Private Eye has published its annual Rotten Boroughs Awards (here) and sadly stiff competition from English councils meant that there was no room for Carmarthenshire this year, although on current form there is a very good chance that our favourite local authority will be back in the listings in 2015.
Hillingdon council in London was the runner up for Plain English Award for describing day centre closures for the disabled as "moves towards non-building based services".
A pity that this contribution from council leader Kevin Madge came too late for consideration. Speaking about the council's plans to ramp up charges for sports facilities (football, rugby and cricket pitches, bowling greens, etc.) over a period of four years, Kev said that this was all about creating a level playing field and removing imbalance:
“Our aim is to provide a level and stable playing field for the continued health and growth of all sporting organisations.
“There has been an unfair imbalance on how some areas and clubs are
treated and the council has had to review its charges to accurately
In the article Kev referred only to selected increases in charges for the current year, forgetting to mention that this is just the first round in a series of increases which will see charges for some facilities rise by 2,000% over four years (Western Mail). Quoting a council officer, the Tivyside Advertiser reported recently that the cost of a junior annual season ticket to use bowling greens will rise from £30 to £70 per child.
How this will contribute to the growth of sporting organisations is anybody's guess.
As for unfair imbalance, Kev also forgot to mention the millions which his council continues to pump into the Scarlets.
Perhaps someone should tell Kevin Madge that people would have more sympathy and understanding for his 'ard decisions if he sold them straight: "We need the money", rather than all of the rubbish churned out by the spin merchants in County Hall.
As it happens, the Plaid Cymru group on the council has come up with budget proposals which would avoid the need for these punitive increases in charges.