Friday 18 October 2013

Bullshit Bingo with a side-helping of Scymraeg

The management consultants, local authority limos and various other hangers-on were all in Swansea today for the Swansea Bay City Region 2013 Conference.

Carmarthenshire sent its own delegation, including such luminaries as Meryl Gravell, Mark James and Wendy Walters, Head of Regeneration.

Judging from the Twitter feed, the Met Office should have put out one of its warnings because there seems to have been a positive deluge of cliches, as well as some very dodgy Welsh translation:

Prif Weithredwr o @CarmsCouncil cadeiriau ail Q&A cynhadledd @SB_CityRegion #SBCR2013 #cityregion

Here is what he had to say as he was busy stacking the chairs (all taken from the SB City Region Twitter feed):

"Public and private working in true partnership" says Chief Exec Mark James.

 "Collaboration" isn't a new idea, we have been working in collaboration for years says Mark James.

 "Local authority rivalry is something we have already overcome" says Chief Exec Mark James.

 "We are determined to get this right" says Mark James.

 "Don't wait for us to come to you, if you have ideas tell us" says Mark James when addressing local businesses.

Sadly, this flow was interrupted by lunch.

Meryl's contribution seems to have passed by more or less without comment, except for this:

 "We can create jobs even in rural areas" says Cllr Meryl Gravel.

Perhaps Cllr "Gravel" ought to have let on that her council was about to destroy hundreds of jobs as well (low-paid ones, naturally).

After the buffet it was Our Wendy's turn. Here she goes:

"Priority for moving forward is to ensure policies that are delivered are relevant and needed" says Wendy Walters.

"The support we give rural businesses needs a bottom up approach" says the Head of Regeneration at Carmarthenshire Council.

 "Doesn't always take more cash to have a bigger impact" says Wendy Walters when addressing the recent local authority budget cuts.

Somebody called Wayne Reynolds, Director at Atriarc Planning and Construction, thought this was "a very good presentation". Presumably he's hoping to bag a contract.

So there we are, boys and girls. Isn't it reassuring that we are paying top dollar for these insights?


Anonymous said...

Actually they were all in Neath Port Talbot (Towers Hotel) along with about 80 others from across the region. Strange that you didn't get an invite.

Cneifiwr said...

I think you're splitting hairs. The hotel advertises itself as being in Swansea, although it is just over the local authority boundary in NPT. Perhaps you should complain to the hotel.

Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Amazon's in Neath, too, as was the old Ford plant. Why is everyone dissing Neath?

Anonymous said...

It was NPTCBC that hosted the event, not the hotel. Surprised that you're not better informed. All delegates were invited to tweet during the event. You just seem to have mostly picked the Carmarthen comments.

Jac o' the North, said...

It's almost impossible now to say where Swansea ends and Neath and / or Port Talbot start. With all the 'infilling' going on (new campus, Coed Darcy, etc) the urban core of the region is already there with a contiguous urban area of some 400,000 people. Close on half a million if you add Llanelli.

With local government reorganisation on the horizon this reality on the ground will have to formally recognised. And if the Turks declare UDI maybe they'll want to join!

Cneifiwr said...

Gentlemen - and Wendy - check out the hotel. Here's the web address:

As for Anon @21.39, I am a little worried that you seem to live life through Welsh local government boundaries. Let's hope for your sake that they are not changed any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Allegedly, the Conference held in the Towers Hotel & Spa was "a chance to hear from high profile speakers on the potential for the Swansea Bay City Region to harness the next round of EU structural funds ..." With CCC's track record of making poor decisions, inappropriate expenditure, contracts not awarded in accordance with procurement procedures, etc, etc (WAO Report April 2013)I am amazed that these baboons were invited let alone permitted to speak.

Anonymous said...

"Welsh government & European funding must trust us as local authorities" says Cllr Gravel. What with CCC's track record? It is a bit too late for that Meryl!

Anonymous said...

Was Vattenfall, Costain and St.Modwen etc the companies that sponsored the conference or the companies who stand to gain from the next round of EU structural funds?