Sunday 13 February 2022

Carmarthenshire Residents Alliance

I'm posting this brief mission statement (below in bold), of a new pressure/campaign group, the Carmarthenshire Residents Alliance, to gauge the level of interest.

To those who have followed this blog the scenario of an officer-led council is all too familiar. Let alone the waste of precious resources on vanity projects, the numerous personal injustices, and of course, the gross mismanagement.

Profligate spending still continues unchallenged. For example, the amount paid to Arup Plc alone, consultants for Pentre Awel (the Wellness Village), would be enough to construct, staff, and maintain an average sized primary school, or a much needed care home or two. And let's not forget the £136,000 spent on a sign, mid-pandemic. 
I could go on and on, but regular readers will be well aware of the mind-boggling waste.

Residents of this county were ruled, for seventeen years, by a tyrant, a bully and a criminal - former chief executive Mark James. He made a career out of destroying any remnants of democracy, wasting and pocketing public money, accepting bribes and helping out his friends.
Even though he retired in June 2019, the toxic legacy continues with his loyal followers of his Sicilian cartel still in post. These are both the elected; including the sycophantic idiot Emlyn Dole, and the unelected; which includes the current CEO, the S151 officer and the dishonest and unprincipled Monitoring Officer. They've even preserved James' very own illegal slush fund for their own use.

Anyway, above all else, it's time for a clean sweep of County Hall.

Please have a read of the mission statement below and use the comments section, or contact form, to let me know what you think.

Carmarthenshire Residents Alliance

It is the intention of this group to be independent of both politics, and political parties, its remit, and philosophy, to be free from political influences, to be for the benefit of the voters, and residents of the community, and their welfare.

The County of Carmarthenshire was formed in April of 1996, under the provisions of the Local Government Act of 1994, taking control of local government functions previously provided by Carmarthen District, Dinefwr Borough, Llanelli Borough Councils, and the Carmarthenshire area of what was Dyfed County Council.

The County of Carmarthenshire is one of the larger counties, with a low population density being largely rural to the north, and, west of the county, with the south east being previously intensely industrialised. This demographic split has led to control of the governance of Carmarthenshire being in the hands of elected Councillors from three groups, two of which have political leanings and one with no allegiance to any political party of a UK standing.

This has led, from the formation of Carmarthenshire, to a Council governance of no overall control, with a necessity of formation of an alliance of two groups to govern, the independent councillors being the controlling factor.

The consequences of this have been evident for as long as Carmarthenshire County Council has been in place, and remains so in spite of the departure of the Chief Executive Officer Mark James in control since 2002.

It has been self evident for many years, that the elected county councillors have never really been in control of the management of the affairs of the County, due to the differences of opinions of the Councillors, religious adherence to party political doctrines ruling, instead of practising common sense in their duties to the welfare of the residents.

Too many vanity projects have been allowed to proceed at the behest of Chief Executives, past and present, as a result of the incompetence and lack of knowledge of elected Councillors.

This has resulted in the gross misuse of scarce public funds leading to the County holding a huge financial deficit.

The solution to this persistent gross injustice, and mismanagement, lies in the hands of the electorate at the ballot box.  
The Caebrywn blog, Carmarthenshire Planning Problems of January 1st 2022, 'Operation Koel' featured two comments postings on the 6th January echoing similar reflections on the suitability and inability of County Councillors to be able and willing to hold the Senior Officers to account.

The  Carmarthenshire Residents Alliance


Anonymous said...

With respect, thats hardly a mission statement and you will lose people given the vitriol contained, which I don't disagree with at all, its all true.

The statement should declare the purpose of the organisation and how it will serve [customers] with objectives, but in a very brief overview.

What you have posted is the rationale for the requirement, which should come later.

That said, I am all for you, and its time this particular swamp was drained too, salaries paid according to ability and budgets likewise. If it means you can also overturn the obscene payments to james, and remove the charge on your property even better.

To run carmarthensire as a democracy with voters having a greater say would be fantastic, I wish you all the best, you get my vote.

Anonymous said...

any pressure on the James' crew to accept their responsibilities for the failings of the past and to change the culture for a better future for Carmarthenshire is welcomed

any pressure to highlight the failings of the councilors and inform the electorate of their failings to make for a being election in May is welcomed

Anonymous said...

please tell me the super dairy highlighted in the panorama prgramme last night titled a Cow's life was not the one in Carmarthenshire

On looking at the buildings they seem similar - the lorry picking up the milk was a Mansel Davies one and the farm sells its milk to freshways

The programme stated the local authority had been informed of their evidence - is that Carmarthenshire ?

If this is the case add this to the puppy farm scandal which again was from Carmarthsnshire then I am becoming very concern about how the rural economy works in Carmarthsnhire it all seems very negative and unhealthy

Also the selling of family farms to plant vast swathes of trees

This also shows how ineffective our Council is another reason why a pressure group is needed to make sure senior officals and councilors carry out their duties and respond to these activities which is bring this county into disrepute

Anonymous said...

Whilst talking of alleged corruption and profligate use of taxpayers' money associated with 'wellness centres', I'm surprised there hasn't been more uproar regarding the proposed plans for a 'Health Hub' in the vacant Debenhams store in St Catherine's Walk .

I don't recall when the planning proposals for the Old Mart were first mooted that the commercial viability of this shopping mall would be contingent on the anchor tenant being a public sector organisation. Very nice of the Local Authority to make all efforts to prop up this white elephant when they have a surfeit of their own buildings that they appear eager to offload but which could potentially be re-purposed.

It would be interesting to know the value of the business rates foregone by them occupying floor space at Debenhams ? I assume a change of use for the unit was swiftly approved ? Who is making these decisions and are they subject to scrutiny by other Councillors? Are there any potential conflicts of interest with the advisors and decision makers ? Have alternative sites been considered ? If not,why not ? Is it really the best use of taxpayers' money to dip its toes in commercial waters when they are regularly failing in other areas that *are* their remit ?

Surely time for the Welsh Audit Office to start sniffing around.

Anonymous said...

15th Feb at 16.10

completely agree

the council seems to be very quick to right off the retail use of this building and convert it into public sector accommodation

is there a wider consultation with our centres suffering the debenham melt down acorss the uk

who is makimng these decisions not the James' crew again !

caebrwyn said...

Thank you for the comments so far. All points noted.

With regards to the Carmarthen Hwb, I couldn't agree more Anon 16:10, £3.75m of council cash and £15.86 'levelling up' funds with the only trace of councillor input I can find being a nodding donkey Cabinet meeting held behind closed doors on the 31st Jan, a couple of weeks ago.

They decided "that the proposed purchase of the Carmarthen town centre property identified in the report on the terms provisionally agreed be endorsed"

So, are they buying the Debenhams building? How much for?

All the other arrangements, deals with contractors, planning permission etc have been delegated to officers. As per scrutiny, no questions asked. Conflicts of interest ignored.

It seems that as long as councillors are told that it's "exciting" that's enough to stop them asking any questions. Pathetic.

This will end up with the council (ie you) propping up a failed project with yet more council offices, same thing happened at Eastgate, Parc Y Scarlets, the Beacon, St David's etc.

Anonymous said...

how many hubs in carmarthen town will be too many

what about all the other empty shops

what about free parking

what about deep cleaning the streets

making it more user friendly

Redhead said...

I cannot see what it can achieve if it is independent of politics.

caebrwyn said...

I'm inclined to agree @Redhead.

anonymous said...

I wish you well and sincerely hope you get elected. Carmarthenshire council tax payers are effectively paying to have their own county ruined, together with their own homes, livelihoods, and services.

As an aside has anybody considered trying to organise a group action against the planning department? As individuals we are powerless but in sufficient number we might be able to have an effect.