Monday 7 October 2013

CSI Carmarthen


"A note to the accounts states: “Certain officers, including the chief executive, who would have been – and were – beneficiaries of the decision were present throughout the meeting to approve the salary increases. No declarations of interest were made and these officers did not leave the room while the decision was made. In doing do, they participated in the decision-making process."

No, it's Caerphilly this time, as reported by the Western Mail. Of course, nothing like that could ever happen in the best council in Wales, could it?


News that the Appointed Auditor's mini digger turned up two corpses in the form of a dodgy pension scheme and the libel indemnity has led to speculation that there is more to come in Carmarthenshire. The difference between the two unlawful items of expenditure was that the taxpayer was done over in broad daylight in the case of the libel indemnity, whereas the foul deed involving employer pension contributions was committed in thick fog in the middle of the night.

Of one thing we can be certain: there are more bodies buried on Jail Hill.

In some cases we know at least some of the facts. The strange arrangement whereby the chief executive can pay himself advance expenses as returning officer without authorisation from the Executive Board, for example. The monitoring of e-mails sent by Cllr Caiach, for example. On the face of it, the council has powers to do this, but when we remember that Cllr Caiach was also a witness in a trial and that the subject matter of the e-mail was very closely related to the trial, things look much less wholesome.

There are also what look for all the world like attempts to intimidate whistle blowers, such as Delyth Jenkins; the cover-ups in the dreadful case of Mrs Trisha Breckman and her partner; the bullying of the local press; the pressure applied to get a journalist to withdraw an awkward freedom of information request on senior officer pay; the long and well documented use of the council's press office to attack critics and political opponents.

The list is a very long one and now stretches back years.

There is a further category of matters which emit a strong smell of rotting fish, but where evidence which could clear matters up has been kept firmly under lock and key. The peculiar relationship between the council and Towy Community Church, for example.

To quote Donald Rumsfeld,

"There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.

There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know.

But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don't know."

The Wales Audit Office's mini digger has a lot more work to do, and by all accounts events will soon take another dramatic turn.

Will Inspector Dai Knacker be asked to send in the sniffer dogs?

Watch this space.


Anonymous said...

I think they better get hold of a JCB to replace that mini digger!

Anonymous said...

Dig deep and follow the money!

Anonymous said...

I hope the Executive Board will wake up and realise that by delegating strategic and operational powers to officers they have fallen fast asleep at the wheel, and have crashed. They must take a lot of the blame.

Anonymous said...


Cneifiwr said...

Anon @11.43, you seem to have got something lodged in your throat.

The Scarlets were due to appear at the September council meeting. That was pushed back to October, and now it has been put back again.

Good news is in very short supply at the moment, so something tells me that whatever it is that the Scarlets have got to say, it is unlikely to produce a standing ovation.

Anonymous said...

"... events will soon take another dramatic turn." I take it from this comment that the worm has finally turned!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, and I think a lot of creepy crawlies have yet to come out of the woodwork.

Tessa said...

I am just so surprised by the Wales Audit Office! What happened to force them to address the issue of Caerphilly?

Anonymous said...

I hope that digger does not damage the the mould that once made Barry John. I heard it was taken there in the summer of 77 for safe keeping. Twelve men it took to carry it down in two halves and sadly 2 of the proud men didnt make it back. (Reason Unkown)