Wednesday 12 January 2011

'People First' Ruffles Feathers

It appears that 'People First' is beginning to ruffle a few feathers. At a recent meeting of the Environment Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Arthur Davies (People First) had the temerity to speak out and ask officers and Members why a promised seminar on cold weather resilience had been dropped and why Llanelli Town Councillor Bill Thomas, (anti-pollution campigner) was not a 'suitable candidate' to speak on environmental issues in the Loughor Estuary.  Cllr Davies finally walked out after his request that discussions over budget cuts be held in public rather than in secret was refused.
This, believe it or not, was all too much for some Members and an apology was demanded to which Cllr Davies, in the interest of good working relations, was happy to oblige. Apparently this was not quite enough and now, as 'punishment' for such daring behaviour and speaking his mind Cllr Davies has been the subject of a vote of censure which will now be on the public record.
It is disturbing that this committee should feel it has to censure one Member for asking valid questions. And how on earth is he bringing the committee into disrepute? - it's supposed to be scrutiny committee after all!
Whether members are driven by party loyalty over public interest, or whether kow-towing to officers is the preferred easy option, neither bodes well for healthy robust debate nor the democratic interests of the local elector. 


Jambogil said...

This quote becomes ever more apt, the more you read and hear about the way this council operates. "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of the truth." Einsteins words should be emblazoned on a plaque in the council chambers, as a constant reminder to both officers and members alike that their duties and loyalties are to the electorate and the taxpayers who fund their salaries. This it appears has been long forgotten, along with morals and integrity. It's never too late to put things right! Please God!

Anonymous said...

A very interesting and much-needed initiative. Not much to be found about it online, sadly, but I suppose it's early days yet.

While trying to find out more I came across this unfortunate item though:

I take it that this is not the same Cllr Arthur Davies, especially given your own experiences with planning?

caebrwyn said...

A comment from my Facebook wall;
"Well, well, well! Shame that Clr. A.Davies apologised (although I understand wy he did it), now he is still facing allegations. Let's hope he will stand up to this kind of "gagging"; he will have my support for sure."

caebrwyn said...

Thanks for your interesting comment.
You may well be right, perhaps someone would like to reply...?
Sounds like I've ruffled some feathers myself!