Thursday 13 June 2013

Yesterday's webcast - almost home and dry...

Yesterday's live streamed council meeting started off according to plan, or according to the script anyway. For those unaccustomed to these meetings, the lengthy intro about fire alarms (note; members of the public in the gallery stay where you are, everyone else leave by the nearest exit) and the great emphasis on declarations of interest are entirely new and clearly for the benefit of the cameras.

The meeting has been archived and you can watch it yourself. It was all held together (just about), until almost the bitter end, when things began to unravel. It was at that point I suspect, that several of those present wondered how it was that they ever agreed to webcasting....

The first two hours or so were taken up with Plaid's Motion to make urgent representations to the Welsh Government over planning policy and the Welsh Language and how there should be a statutory consultation when large residential applications are put forward.

The LDP was discussed at length (after several councillors made declarations that they had put forward plots of land to it) and eventually the meeting moved on to the sale of 86 parcels of land, approved at the last Exec Board meeting.

The subsequent loss of play areas and green space and the failure of Exec Members to listen to residents was brought up but Council Leader Kevin Madge declared that they needed the money and couldn't afford to cut the grass.

For the details, you can watch it yourself.

Just when it appeared they were home and dry, Cllr Darren Price (Plaid) dropped the bombshell and asked about the email snooping. Who had requested that this was done, and why? Why was the councillor concerned never told? Was this common practice? He demanded a full inquiry into the matter and the full support of the leader Kevin Madge (who went very quiet).

Unfortunately for some, there didn't appear to be any way to call 'cut!'.

To see how this all panned out, and if you've got a spare 10 minutes, go over to the webcast, it's 2 hours 47 mins in or click on 02:47:13 on the right hand side of the page; .

There are a few points in the responses to Cllr Price that need clarifying;

When you listen to the initial response to Cllr Price, please note that the disclosure stage of the legal case referred to was in Autumn 2012, but the email in question was actually 'tracked' in September 2011. 
Secondly, no one has suggested, as far as I am aware, that there is a whole council department sitting there tracking emails. 
Lastly, also as far as I am aware, no one whatsoever has pointed the finger at any officer in the IT department. Cllr Price, and indeed anyone who is concerned about this matter has asked who requested the tracking, not who carried out the orders. The 'Attendance Note', for some reason, does not identify the requestor.

In addition, there's a surprising claim about covert surveillance from Cllr Bill Thomas, who, after initially being told to shut up, eventually gets his word in.

And last but not least, well done Cllr Darren Price.


Anonymous said...

This is a good account o what happened. No partisan like cneifiwr. Keep up with reports like this.

Tessa said...

Well worth watching!
Good for Darren Price!
I'm puzzled by the response - I don't see what "felatio/us" has to do with the argument.

Anonymous said...

Yes Darren Price should be applauded.As a young councillor who really understands what is bad in Carmarthen councilhe is not afraid to challenge dubious decisions made behind closed doors.
Sian Caiach too was impressive in her passionate speech on the welsh language.

caebrwyn said...

Thank you for your comments concerning the word 'fallacious', I think we'd better leave that one.

I was very impressed with Cllr Price, it is refreshing to see someone who knows their stuff challenging the unelected ruling administration. Cllr Caiach has been doing this almost single handedly for years. I don't particularly care what his politics are but if the Plaid group on the council are ever looking for a new leader, then he's your man.