Wednesday 31 December 2014

Happy New Year from Caebrwyn

Just a brief message to wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year.

When I first started writing this blog in March 2009 I didn't think I'd write more than a few posts, I thought it would dwindle away after a couple of months. How wrong I was....

In many ways, 2014 was the year when what I'd been saying for so long finally received official recognition. I'm referring of course to the pension and libel indemnity scandals and the toxic culture recognised in the WLGA governance report.

Personally I think there should have been mass resignations after the Wales Audit Office reports and at least two senior officials charged with misconduct in public office.

The months that followed showed shocking arrogance from Mr James and shocking ignorance and desperate weakness from the elected leadership.

However, despite the poisonous press releases, corporate denials, arrogance and weasel ways, mud sticks. The electorate will remember exactly who was complicit in approving a tax dodge for the highest paid earner and unlawfully funding his legal bills.

After creating this unholy mess the chief executive himself will be moving on, all that remains to be decided is, unbelievably, the size of the golden handshake he's going to take with him - he's already got part of my home.

As for the WLGA report, as I said, the message was clear, there was a toxic culture and the council have been given six months to sort things out.

However, let's look forward to 2015 and all the municipal delights that await us...there's the forthcoming council budget, the implementation of all the 38 WLGA recommendations (I'm optimistic if nothing else) and not forgetting the prospect of a new Returning Officer for the general election!

Many thanks to everyone who continues to read, comment and share this blog and to all who continue to support the ongoing effort to open up Carmarthenshire council.

I've listed a small selection of popular blogposts below (in chronological order) relating to the 2014 scandals. The year also saw plenty more tales from the county hall crypt including a parting shot from Roger, sermons from Mark James and the curious case of the allowable expenses....
Who knows what 2015 will bring?

Libel and Pension scandals - Auditor issues damning reports

MP calls in police to investigate Chief Executive's possible Misconduct in Public Office

Gloucestershire Police to investigate Carmarthenshire Council

Mark James goes on gardening leave

February's Extraordinary Council meeting

Libel Appeal dismissed - my statement

WLGA announce Carmarthenshire Governance Review

July meeting; libel indemnities and "more 'satire', than 'Eastenders''

Blogger will "fight to the bitter end"

Carmarthenshire Council governance "in disarray and not fit for purpose" - Sir David Lewis

Final Charging Order - and Mark James is off

WLGA report - Toxic culture recognised

Gloucestershire Police remain silent

February 2014, police at County Hall (pic; Y Byd ar Bedwar)


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Five years of writing your blog Jacquie is a great achievement! Your rigorous investigative skills, tenacity in pursuing the truth and your eloquent writing are all testament to a level of dedication to local democracy that few people could surpass. I hope your efforts help to drag Carmarthenshire County Council out of the gutter during 2015 so that this important institution is rehabilitated into one which the residents of Carmarthenshire can be proud; rather than be embarrassed and ashamed at the mention of its name.