Saturday, 24 December 2011

New 'vision' for Carmarthenshire.....

I have heard a rumour that a gentleman known only as 'Mr N' (apparently aged 950 years old, so could be also seeking to stand in the next local election) has approached Carmarthenshire County Council chiefs with an ambitious and exciting business proposal.

I hear it has been welcomed with open wallets arms by the executive leaders of County Hall. After the recent heavy rainfall in the county 'Mr N' has had a vision to build an enormous wooden Ark. According to initial reports from my mole (Mr & Mrs Mole are hoping for a seat on this wondrous vessel), a full business plan has been submitted, legal instructions completed and a Site Appraisal Matrix for construction has been commissioned by the council itself. It is purported to have been described by the Leader as 'one of the most important community developments in Carmarthenshire'. Although the Council are facing drastic budget cuts over the next few years this miraculous enterprise is being seen as a way of 'outsourcing' important frontline services such as flood prevention, pet care, 'back to work' schemes and 'sustainable communities'.

Artist's impression of completed project (Phase 1)
The whole project apparently meets the Council's 'Key Objectives' and the preferred construction site, the Parc Y Scarlets Stadium, was strategically selected by the Council's Special Project Department as it met current and future transport and 'accessibility' targets. Incidentally, as 'Mr N' is a pillar of the establishment, and the building project will be only 'temporary', no planning permission will be required; it is also classed as 'permitted development' under the newly created Houseboat Policy (HB1). The Council have, I hear, earmarked a fund pot for this project and will 'do 'whatever it takes' to ensure the vision is a success. A Council hospitality cabin on the poop deck is also on the cards for corporate entertainment and 'champagne lunches'.

According to the Spacial Design Analysis, there will be room for people as well as animals on the Ark, but as places are limited to twenty souls, applicants will be required to submit Form ARK1 to arrive at the Chief Executive's office no later than 7 working days before sailing, where a fair and impartial delegated decision to select the successful applicants will be made. These successful applicants will then be required to sign an Undertaking not to film either the construction process nor the initial launch.

'Mr N' was unavailable for comment, but after some enquiries, the Council has just issued this press release;

'The Leadership of this council are delighted to announce this new venture, now named as 'The Ark Project'. Although it will probably take many years to complete and will consume the entire Council budget for the next five financial years we feel this is an invaluable asset for Carmarthenshire. Hundreds of jobs will be created and this wonderful project will be hugely important for the economic regeneration of Carmarthenshire . 'The Ark Project' will also see endless possibilities for our 'Consultancy partners' in the private sector to flourish during this economic recession; Timber Strategies, Flood Appraisals, Animal Husbandry Reports, Highway Models and Logistical Analysis will all be essential for a successful outcome.

After completion, and a successful review, there is a possibility that there may be a 'Phase 2' scheme which could see the construction of a mountain for the Ark to land on, which will address all landfill, recycling and employment targets until 2025, this will need further investment but as a Council we have given our preliminary blessing.

The Executive Board Member for Regeneration said 'We are very excited to be taking this fantastic vision forward - our executive officers are working very hard with our new partners, led by 'Mr N' to ensure this benefits all community groups within Carmarthenshire. We all have great faith in the concept of a 'wooden Ark' which, historically, has been proved to be essential in times of necessity.
We have consulted many stakeholders already, everyone so far has said that a 'wooden ark' is exactly what Carmarthenshire needs.
The proposals to provide the first 'tranche' of grants, from the newly created 'Carmarthenshire Community Infrastructure, Integration and Strategic Sustainability Fund, will be, approved considered (as an 'Exempt Report') by the Executive Board, and then by full Council early in 2012.'

(Although the above proposal is of course entirely plausible, perhaps I should point out it's a spoof!)

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year and many thanks to all who have visited this blog over the past year and to all those who have given me such wonderful support.
Best Wishes, Jacqui.
ooh, must just mention that the Rotten Borough Awards is now online (via @TimMinogue, Private Eye)


Nospin said...

Hi Jacqui,

brilliant article but it might sail over their heads.

Thinking about it, in fact it would present a huge new opportunity for Carmarthen if did literally sail over their heads, and they were condemned to Davy Jones's locker.

All the best an keep up the good work in 2012


Cneifiwr said...

Thanks for making me laugh, even if it is all too plausible.

I suspect that after the Executive Board, senior officers and chief constable have taken their allotted places, there won't be any room left for anyone else. In other words, a process uncannily similar to the council's "consultation" exercises.

Looking forward to an action-packed 2012.

Nadolig llawen - Merry Christmas

Marianne said...

Brilliant article once again; shame that I will not be permitted to climb on board the Ark! Keep the great work up, Caebrwn! You are a credit to our community and I look forward to all your blogs in 2012 and beyond. Merry Christmas to you:

Patricia said...

Very funny post! Worrying tho that it has rings of truth about it.

Thank you for bringing us enlightenment throughout the year, and a Very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Alice in Blunderland said...

Merry Christmas and thanks for all the sterling work you are doing.I agree you are a credit to the people there. You are also an inspiration to others.Thanks so much for your support.All the Best for 2012.

Tessa said...

Excellent post! Really funny, and so believable!