Wednesday, 28 October 2015

News in Brief : By-election, Barngate, and library news


First up is the list of candidates for the Kidwelly by-election to be held on the 19th November. Five hopefuls have put their names forward for the county council seat which was previously held by Labour.

Voters will have their own questions they will wish to put to the candidates on the doorstep but they could include, for example, the recent period of suspension for the Labour candidate....whether 'Independent' actually means independent, or if the candidate is planning to join Meryl's 'gang'. The Plaid Candidate could be asked his views on retrospective planning approvals for historic barns... the Tory candidate will definitely need a good wind on his side, I'm sure his explanations on tax credit cuts, welfare reforms, etc will give him plenty of experience in fielding difficult questions...

Personally, given that this is Carmarthenshire County Council we're talking about, I'd give my backing to the candidate prepared to stand up with, and support, Cllr Caiach in the Chamber at County Hall.

In alphabetical order;

Stephen Bowen - People First (Cllr Sian Caiach's group)
Fran Burke-Lloyd - Independent
Stephen Davies - Conservative
Dilwyn Jones - Plaid Cymru
Ryan Thomas - Labour

The war of words seems to be hotting up over the saga of Emlyn's Barn with legal threats starting to fly. Opposition leader Cllr Jeff Edmunds called for Cllr Dole to resign over the affair, citing the questionable moral and ethical standards being set by the leader of the council and a one time member of the planning committee;

The Carmarthen Journal quotes Cllr Edmunds;

"The barn may be in his wife's name but when all's said and done he is the leader of the council and had been on the planning committee so knew the rules.

"It beggars belief to be honest. It's right opposite his house so he'd have seen it going up without the right planning permission every morning as he sat down to eat his cornflakes.

"I'm speaking to the Monitoring Officer about what can be done and will be raising this in full council.

"Last year when in opposition Councillor Dole called for Kevin Madge, Pam Palmer and Meryl Gravell to resign over an issue and said they had been ethically and morally wrong. [he means the pension and libel indemnity scandals...it is not known whether Cllr Edmunds also deemed them to be morally wrong, he never said...]

"I feel this is ethically and morally wrong and he needs to resign to restore the public's faith in the planning system."

Cllr Dole responded by saying; 

"any implication that either myself, or anyone on the planning committee, is guilty of any wrongdoing, is insulting and quite frankly defamatory".

The Plaid Chair of the Planning Committee, Cllr Alun Lenny appears to be supporting Cllr Dole and invites anyone who dares to suggest that the planning committee might be just a little bit biased or, heaven forbid, lack objectivity, to "provide proof or withdraw their allegations".

Plaid accuse Labour of using the issue to score political points - they probably are, just like Plaid did over the WAO scandals - it's what they do. But in the end surely it is public opinion that matters and the general consensus seems to be that it was a political decision to grant approval and there's one rule for one, and another for the rest of us.

So far, there appears to be a lot of hot air from both sides over all this, but whether or not Cllr Edmunds' can substantiate his allegation that Cllr Dole eats cornflakes for breakfast remains to be seen....

The saga continues next week when the application is back on the agenda for the planning committee to ratify it's decision (see earlier post) to approve.

Back in March I mentioned the planned sell-off of Llandeilo Library and it's 'relocation' in nearby council offices. The council statement at the time, announcing the consultation, got a little head of itself and announced it as a 'development opportunity' in Llandeilo.

Anyway, presumably the consultation went ahead, was duly ignored and at some point a report was drafted to progress with the closure. I could be wrong of course but Monday's Executive Board meeting (don't forget these are now webcast) has an item titled 'Llandeilo Hub/Library relocation'.
It would be good to see the report but unfortunately, for reasons best known to themselves, it is top secret and any decision likely to be 'exempt', with the webcast switched off and considered behind closed doors....

And briefly back to our Council's 'partners' down at the evangelical bowling alley and with the publication of the latest Towy Community Church accounts we learn that this charitable endeavour must be booming with the good pastor and his wife being able to take around £45,000 in wages between them in 2014, in addition, the daughter of a trustee has landed the newly created position of Administrator...doubt if they'll need to avail themselves of their foodbank.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

1) A shame on all parties with the mess the archives are in right now. No other way to view it.

2) What a mess Plaid have got themselves into, no new nothing since coming into power. Not exactly helping Leanne.

caebrwyn said...

Anon 18:24
The BBC finally picked up on the tale of the mouldy archives today - I first mentioned this back in April 2014 - the most salient point now being that despite the best efforts of the archive staff, the years of neglect and failure to invest from County Hall has resulted in a bill for at least £650,000 to clean and restore the irreplaceable historic legacy of Carmarthenshire.

Anonymous said...

Why does Cllr Dole desperately repeating "At no time has anyone done anything wrong" bring to mind Bill Clinton stating "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."?

Anonymous said...

I think Councillor Lenny should watch the archived meeting of October 8th, 3hr 25min into the planning meeting where an application for a replacement house 70% larger and forty metres from the original house is being discussed. He will see a councillor extolling the virtues of the applicant, something I thought was irrelevant to planning.

caebrwyn said...

@Anon 20:05 At the September meeting Plaid councillor D Llewellyn spoke out against a 'One Planet' development which was being recommended for approval, claiming they couldn't give planning to every "Tom, Dick and Harry"...

Anonymous said...

"At no time has anyone done anything wrong"
but obviously they also did not get the process right according to the officers.

Cneifiwr said...

My money is on Emlyn Dole being a muesli man.

Anonymous said...

Nope, he eats 16 shredded wheat.

caebrwyn said...

@cneifiwr and Anon 23:05:
I think you're both wrong, definitely a Kellogg's All-Barn man...

Anonymous said...

cneifiwr, Anon 23:05 & caebrwyn:

It used to be cereals but now he prefers a fresh barn egg served on a silver platter by the planning committee.

Jennifer Brown said...

I live in Pontyberem and was disappointed when our only local newspaper outlet refused to sell the Llanelli/Carmarthen Herald. Cllr Dole is safe in the knowledge that few locals are aware of his or his partner's shinanigans. Not many locals even know the Herald exists or that your blog, @caebrwyn, exists (doubt many knew of your blog @Cneifiwr when you were blogging). The constituents of Pontyberem and Carmarthenshire as a whole need to know what their Cllrs are up to and how they are protecting the public interest (only then will they be able to influence Local Government, persuade CLLRS to speak up on their behalf when CLLRS & Officers abuse their positions) so their votes can help towards cleaning up a very toxic council who rely on coercion and cronyism to hide wrongdoing. I now pop down to Pontyates to purchase the Herald and cannot fathom why our local CK's should refuse to entertain selling it (it's as though they want to keep their customers in the dark/uninformed and lessen their ability to make their votes count towards holding weak ineffectual Cllrs to account). CK's may have reasons only known to its self for disliking the Herald publication but it should not refuse to allow their customers a chance to make up their own minds on whether to purchase it or not. I took a stand when they refused to countenance selling it and said I'd not continue shopping there, unless I found I had to, as I was having to travel to Pontyates to obtain the paper anyway. The other day I found I needed to purchase a book of stamps and as our PO has closed and facilities moved into CK's I went in and was ignored as I waited at the counter. Training of counter staff member was taking place so I was patient and felt there was an excuse for not acknowledging my presence. But after a while the person in charge of training spoke to a shop assistant a little way away and also acknowledged a customer entering the shop which caused me to realise I was deliberately being ignored and so left the shop and drove down to Pontyates. The rest of my family are still customers and I have not tried to persuade them otherwise as CK's is very convenient. I miss shopping there myself and had been a regular shopper several times a week. A true democracy allows the public access to information good or bad thus enabling them to make informed decisions on where to cast their vote. I would not mind so much if there was another outlet able to provide the Herald but there is nowhere else in our village.

Jennifer Brown (whistleblower) @JenGwenBrown

Tim Hart said...

A nice swipe at the Towy evangelical mob, but ultimately I feel you should defer to a higher authority: "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord" (Romans 12:19 King James Version)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, lets all wait for Judgement Day....

Anonymous said...

I hope so anon @12;07 and anon @ 13:42

Anonymous said...

Sorry, can't wait that long Tim Hart and Anon @13.42 & @18.35. Something needs to be done SOON!

Anonymous said...

Do you think Emlyn Dole may have crossed off "selflessness" off his list of Nolan Priciples along with openness, accountability and transparency? That only leaves honesty, leadership and objectivity. They must be looking a bit dubious too.... Maybe they have just become aspirations rather than something he signed up to on election, is that something to do with integrity. They are after all, just words.

Anonymous said...

Emlyn's barn and mindless damage to a Special Area of Conservation. Only Carmarthen Council could be so arrogant and downright shameless. Yet another retrospective planning application, this time following serious damage to an SAC site. Why is CCC even considering a retrospective application when action against the individual seems a much more appropriate course of action.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to see your endorsement of the People First candidate. Both he and the Tory live in Llanelli. Not going down too well locally as lots of people still feel your county councillor should live in the ward. Another feature is the lack of a UKIP candidate. Could it be they don't have the local level of organisation to get enough registered voters to sign the nomination papers?