Thursday 18 April 2013

All words and no action

Aside from the politics of it all, the lesson here for Council Leaders is that if you repeatedly and publicly call for an Inquiry, its usually a good idea, at some point to at least ask the relevant authorities to carry one out.

Local Plaid Cymru politicians have been trying to find out what became of Cllr Madge's promised calls for a Public Inquiry over the PFI disaster of Ammanford Police Station.

Here's their press release;

Labour Council Leader left red-faced over Public Inquiry blunder

Despite fourteen months of ‘calling’ for an independent public inquiry into the costly Private Finance Initiative (PFI) that plagues Ammanford Police Station, Council Leader Kevin Madge has done nothing to act on his rhetoric. That was the reaction of Plaid Cymru Councillor, Deian Harries, after it emerged the Leader of Carmarthenshire Council has not taken any action to back up his public inquiry ‘calls’.

In January 2012, Councillor Madge – then Deputy Leader of the County Council - called for an “urgent independent investigation” into why the PFI contract, which costs Dyfed Powys Police Force £700,000 a year to maintain, was allowed to go ahead.

In March 2013 Councillor Madge – now Leader of the authority – stated publicly he was “surprised” that no-one had supported his call for an independent inquiry and went on to renew his call as it is the “only way we can win back public confidence”.

But Freedom of Information requests by Plaid Cymru to both the UK Government Home Office and to the Welsh Government have now exposed Councillor Madge’s calls as meaningless. Councillor Madge has not made any representations regarding a public inquiry since making his ‘calls’ fourteen months ago.

Plaid Cymru County Councillor for Ammanford, Cllr Deian Harries, has said the revelation shows the Labour party is clearly out of its depth and that Councillor Madge may as well have been talking to himself considering the lack of progress his rhetoric has achieved.

Councillor Deian Harries said:

“It’s quite astonishing to be told by the Welsh Government and Home Office that they hold no information whatsoever from Councillor Madge regarding his calls for a public inquiry.

“It’s been 14 months since that first ‘call’. Councillor Madge may as well have been talking to himself given the lack of progress his rhetoric has achieved.

“I suspect the real reason the council leader has not acted on his rhetoric is because he doesn’t want to draw attention to the Labour party’s love affair with costly PFI projects that plague our public services today. However it’s just not right that any politician can make public comments but then not see those actions through.

“Councillor Madge said an independent inquiry is the only way to win back public confidence. Confidence in the Labour party is at an all time low in the Amman Valley as our communities now see how clueless the party is in turning words into action.

(Linked from Plaid Carmarthenshire, here)

The only Police 'front desk' for Ammanford is now located in a van in the car park.


Anonymous said...

Thank you and well done on both accounts i.e. the update and championing the webcasting of Council meetings.

Anonymous said...

The real question is: has Jonathan Edwards ever done anything? He's the MP, and parliament is the source of power for inquiries

Also, has deian harries?

Anonymous said...

I don't recall Jonathan Edwards ever publicly calling for a public inquiry. We hardly need a public inquiry to tell us that the Labour party had some sort of fetish with private finance projects.