Saturday 21 September 2013

Glittering Prizes

Cneifiwr once won a small prize at an eisteddfod, and at school he coveted a prize for academic achievement which took the form of a brick left over from the building of a new gym. The Head decided, wisely perhaps, to abolish the prize rather than put a brick into the hands of young Cneifiwr.

So apart from that very small cheque from the eisteddfod and a gilt plastic trophy won for clay pigeon shooting, Cneifiwr's trophy cabinet is entirely bare.

Not so the array of glass cabinets on display at County Hall in Carmarthen which groan with municipal bling, some of which is of dubious merit, artistic or otherwise.

Back in the reign of Queen Meryl, barely a council meeting went by without the presentation of some award or other. More often than not it was a case of mutual back slapping, involving quangos such as the WLGA.

Under King Kev the flow of trophies has pretty much dried up. If memory serves right, the last item of interest to appear on the podium was Cllr Siân Thomas's cute squirrel just before Christmas.

One body which can usually be relied on to come up with the goods is the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), which last year saw Carmarthenshire County Council's Ministry of Spin shortlisted under four separate categories for the annual PRide Cymru shindig in Cardiff.

Cneifiwr has considered compiling a dossier of the best bits of the press office's work to help the judges in the difficult process of sorting the sheep from the goats. Last year, for example, they faced an agonising choice between the council propaganda sheets churned out by Carmarthenshire and Caerphilly.

Other nominations last year included a PR outfit for its outstanding success with something called the Big Jublilee Lunch 2012. So successful was that campaign that the event passed unnoticed and uncelebrated in huge swathes of the country, with not so much as a fish paste sandwich in sight.

Sadly the dodgy dossier will now have to be shelved because Carmarthenshire has not made it onto the shortlist under any category.

Neither for some inexplicable reason has the County Borough of Caerphilly.

Perhaps the CIPR is involved in its own damage limitation exercise.

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