Friday 15 May 2015

Today's papers

Things appear to be growing increasingly acrimonious in County Hall with the South Wales Evening Post reporting on accusations made by Labour's Jeff Edmunds. Cllr Edmunds, who had unseated Kevin Madge for the leader's crown on Monday, only to be thwarted by Plaid and the Independents by Wednesday afternoon, has accused the two groups of doing a deal way back in February. He said;
“I was going through one door and they were bringing Councillor Dole through the other. I believed the deal was done when I took the budget through the council.”

According to Cllr Edmunds the two groups hatched a plan two days after the budget and during the media furore over the pile of reserves and the intervention of the chief executive in the political debate.

Mr Edmunds' claim of a stitch up is vehemently denied by Plaid Leader Emlyn Dole as; 
"totally and utterly untrue. What happened is because of an implosion in the Labour Party.."
and insists that the subject of a coalition with the Independents didn't crop up until Wednesday - the opportunity presented itself and they took it.

Then again, who knows...perhaps if Kevin Madge and his Labour group hadn't put the pre-election kybosh on the the chief executive's golden handshake back in January, he'd still be sat in the leader's chair. Our council works in such mysterious ways.

This week's Herald leads with a detailed report on the complex deprivation of liberty case, which, readers of this and Cneifiwr's blog may recall, resulted in an adverse ombudsman report for the council, and a finding of misconduct by the GMC for the doctor commissioned by the council to assess the case.

Cllr Caiach has championed the interests of the family who were torn apart four years ago when allegations were made against the parents of a severely autistic young lady. The allegations were groundless. Cllr Caiach has tried, so far without success, to have this shocking case brought to the council's scrutiny committee.

The Herald provides an update and understands that the legal case brought by the young lady against the council by her advocate has now been settled, but the council, four years on, still hasn't settled the matter with her parents, who went through untold anguish.
The Herald remarks;

"Unfortunately for [the parents], the Council has form in spinning out proceedings, seeking to grind down litigants with legal manoeuvres rather than face up and fess up to its own mistakes."

Cneifiwr has summarised the case today and sends a challenge to the new coalition;

"Let us hope that the new administration acts swiftly in this case and sends a clear signal that cover-ups, denials and complete indifference to the suffering of real people are no longer acceptable."

Update 20th May; Cllr Caiach has blogged on this case here. She comments;
"It is not just one catalogue of errors that concerns me but the whole culture of reacting to bad news by secrecy and denial. Hiding the truth only perpetuates the injustice and may invite a repeat performance."


The Herald's Cadno piece considers the ups and downs, and expense, of the chief executive's love affair with sports stadia. From Mr James' time at Boston Borough Council and his 'vision' for the PRSA sports arena, through to the Parc Y Scarlets stadium. The common theme, aside from Mr James' visions, were the wildly inaccurate projected costs for each facility and the lack of proper scrutiny.

Cadno comments;

Projected profits turned out to be yawning deficits. The Council was warned that its investment was risky. It thundered on anyway.
As in Boston, so in Llanelli.
Councillors kept in the dark or not consulted on key decisions seem to be patterns in both Boston and Carmarthenshire.
And through it all the one constant has been the treasured and distinguished Mark James.

Cadno also mentions the curious matter of the Marston's deal and the very unequal split of the proceeds between the club and the council. You may recall the club did rather better out of the arrangement, despite the best efforts of some senior officers, than the Carmarthenshire taxpayer.

A last minute intervention by an even more senior official appeared to rubber stamp a deal which enabled the club to pay off a third party loan and class it as an 'allowable expense'.

For the full story, please pick up a copy of The Carmarthenshire Herald, well worth 50p. 


Anonymous said...

When oh when will Cardiff Bay exert control over Carmarthen Council and ensure that they follow procedures and The Law as laid down by statute.For far too long. Carmarthen Council and some of their long serving officers have cocked a snoop at protocol and procedure and have treated the public with complete disdain and "wo betide" anyone who dare question their actions. Perhaps one can only hope that Plaid are able to bring some control to the excessive pressure brought to bear by some on the Executive who are not interested in democracy or transparency.

Anonymous said...

Scarlets Next Accounts Due: 31/03/2015 OVERDUE
According to Companies House.

Anonymous said...

Emlyn dole says that the coalition came up on Wednesday! That doesn't explain what meetings had been ore booked by a week and a special Plaid Cymru group meeting was called with a week's notice. The internal council diary is a terrible giveaway.

Anonymous said...

I am aware that the Independent Meeting on Wednesday was called on the morning of the Council Meeting and Jeff Edmunds & Emlyn Dole were asked that day to give a presentation of the "Way Forward ", the Independent Group 76% of whom were present voted unanimously to go with Plaid . Jeff Edmunds might want to look at the way he treated Kevin Madge at the Labour Group AGM Monday evening - rumours abound of 1 vote margin and that vote be solicited from a very ill Councillior

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Cardiff Bay will be more willing to intervene now that it is a Plaid-run Council?

Anonymous said...

This was unanimous . Not one indie wanted to give llanelli clp any power . Could you imagine Jeff Tegwen Sharon Keri as ebm and leaders etc ? It would most certainly be a travesty . Same as llanelli rural 2 cllrs crossed the floor now Indie/Plaid have control . Even with Akhtar going back to labour . Llanelli has lost the one thing they wanted so desperately power !