Thanks to a Western Mail freedom of information request, we now know that the local government gravy train is still running as normal, despite spending cuts on just about everything else. Carmarthenshire County Council, needless to say, leaves quite a few lesser Welsh councils in the dust when it comes to expensive travel and hotel accommodation for its senior officers and councillors.
In the year to November 2012 it spent £37,000 on 200 hotel trips, which works out at £185 per stay.
Among the trips was a jaunt to Kenya. The council, famous for its vast press office and PR machine, refused to comment on what this was all about, but the Western Mail notes that the trip coincided with a synchronised tree planting exercise in Carmarthenshire and Kenya.
The council's own archive of press releases has nothing to report on this excursion, but the Daily Post and the council's Discover Carmarthenshire website are more forthcoming, explaining that the project was organised as a part of the royal Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and involved planting woods at the National Botanic Gardens and at a site on the slopes of Mount Kenya.
Where the county council fits in here is not clear, unless it was in the council's role in providing ongoing financial support to the National Botanic Gardens to help keep them afloat.
That trip cost the council taxpayer £240 in hotel accommodation. Not included in that cost would have been a rather bigger bill for eco-friendly air travel, something which would have wiped out a chunk of the carbon emission reductions to be produced, eventually, by the new woods.
The one remaining mystery in all of this is the identity of the lucky jet setter from Carmarthenshire. If any readers know, feel free to drop Cneifiwr a line in confidence.
Meanwhile, the Caebrwyn libel trial continues, and the chief executive and assorted other council officers will have headed back up to London. Unlike MPs and other riff-raff, Mr James and the council's Head of Law were comfortably ensconced in First Class.