Tuesday 16 October 2012

Week In Week Out - Fear and loathing in County Hall


Anyone who saw tonight's programme will have been shocked and stunned that any council could behave in this way, and sadly Dyfed Powys Police made the couple's misery far, far worse.

Partly for legal reasons, and partly for lack of time, the programme could only tell part of the full story, which is even worse than what we saw.

It raises many questions, and there are strong indications that the council and the police are still very far from where they should be.

I hope that this blog together with Caebrwyn's will be able to fill in some of the gaps over the next few weeks.


Don't forget to tune in to Week In Week Out on BBC1 Wales tonight at 10.35 to see the latest exposé of the self-proclaimed best council in Wales and its appalling treatment of ordinary residents.

Cneifiwr understands that the top brass in County Hall is very, very displeased to find itself in the limelight once again, and that it is even more angry with the Ombudsman for Public Services, Peter Tyndall, who is about to get a taste of what it is like when the council's press office goes on the attack.


nospin said...

Obviously the press office or officer do not understand the old adage, "WHEN IN A HOLE STOP DIGGING".

Let them rant on, let them show even more people how undemocratic and dictatorial this council exec board is.

Go for it boys , go for it.

Anonymous said...

Well done BBC! Would it be too much to ask for you to combine all 3 programmes i.e. Dragon's Eye (Evangelical church), taro 9 (Delyth Jenkins) and week in week out (Mrs Breckman) and air them during prime time?

Anonymous said...

I've seen clips regarding that argument between the nighbours before. It must have been a few years by now. I don't think the 'Good lifers' were that innocent sticking cameras etc in the faces of the Thomas family. They had moved to Carmarthenshire for a quiet life. For many people, Camrarthenshire is a place where they have to make ends meet. I also don't think that they should have shown a lot of the footage bearing in mind that Mrs Thomas has passed away at some point. Finally, it's obvious that the authorities ie Carmarthenshire Council could have stepped in earlier. It's cases like these which can end in real tragedy.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon @10.14 - I think that one thing which came across in the programme was that it was not just Trisha Breckman and her partner who were having a problem with the farmer/haulier/scrap dealer next door. Other neighbours had complained too.

Sad that Mrs Thomas died, but the programme makers were justified in showing the footage because Mrs Thomas was very clearly involved in one of the worst incidents of intimidation which led to the arrest of Trisha Breckman.

It would be grossly unfair to put this whole story down to incomers versus locals - it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

It was largely a story of educated good lifers versus local yokels. Usually the first thing the good lifers do is to mark their own territory. There's usually trouble if you get 2 sets of good lifers moving in next door to each other. Yes they showed some other woman who had also complained and there was mention of another but you will always get nibys no matter what. I hear of such stories continually without going out of my way to look for them. Often the complaints are regarding smell of cow manure being spread on fields or cows crossing or traveling on parts of public roads and said cows not being toilet trained. Things which generally have happened in this part of the world for generations without complaint. It is a shock to somebody like the good lifers on the programme last night ie people living in such rural idyls having to toil there to make ends meet. BBC in Wales wouldn't understand this. I still say that the authorities should have been more assertive in this case but there was obviously two sides to this dispute. And they should still have not shown footage of Mrs Thomas.

Cneifiwr said...

We'll have to agree to disagree. They chose to live next to a farm, not a haulage business and scrapyard.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:23 Did you not see the catalogue of complaints made by residents prior to Trisha Breckman moving in to the property?

johnsouthwales said...

from what i gather, any change of use of land has got to be notified to the council.

the ombudsman mentioned that the council visted the site, and implied they had to have seen something.

the endangement of purposely allowing of a horse unattended and unrestrained that the perputrator had some premideitated use for sending the horse down towards the brecker property, causing alarm and distress. That is intimidation and harrassment - a criminal offence.

The police officer's role. The officer would have spoken to the two parties. Plus mrs breckman had also had in possession the video evidence, yet for some strange reason took her in handcuffs - when all the world would have agreed that viweing the prgramme, it doesn't take a genius to work out that mrs roberts was an agitator in that instance.
We dod not see mrs roberts being touched, but it is easy to forecast that breckman had the arm raised to motion a halting action and mrs roberts may have been perceived to have walked into the outstretched hand after numerous attempts for her to not to approach any further etc.

The only way for the remainder of the story to come out is by a public inquiry and the whole story from the beginning to come out.

Even if the farmer had been a naughty boy, the council should have done something. After all, if it wasn't for them, nothing would have happened.

As for the suggestion of something else may have happened as we do not know the full story, that is hearsay. What we do know is that other residents had mentioned their complaints.. but did their complaints go to the council or was it conversed between themselves?

Cneifiwr said...

Thanks John. I think the other woman was Mrs Thomas rather than Mrs Roberts.

Anonymous said...

But the lane which the horse was sent down surely led to a field. Ms Breckman was the one who decided to stand in it's way. And send it back up the lane several times. The police officer arrested who he thought was at fault. The BBC in Wales had taken sides in this story. You can make anything look a certain way if you can cut and edit the programme footage. There may be a lot more to this story than what the British Biased Corporation are showing. The Breckman's were not angels either.

Anonymous said...

I thought Tim Rogers neatly pulled it together in the end, asking how the Council allowed a rogue farmer / haulier to expand his business without relevant checks for 10 years and how the Council blacklisted the couple without their knowledge.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon @17.38 I suggest you watch the film again. The neighbours drove a horse down on to Mrs Breckman's property, which is a small cottage with a garden.

Anonymous said...


But the small cottage with a garden is in a field which belongs to Mr Thomas. Why didn't they interview Mr Thomas?

Anonymous said...

Furthermore Cneifiwr, the Police Officer was at the scene soon afterwards and it was Ms Breckman who was arrested. I knot the police sometimes leave a lot to be desired but they have to justify all of their actions.

johnsouthwales said...

but what were the other residents complaining about? there's hardly anyone around there. besides the breckman house, there is another house a few hundred metres up the road overlooking the back of the farm.. plus one other farm about half a mile away and that's it.. Funnily enough it was this farm that objected to a planning app in 1998 when they wanted to turn something into flats. maybe holiday chalets, accomodation, b&b?

Then again someone objected to the enterance of the farm off the main road. looks like a normal entrance to me, some nice gates and that's it. Hardly anything controversial that causes any hindrance to neighbours or an eysore