Monday, 25 July 2011

The Council 'Shine Awards' - for going that extra mile...

The latest edition of the Council rag, the "Carmarthenshire News" made it's way to Caebrwyn today. Featured in it's thrilling pages is a nomination form for the annual Council 'Shine Awards'. As an award for excellence, I am now torn as who to nominate, one of my commenters has suggested Mr Mark James this year for "raising the profile of Carmarthenshire in China and showing people there how to deal with dissidents. This could be the start of an exciting new municipal twinning programme....."

I would have to agree. Then of course there's the 'planning supremo' Eifion Bowen who has marked this exceptional year with a headlining article in the Rotten Boroughs section of Private Eye. Sadly Mr Lyn Thomas, Head of Law and Administration and Monitoring Officer cannot be nominated as he has just decided to retire. I am also a little worried that, if he's not replaced, there will only be two officers in charge of the purse strings of the libel cost amendment; the Director of Resources and the Chief Executive. Anyway I am sure Mr James is eminently capable of controlling the legal department as well as the rest of the council. I am digressing a little so back to the Awards. I guess it's going to have to be Mr James for two main reasons; firstly, for so spectacularly bringing the Council into disrepute in recent weeks and secondly for bringing excellence to the world of baking;

The Council Chief, the Police Chief and 'The cake'
A few words about the Carmarthenshire News again. I have mentioned the cost etc many times before, but this time it strikes me that the cost of one edition (there are 6 per year) is £23,000 - the rough estimate provided by the Council for webcasting their meetings. The 'Media Section' of the Council website (you will not be surprised to learn that this is the only section to be regularly updated) always carries a little blurb about the cost of the rag to deflect criticism (who would do that?) and claims that advertising and sponsorship offsets the cost to the tune of £18,000 so the total cost is only £5000 per edition. With only two remotely 'private ads', both belonging to building firms with regular contracts with the Council, they are either paying an extortionate fee for the honour, or the £18k actually comes from other council departments and 'partner' organisations, so the claim that they are 'on target' for 'nil' costs is a generous helping of poetic license then..

Lastly, with the Minutes of the 'lockdown' full council meeting on July 13th just published (and of course we are stuck with the minutes rather than a true record) I see that concerns were raised regarding the much trumpeted, council run, 'Cwm Aur' care and respite facility. Held as a 'good example' in a recent report (the snappily titled 'Annual Report of the Statutory Director of Social Services on the Effectiveness of Social Care Services in Carmarthenshire in 2010/2011' - doesn't that just want to make you read it?) some Councillors wondered why it was still half empty and offered no respite care ten months after the grand opening. The Director of Social Care eased their worries and said that these things took time to 'settle'. With those comforting words, that was the end of the argument.


Photon said...

Surely, the Council Chief should be immediately arrested for possession and brandishing a weapon? Carries a mandatory custodial sentence now.

Maybe it's the knife that's leading to the Police Chief appearing to lean away from the Council Chief? Or maybe it's something else.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the head of law retiring. The post of head of IT between the council and police has been amalgamated at quite a cost saving.

why not amalgamate the law services of the police and council - this wil produce a big cost saving.

Anonymous said...

Intersting about the retirement of the head of legal.

An opportunity to amalgamate the police and council law depts maybe ? If it can happen with IT why not law ??