Update 1st May;
The Council's Director of Regeneration and Policy, Wendy Walters has been promoted and appointed as the new chief executive. No surprise there.
Ms Walters was formerly one of two £100k pa Assistant Chief Executives, when one of the posts was axed in a restructuring exercise in 2017, Mr James decided to create a new Directorship, Regeneration and Policy. The £120k job was advertised as it had to be by law, but the ad disappeared a couple of days later and Ms Walters was appointed to the post.
Regime change? I think not.
Update 28th April;
And from this week's Carmarthenshire Herald.....:-)
|Click to read. Link to Companies House here.|
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The Rotten Boroughs column in the current issue of Private Eye features Mark James of Carmarthenshire Council fame yet again. It follows an oozing 'tribute' to the departing Mr James, penned by his former press officer and which featured recently in a local publication.
It clearly amused the Eye:-)
The 'tribute' was, as the Eye website explains, "...so cloying it will make Eye readers reach for the sick bucket".
Here's the Rotten Boroughs piece;
With the forthcoming retirement, I thought a brief summary of some previous mentions in the esteemed Rotten Boroughs column would be appropriate, and to serve as a reminder of just how thoroughly Mark James has, in the words of the Eye, "trashed Carmarthenshire Council's reputation".
All recorded for posterity on this blog;
After featuring the '#daftarrest' incident in Rotten Boroughs in June 2011, the council's notoriety was beginning to grow and by December they were awarded the runner up prize for Legal Bullies of the Year. In January 2012 the Eye covered, with some amusement, the CBE awarded to Mark James.
In 2011, with 'Devil's Work' and again in 2012 with 'Let us Pray' the council had again caught the attention of the Eye with their generosity towards some local evangelicals with some dodgy connections. In August 2012, the shocking blackmail of a local paper saw the council back in the column and in October the council press office again featured in the Eye after failing to carry out a simple check on google.
This all led to more Rotten Borough honours at the end of the year, with the PR Plonkers and the Hellfire Awards, no less, and with our own chief executive apparently a devout evangelical christian himself, the latter must have been especially touching.
The Wales Audit Office and the unlawful payments were closely followed by the Eye and naturally made the Rotten Borough columns in 2013 and 2014 with the libel indemnity and the pension tax avoidance. The latter was the scam our devout Mr James also shared with the former CEO of Pembs.
The highest accolade came in 2016 with Mark James scooping the coveted Rotten Borough's Shit of the Year Award, closely followed in March 2017, after the order for sale court hearing, with the equally memorable 'In the Gutter' piece.
Emlyn Dole made his first appearance in March 2017 with his barns and was back, as second fiddle to Mr James, in 'Shit storm', over the secretive nonsense over the libel indemnity CRWG meeting held last July.
The Wellness scandal and Mr James' retirement hasn't been missed by the Eye either, featuring in the Rotten Boroughs column in December, 'Tender spot', January 'Down the pan' and 'Shit happens' in February.
And, as above, in April.
Whilst searching google for the purposes of this post, I landed on this parliamentary record from Hansard from March 2014. It was a scathing and indeed, a truthful attack by Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards on the "ruling cabal of senior officials" and their "political wing", the then Labour/Ind Executive Board.
He also says, "Given the number of mentions that Carmarthenshire has had in the Private Eye “Rotten Boroughs” column, one might think that the executive board members would have got the message."
Unfortunately, the Plaid 'run' Exec Board, hasn't got the message either.
As this blog has reported, Emlyn Dole has made sure that he and the Board have remained the chief executive's dutiful rubber stamp. And as I have said, Mr James will leave a toxic legacy when he retires, one which will be difficult to break, particularly if the next incumbent is a carefully prepared clone....