Thursday, January 30, 2014

A dishonourable end

With all the shenanigans going on in Carmarthenshire surely we must have reached a watershed. I am the only person here that thinks things can't get any blacker for the busted flush that is the ruling clique in the county.
In any rational world someone would have fallen on their sword but it seems that that might just be wishful thinking on my part.
Who signed off on the Garnant golf club deal?
Who backed the seemingly bottomless pit of Parc y Scarlets?
Who pushed the council into the backing of a bowling alley?
All of these things have cost this council millions of pounds, with no seeming return on any of it.
Is this any sort of probity?
Then there is the unlawful payments fiasco!
Now we have the WAO  Public Interest Reports which slam both officers and the Executive Board, come on guys its time to go!

Of course I have to thank caebrwyn @ http://carmarthenplanning.blogspot.co.uk cneifiwr @  http://cneifiwr-emlyn.blogspot.co.uk/ and MrsAngry @ http://wwwbrokenbarnet.blogspot.co.uk/ for keeping an eye on all of the goings on with local government here and away.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

New year joy in Blunderland

Here we are barely two weeks into the new year and already I am baffled. Now you might say that there is nothing new there but I am talking about the glory that is our local county council. If you wanted a picture of openness and accountability you might be better off looking towards North Korea or inside the NSA.

At the monthly meeting the council had a debate about something they weren't allowed to talk about and the main subject was not in the room, I mean really how can this be? The so-called executive board talked about it and the blogoshere is awash with speculation, but most of us are still in the dark about the unlawful payments fiasco!

We had legal opinion withheld and waffle offered in its place, pace Linda Double-Barrel and then there were mysterious breaks in transmission; really professional and well worth the gadzillions laid out for the webcast! Not that I would want it stopped now that we have it, rather that than the PR guff that gets posted out under the misnomer of Carmarthenshire News.

I was always under the impression that the county council was set up to look after the best interests of the people that pay council tax and not to pander to special cases and lame ducks. One might ask to what I allude? Perhaps a golf club or maybe a racecourse, then there might be a rugby club and a clutch of overpaid executives with alledgedly lucrative tax dodges; but there is no doubt that the people of Carmarthenshire are not getting what they deserve of their elected representatives who worry more about their allowances and perks than either the lowly underpaid workers in their employ or the benighted council tax payer.

Of course they don't have to answer to the electors of Carmarthenshire until they have wittered away the next three years twiddling their thumbs and looking the other way while Llanelli sinks under the spill off from a favoured housing development or the kids in the north-east of the county while away their lives just getting to and from a new school built on a flood plain.

Are you all shivering the way I am?? Euchhh!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welcome to Alice in Wonderland

The Queen, a figure difficult to please, introduces her trademark phrase "Off with his head!" which she utters at the slightest dissatisfaction with a subject and the subject to hand is the matter of the council dealing with the unlawful payments debacle at the Carmarthenshire County Council full council meeting the other Wednesday.
Who is the Queen? You might ask, or indeed who is the judge or the executioner, watch the last ten minutes of this webcast and make up your own mind as to who wrote the prepared speech of the chairman to close the meeting.

And please look back through cneifiwr's and caebrwyn's blogs, oh! not to forget the wonderful Mrs Angry too. and laugh or cry at the state of local government in Wales and England.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catch 22 meets 1984

I am so grateful to the various people that have attended and tweeted about the libel action brought by Jacqui Thomson (@caebrwyn on twitter); they have kept us all up to date with what went on in court.

The one thing that intrigues me is the absolute silence from any elected member of council explaining exactly why they are willing to underwrite the legal costs of the highest paid local government official in west Wales.

Mrs Angry from BrokenBarnet covered the proceedings in the following blogs, listed in chronological order:
the-crucible-of-democracy-blogger
daft-arrest-caebrwyn-libel-case-at-high
a-term-called-malice-caebrwyn-libel
double-indemnity-day-four-in-caebrwyn
can-i-get-witness-day-five-of-caebrwyn
catch-22-meets-1984-day-6-of-caebrwyn

The last blog has an excellent postscript!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liliput bigendianism or a libel trial of blogger

As anyone might be aware I have been following the shenanigans of Carmarthenshire County Council and the way they treat anyone who dares criticise the regime.

This is a council that is proposing to close public toilets for want of £90,000.... How much is being spent on two of the highest paid people in the county on a jaunt to London on the, to me, spurious jolly trying to defend the indefensible. I'm surprised that anyone with the least amount of common sense would institute proceedings in the Royal Courts of Justice without at least reading the supposed source of the offence, but Mark James and his acolyte Linda Rees-whatever are luxuriating in first class splendour to and fro at the expense of council tax payers.

I'm indebted to the tweets for MrsAngry of Barnet, newsbrooke and Cneifiwr for keeping us up to speed; and of course best of luck to Caebrwyn.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On openness and accountability

I do find it oddly amusing that a council that has such a lot of CCTV pointing at the general public is so coy about showing that same public what is going on in the council?
 Community Safety Manager Kate Thomas said: “CCTV makes a huge contribution to tackling crime and anti-social behavior as well as providing reassurance for residents. The operators are extremely proactive, helping to provide evidence of crimes being committed and are often commended by senior police officers for their good work. The Community Safety Partnership is committed to tackling crime and disorder in Carmarthenshire and CCTV is just one of a number of tools being used in the drive to make the county a safer place to live, work and visit.”
I am the first to ask whether they could install cameras in the council chamber and prevent their hoodwinking of the public into thinking that the council is accountable in any way for the maladministration that has happened in at least two cases pointed out by many people including the Welsh Local Government Ombudsman.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advice to CCC re making savings

Mark James has said that the council need to make savings of some ridiculous amount. Perhaps he should look at getting rid of all the "directors" of services including his own post, at a rough guess that must surely save a million quid a year. I'm not sure that the present executive board provides any true value for money either and then there are the toothless scrutiny committees.

The next to go would be any office space that the council rent rather than own, followed swiftly by its vanity publishing effort that gets shoved down our throats whether we want it or not. Maybe they ought to call in the various loans that have been given to lame ducks and get the development companies to pay proper amounts for land released at peppercorn rents.

I wonder how much money is wasted on software and computing but huge amounts could be saved by using open source software; a lot of cities and regions in Europe have migrated to Linux on servers and desktops for annual savings of millions of pounds, several US government departments have done the same.

The one thing they shouldn't do is close public toilets in busy seaside villages, Pendine, Laugharne, Llansteffan and Ferryside to name but a few, or else the piles of ordure will put off the very welcome visitors who use the local businesses!