During the recent James v Thompson libel trial, Mr James's counsel made a great deal of fuss about a suggestion in Jacqui Thompson's blog that limousines operated by the council might be costing the taxpayer £66,000 a year. The true cost of maintaining two part-time chauffeurs for council bigwigs is a snip at £33,000 a year, the court was told, and the higher figure was offered up as evidence that Caebrwyn had distorted the facts.
Before we take a closer look at these claims and counter-claims, it is worth recalling that Jacqui Thompson's counsel asked Mr James whether he agreed that £33,000 was a lot of money. "If you say so," said Mr James, who this week will preside over the council's annual budget meeting to endorse cuts to a wide range of services.
As readers have probably already guessed, no cutbacks to spending on luxury cars are on the cards.
It says something about the county council's view of the world that it regards reporting on extravagant and utterly wasterful spending on luxury cars as a example of the inherent wickedness of Caebrwyn's blog.
What we do know, however, is that the county council spends £33,000 a year on part-time chauffeurs; that it added to its fleet last year when it purchased another Mercedes for the use primarily of the council leader; and that the fleet of cars it owns or leases includes some extremely pricey Mercedes saloons and a Jaguar (see FOI response here).
It seems to me that if Caebrwyn is guilty of anything here, it is under-estimating the cost of luxury cars provided for the use of senior officers and councillors.