Thursday 24 May 2012

No room for Cinderella on Carmarthenshire Executive Board - Update with added propaganda

Caebrwyn has already noted that the adjourned AGM of the county council has now been adjourned again, without explanation, to 1st June. You would not know this from the official agenda for the AGM on the council's website, which is still showing 25th May for the resumption of the meeting at which the composition of the various committees, their chairs and vice chairs will be formally decided.

Strangely, neither would you know from the council's website that Kevin Madge is now leader. The official list of Executive Board members still shows a smiling Meryl Gravell in the top job.

But both the smile and the top job have now gone to Kevin Madge who has now appointed a 10-member Executive Board (one more than under Meryl). When Meryl cut the Board to 9 she did so to save money in difficult times. Now that times are even more difficult, it is good to note that money could be found for the extra special responsibility allowance.

The new board has 5 women and 5 men, and it is also balanced equally between Labour and the Independents, with 5 seats each. As the biggest losers in the elections with just 26% of the vote, the Independents have done very well for themselves. Previously they had 6 of the 9 seats, and so have only surrendered one.

As expected in our Putinesque version of democracy, no room could be found on the Board for the largest party.

Our new deputy leaders are the gruesome pairing of Pam Palmer and Tegwen Devichand, while Meryl takes over the portfolio of Regeneration and Leisure. Keith Davies (Labour) takes on education.

There will also be a new portfolio of rural affairs to keep the Indies happy in a Llanelli-Labour dominated administration.

Anyone looking for details of these appointments on the council's website will draw a blank. The award-winning Press Office has been busy churning out stories headlined:


Woman fined for throwing litter

Bank Holiday refuse/recycling collections

Increase in use of CCTV produces good results

Tackling violent and alcohol-related crime in town centres

Business as usual on the Towy.


And it really is business as usual with the publication of the latest edition of the council's Carmarthenshire News, now running to a bumper 20 pages (40 altogether in Welsh and English), and including a children's page and sports.

The front page is dominated by a lengthy piece introducing the people of the county to the new council leader, Kevin Madge, and his priorities for the county. Strangely, the priorities here are rather different to the ones he gave to the recent inaugural meeting of the new council.

There he said that his two main objectives would be education and upgrading the council's stock of housing.

Now we are told his priorities are education, building new care homes in Carmarthen and Ammanford and "focus" on the county's rural areas. The focus on rural areas is fuzzy to say the least, with only littering and dog fouling mentioned as specific priorities. No mention at all is made of upgrading all of the council houses.

The article does state that the new Labour-Independent coalition will run for an initial 12 months, and it tells us that they have 23 and 21 seats respectively (21 presumably includes the unaffiliated Cllr Edward Thomas). No mention is made of Plaid Cymru which occupies 28 of the remaining 30 seats.

This maintains the long-standing tradition of the "newspaper" never to mention opposition parties.

Once again, the paper makes a great deal of the fact that Dai Greene, the hurdles champion from Llanelli, will be competing in the London Olympics, and it urges the people of the county to get behind him. A bizarre council "fun-day" is to be held at the Elli shopping centre in Llanelli to celebrate Dai's part in the Olympics, although unfortunately the great man will not be there. Instead he will be represented by a cardboard cut-out (I'm not making this up).


Anonymous said...

Who is in the frame for Rural affairs? some one from Llanelli whose grasps of rural reality peters out at Swiss Valley no doubt

Cneifiwr said...

Seems like it will be Pam Palmer.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is about the Carms County Council but another big gravy train will be underway soon. The Dyfed Powys Police commissioner will be elected in November and so far there is only one candidate - John Davies ex leader of Pembs CC. (You know the council that was severly critised for letting down vulnerable children !)

Is there any gossip about who else may be standing ?

Anonymous said...

John Davies (former leader of Pembs) will slog it out with Nick Bourne (former Cons leader in Assembly) for the Tory nomination. Contrary to rumours Helen Mary Jones is telling people she is NOT standing for police commissioner - she wants Llanelli seat back. Plaid lost a few high profile AM's in Mid & West Wales like Nerys Evans who might put up. Bookies' favourite for the job is Nick Ainger (former Carms West & Pembs South MP) for Labour. No other Lab politicians have expressed an interest in the job. Irrelevant who the Liberals put up - unless Lemsip Optic throws his comedy hat into the ring!

Anonymous said...

First choice would be helen mary - she would have a good many votes from industrial parts of Carms but probably wouldnt be popular in mid wales.

Mr Davies would be labelled as a failed council leader and Nic Bourne would just be an unpopular tory.

Nick Ainger it is then !

Cneifiwr said...

Hmm, I'm not sure that analysis holds water. Whoever wins has got to draw support from Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys. I can't see Nick Ainger going down a storm in Ceredigion or Powys.

The likelihood is that turnout will be even lower than for council elections, which would normally not favour Labour either.

In reality this is unchartered water, and it's anyone's guess what will happen.

Anonymous said...

I see no reason why anybody should mention Council houses.

Didn't Carmarthenshrie only keep them as there are only one or two companies in the U.K that could have taken them off there hands.

It was cheaper for the council to keep there stock considering spacial spread of houses and size of Carmarthenshire.

I found this a very odd point to go with in the election too. It
was not as if anybody faught for it it was just cheaper to keep them.

Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

John Cwmbetws should stand a good chance as a Tory, although I'd prefer Nick Bourne did the job.

Lemsip would be good for a laugh, though.

Anonymous said...

Apart from the usual Labour wish list Kevin has added something to keep his seat in Garnant . new leisure centre for the Amman Valley . With a leisure centre and swimming pool in Ammanford he obviously sees the need for the Canolfan Hamdden Kevin Madge in memory of his long reign in Garnant .The golf club famous in own lifetime was not enough . He has been in Meryl's company too long