I see Carmarthenshire Council have come top of the league for the highest amount spent, by Welsh Councils, on 'mystery shoppers', or more specifically a consultancy firm, Cwmni Iaith, which contacts council departments to test whether reception staff are capable of communicating in Welsh and English. This has cost over £25,000 over three years. Monitoring of bi-lingual policy is perhaps necessary for some sort of 'compliance' but is also something that both the police and the health board have managed to do in-house, at no cost.
On the subject of Council spending it will be interesting to see what response I get, if any, to this; http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/spending_details#outgoing-123450
The closure of five Day Centres for the elderly is looking certain despite a delegation of ladies trying to present their 1500 name petition at County Hall the other day. Shamefully no one wanted to recieve the petition and the ladies were left waiting until an embarrassed minion was sent out to take it. They were particularly upset that Cllr Kevin Madge, Executive Board Member and the Council's 'Older Peoples Champion' didn't come out to greet them.
Hopefully a few Councillors will raise their concerns over these closures at the Scrutiny Committee meeting on Friday.
It hasn't escaped my attention that there is an election tomorrow, I am also sure there is enough coverage of this without my pennyworth. Personally I am looking forward to the local elections next May which will hopefully see the introduction of a few new faces, one of which may even include mine!