The gigantic housing development known as Carmarthen West has featured on this blog several times - here, for example.
The scheme was hatched and pushed through by the previous Labour/Independent administration, but whatever qualities the Meryl-Madge dream team had, vision was not one of them. It was his visionary capabilities that landed Mark James his job as chief executive way back in 2001, and this bright shiny new city on a hill (in reality part hill, part bog) is yet another of his visionary legacy projects.
Like so many other Jamesian schemes, it has not had a smooth run and involves a complex web of commercial agreements which involve a lot of give and take - with council residents doing all the giving and fat cat "investors" doing all the taking.
Readers of the Carmarthen Journal learned last week that the £5 million plus link road scheme is still bogged down in disputes with landowners. As most of the road and a new bridge have now been completed, it is pertinent to ask why work was begun and millions of pounds spent without checking that everyone was on board first.
But we are where we are, and it seems that the council will now have to resort to compulsory purchase orders.
The council is funding most of the cost of the new road, but is hoping to recoup our money through a roof tax on the new houses, although word has it that the new houses are not selling like hot cakes.
We can but hope.
Hardly had the ink dried on the Journal's story than we learned that Jeff Fairburn, the chief executive of Persimmon, the principal developer in Carmarthen West, has just landed himself a bonus of £128 million (believed to be a mere £110 million + after the deduction of fees), with a bonanza of around £400 million going to other senior executives in the company.
Persimmon has had a very good year, thanks largely it seems to the UK government subsidies.
A company which can afford to splash £500 million on its top executives could, you would think, afford to stump up £5 million to pay for the link road needed for the housing development.
Not a bit of it. Persimmon and its interlocutors in County Hall have ensured that all the risk falls on local taxpayers for a scheme which has nothing to do with meeting local housing needs and which will lead to the Anglicization of the oldest town in Wales.