Severance Scheme (from those 'precious' reserves, 'earmarked' for something else), ready and waiting for the eventual pay-off.

The WLGA governance review identified a toxic culture within County Hall and a need for urgent change. Clearly those poisonous relationships remain alive and well.

If councillors were acting in the best interests of their communities, they would have sacked Mr James last year when they had the chance.

1 comment:

Tim Hart said...

Yes, I agree. The summary dismissal of Mark James would be a gesture towards re-establishing some semblance of democracy. Not the Alice in Wonderland notion of democracy which currently pervades County Hall, which allows the cabal of senior officers and senior councillors to run the council as though it is their personal fiefdom; but that quaint idea of democracy which requires that such elected and appointed individuals serve the interests of the residents of Carmarthenshire rather than their own interests.