Tuesday 10 April 2012

Election news - twt, twt Tom

Time to get the bus out again for a quick trip to see what naughty things some of our wannabe councillors are up to.
First stop Kidwelly, where four candidates are battling it out. The sitting councillor is Labour's Keith Davies who has recently been heard saying that "we need to get rid of Meryl". Odd, then, that he voted to keep her in the no-confidence vote back in February.

Next up are Huw Gilasbey for People First and an "independent independent", Ray Day Davies.

Bringing up the rear we have Fran Burke-Lloyd who is understood to have been round to see Aunty Meryl for a chat over the rock cakes on how the "Independent" group are planning their campaign.

This is very strange indeed, because officially the Independent group is not a party, does not stand on a manifesto and does not run a campaign. It's just, in Stephen James's phrase, a "group of like-minded individuals" who come together after election day and suddenly realise that they all agree on everything.
While we head across county to our next destination, we have time to look at Labour's manifesto. This came out very late indeed, but has now landed with a thud on Cneifiwr's desk. Look, here it is. Whoever wrote it is very fond of bullet points.

Plaid has done a really good job (here) of comparing the promises with what Labour has actually done with its Independent chums over the last 8 years. It's a kind of political hokeycokey. First you vote to close luncheon clubs, try to foist public toilets on unwilling community councils, etc., then you promise to do the opposite.

And after we've done the hokeycokey, here's another old-fashioned game to keep you all amused. All you need to do is take a statement from a political leaflet, manifesto, etc. and insert the word "not" to decide whether you are being palmed off with flannel or worse.

Labour's bullet points will keep the family entertained for hours. Here are some taken from their "Key Commitments":

  • Provide our communities with strong leadership
  • Become beacons of best practice in the workforce
  • Ensure best practice in Quality Service Delivery
  • Support the principles of equality across the County
  • Promote the Welsh Language across the County
To which you could add a continuing commitment to ensuring that bears use wooded areas when answering the call of nature, and that only Catholics may become pope.

As you read on, you will see that there is a lot of reviewing planned. A Labour administration would, for example, review the work of the Tourism Review Board. And as anyone who has had to prepare a corporate presentation knows, when you run out of ideas, you start promising to "liaise" with other people.
In the case of elderly people, Labour promises to "liaise widely".

Quite what all that means, is not clear. But at least they will be busy reviewing and liaising.

On town centre regeneration, residents of towns such as Llandovery, Llandeilo and Newcastle Emlyn may be surprised to hear that Labour considers them to be "black spots". That actually sounds more like a threat.

But time to stop all that, because we have now arrived back in Cilycwm, where sprightly Tom Theophilus has been spotted armed with leaflets which talk about Jacqui and Kerry Thompson's fraught relationship with the county council.

At least that means he doesn't have to talk about his own record, and his stand on the issue of local schools (crouching behind a wall may be more appropriate than the word stand here).

Cneifiwr will be awarding brownie points to anyone who can provide more examples like this from Cilycwm or anywhere else across the county.


Mrs Angry said...

Do you have many bears left in South Wales, Cneifiwr? I imagine they are more common than Tory candidates, anyway. Our Tory councillors here are quite fond of the local woods, too, although they may or may not be answering the call of nature when visiting.

The caption wordcheck for this is 'mingern'. Is this a Welsh word? Bet you don't publish this.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Now I have 2 Private Eye's to read. Once a fortnight by post and daily on your blog. I've added a link and plug on the Newcastle Emlyn site.


Will you be able to keep up this pace all the way to election day?

Cneifiwr said...

Sadly no bears, but we do have a few Tory candidates - and most of them have come straight out of a PG Wodehouse novel.

The Welsh expression which sums up their chances is "gobaith caneri", which refers back to the days when miners took canaries down with them to check for poisonous gas.

Anonymous said...

Bears? Pah! Who needs bears when we have dragons like Mary Gravell?! And we must not forget the Independent dinosaurs of Caerfyrddin, including Cllr WD Thomas who once voted FOR closing all the local schools in his Ward - ha!

Anonymous said...

Where's Plaid's candidate in Kidwelly? They have lost my vote - simply because they couldn't be bothered to stand.

I guess Labour will get my vote now.

Cneifiwr said...

Well Anon, it all comes down to finding suitable people who are willing to stand - no party has an inexhaustible supply of these. The People First candidate is worth a look here.

Anonymous said...

"They have lost my vote - simply because they couldn't be bothered to stand."

errrr...if Plaid aren't standing, you can't vote for them anyway Anonymous. So they have lost nothing, other than your respect.

Also, with a name like Anonymous, how do you think you will avoid the accusation of personation on election day?

Tessa said...

The People First candidate was going to get my vote, but then Ray Davies threw his hat in the ring. Having worked alongside them both on Kidwelly Council, Ray gets my vote without any hesitation. A gentleman of intelligence, integrity, and determination. Ethically very similar to the People First party, I think.

Cille said...

In Hengoed ward (Stradey/Pwll) Labour have put forward current county councillor for the Tyisha ward Keri Thomas.

This is the same councillor who is Vice Chair of the Planning Committee and spoke in favour and seconded the motion to approve planning on Stradey Park at both the outline and reserved matters planning meetings.

At the reserved matters planning meeting he said “I am in favour of this development because Llanelli desperately needs affordable housing”. That is true - Llanelli desperately needs affordable housing - which is why it is even more amazing that this massive development of 355 homes has not one affordable home. You’d think that a planning committee member would spot such an omission!

There is no affordable housing because Mark James did a deal with the Scarlets that because of their community contribution (ie building themselves a stadium) they wouldn’t have to make an “additional” contribution of affordable housing too! The lack of affordable housing also maximised the value of the land of course.

Labour think so much of the residents of the Stradey area that they have put forward a candidate who has previously spoken out against local residents. No Labour candidate will be getting my vote!

Cneifiwr said...

Thank you Cille. I believe that Cllr Thomas is no longer vice chair of the planning committee. As this blog has reported, he has been on long-term leave of absence due to ill-health, and has not attended any council meetings for the last year. The vice chair of the planning committee is now Labour's Terry Davies.

Cille said...

Cneifwr - quite right - though he was vice chair when he seconded the motion at the reserved matters planning committee meeting. At the outline meeting he seconded Terry Davies motion to approve (despite the flood plain, etc). In CCC you will get rewarded for your "good" work!