Friday, 15 November 2013

What the Papers Say

The South Wales Guardian reports on this week's meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council, and quotes Cllr Glynog Davies saying that the scandals at County Hall have become the hot topic among residents.

It also carries a story about Calumgate and the revelations that Cllr Calum Higgins does not have much time left for his various duties as a county councillor.

"Calum is like a breath of fresh air - a real man of the future", says Council Leader Kevin Madge, who went on the rampage at the council meeting earlier this week, accusing opposition members of bringing politics into the council chamber.

Readers may remember that Kev also gave his full backing to Shahid Hussain, Labour's candidate in Brynamman in last year's county council elections. Shahid got into hot water for a string of postings on Twitter, where he made highly offensive remarks about women, Tottenham Hotspur fans and David Jenkins, the respected chair of the council's Audit Committee. Shahid also regaled Twitter users with tales of his nights out clubbing with Calum.

Viewers of the live broadcast from County Hall may well have been puzzled about the role of politics in the council when later in the meeting Peter Hughes Griffiths, the leader of the Plaid group, made a strong attack on the conduct of a meeting to appoint a new director of technical services.

The committee was all set to appoint one of three candidates when suddenly, out of nowhere, a motion was produced and a vote took place, with a Labour-Independent majority deciding not to appoint anyone after all. Kevin Madge sought to explain this by saying that there was uncertainty about a possible future local government reorganisation.

Clearly the hymn sheets had not been aligned before the meeting, because the chief executive blamed the fiasco on a straight political split on the committee.

While Kev apparently believes that politics have no place in a meeting of elected councillors, it seems he has no such qualms when it comes to appointing senior officers.

Meanwhile, the people in Quarter Bach who want to know what is going on about the pension and libel indemnity scandals or Calumgate clearly don't read the Carmarthen Journal, which has nothing whatsoever to say about the goings-on at County Hall on its website.

The big news in Carmarthenshire, according to the Journal, is that an elderly grandmother in Carmarthen has got a Facebook page set up by a neighbour. The paper has been devoting acres of newsprint to "Super Gran" for weeks, and the hot news this week is that she now also appears in a video.


Anonymous said...

"... possible future local government reorganisation!" Is this the rumoured merger between Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire CC's?

Anonymous said...

If I was under 30 and worked for AM Keith Davies and had the desperate embarrassment of being praised by Kevin Madge, I would be studying for a second career. Calum Higgins must realise that his local future as a democratic rep for Labour is not secure and his local employer not likely to stand again as AM.
Every elected politician in these turbulent times needs a real back up job option. He's being put up for a Westminster seat he's very unlikely to win. Its just for the experience, not a serious bid. What he has to decide is whether he can do all this, all his committees and represent his ward properly? I suggest he drops his commitments or he'll drop the batten and end up with nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hah! What's got Plaid so worked up?

Anonymous said...

Turning up for work it really gets there back up.