Friday, 9 August 2013

Kev tears his hair out...

.....and attempts to replace it...

The South Wales Guardian reported last week that Cwmamman Town Council had received a letter from Carmarthenshire Council asking them if they'd like to take over a local building which houses the Glanamman Community Education Centre. It's unlikely that such a small council would be able to do this and I suspect, as the provision of adult education is not a Statutory Duty of the local authority, a quick sale is on the cards.

Whilst the summer recess lingers on we assume that the bean counters at County Hall are busy, and all leave is cancelled as they come up with a plan to deal with the £12m cuts for next year. Or is it £18m, or is it £7m? Nobody knows. Especially not Cllr Kevin Madge, leader of Carms council, who was quoted in the papers as 'tearing his hair out' and not having any 'answers' to the troubled councillors of Cwmamman.

Although this is supposed to be a 'Labour run council', (it's supposed to be a councillor-run council at the very least...) they appear to have not even attempted to come up with an alternative plan other than following orders from Westminster. The bean counters are already shaving off the non-statutory duties whilst what little scrutiny there is, shuts down for August.

Incidentally, the cuts have been described by Carmarthenshire Council as 'biblical', in Newport their cutbacks have been called 'seismic'. Does this indicate that one council will approach the problem in a scientific and logical manner and the other will depend on mass prayer?

Anyway, it seems that Kev's desperation and the unsurprising revelation that he really didn't have a clue what was going on didn't go down too well somewhere and he's hastily backtracked in this week's paper. I don't suppose this was quite the image of the leader of the 'best council in Wales' that readers were meant to conjure up. (Meryl would never have let the side down, you'll remember she simply blamed the 'problems in the council' on the laziness of 9000 staff). There is no plan to sell the centre, said Kev, not yet anyway, and trotted out that old reassuring chestnut that 'we are looking at all options'. Which translates as 'there are no other options'.

Kev is clearly beginning to understand that whatever plans County Hall comes up with neither he, nor any other elected member will have a say in them. His role, as always, will be to pay tribute to the officers as he rubber stamps the plans.

I wonder what those plans will be? And what chance will a small underfunded community education centre have as County Hall continues to heavily subsidise far more glossy projects; a stadium, a global cinema company and an evangelical bowling alley to name but three? Senior management remains intact and did you know that not only are we lucky enough to have two assistant Chief Executives, but we are blessed with a Deputy Chief Exec too!
County Hall will always have its way, and what is worse, when the Propaganda Department, which remains the envy of minor dictatorships around the globe is given its orders, (and unless you can see through the spin), you'll end up feeling grateful....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kev's tearing his hair out! He should stand in the Carmarthenshire residence shoes and see the county through their eyes!!!

As for the unelected, no wonder they are "unwanted by over half of private sector employers."