Friday 5 October 2012

A nit picking Darth Vader

The agenda for next week's meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council has now been published, and there is no reference to the notice of motion submitted by Plaid Cymru calling on Kevin Madge to withdraw the statement he made accusing MP Jonathan Edwards and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM of "deliberately sabotaging" the Sainsbury's planning applications in Llandeilo and Cross Hands.

It seems that the Chief Executive is sticking to his guns that the motion submitted by Cllr Darren Price was invalid because it was not correctly dated.

A different motion submitted by another Plaid councillor deals with education.

At the risk of contradicting two determined red-heads (Caebrwyn and Cllr Siân Caiach), the council's constitution does not appear to give the Chair of Council or the elected councillors any say in any of this. If the Chief Executive rules that a motion is not valid, then that is that.

On this occasion, the reason given for rejection is particularly mind-boggling in the light of the following provision of the constitution:

The Chief Executive shall record the time and date at which every such notice is delivered to him. That record shall be open to the inspection of every member of the Council.

Councillors may propose motions without notice during a meeting, and the constitution gives a list of the types of motion which may be moved (e.g. suspending the meeting, appointing a chair, going for a wee [made that bit up] etc.), but Cllr Price's motion would not seem to fit any of them.

The Chair may decide to add an urgent item to the agenda, but the new item would only come up after all of the items on the published agenda have been dealt with. And, of course, it is the Chief Executive alone who determines the agenda. Whatever it is that is so urgent will have to wait until all of the rubber stamping is finished.

If the peculiar timestamp clause is not sufficient, then the motion may well have fallen foul of the following catch-all clause:

The Chief Executive shall not accept any notice of motion which, by reason of any enactment or any provision in these Procedure Rules other than paragraph (12.9) below could not be considered at the meeting for which is given.

Which in plain English means that it means whatever the Chief Executive decides it means. The Chief Executive gets to decide, and that's that, although just to make it all look a bit more convincing, a red herring in the form of (12.9) is chucked in - a paragraph dealing with motions that are not moved and therefore lapse.

The chances that next week's meeting will see any discussion on the subject of the Sainsbury's applications are therefore roughly those of a snowball in the Pit of Hell.

In the past, the Chief Executive has shown no hesitation in kicking out motions submitted by non-aligned councillors, often on completely incomprehensible grounds, but his decision to block a motion submitted by the official opposition and the largest party on the Council marks a new departure. 

It is nothing more than a two finger gesture to the 39% of voters in Carmarthenshire who put their cross against a Plaid candidate.


Anonymous said...

Cllr Keri Thomas seems to have the ability to put mouth before brain and at a training session for County Councillors in the People Republic was heard to say in that slightly camp voice referring to the translation devices " Whats are these for ? how much are they costing us " To much a string of Plaid and Indie Councillors had to rebuke him ,but there is not much sense from this side of the Labour

Anonymous said...

Just the behaviour one would expect from a Chief Executive who is a control freak and and thinks he is perfect and everyone else is inferior to him in both intellect and intelligence.