Friday 20 December 2013

Carmarthenshire Councillor of the Year

Barely a week goes by these days it seems without some tedious, back-slapping awards ceremony, and things inevitably get worse towards the end of the year as the media indulges in a frenzy of reviews, but we may as well join in and go in search of Carmarthenshire County Councillor of the Year to end on a light note after what has been a pretty dire 12 months.

In theory there are 74 to choose from, but even the most obsessive of council watchers would be challenged to find anything at all to say about many of them. Then there is quite a body of councillors about whom it would be hard to find anything positive to say. So let's concentrate on the rest.

If readers would like to nominate one or more councillors for any of the categories listed below and provide a brief explanation, send in a comment.

The good news is that since the elections in 2012 there has been an increase in the number of councillors prepared to challenge the executive, and it will be interesting to see whether some of the hitherto silent majority on the Labour and Independent benches find their voices as the cuts bite, and mismanagement at the top becomes more and more evident.

There have been some outstanding performances this year from Alun Lenny, Emlyn Dole, Darren Price and others on the Plaid benches. For Labour, sort of, Bill Thomas stands out for his integrity and refusal to do as he's told. No list of members of the awkward squad would be complete without Siân Caiach, of course.

Jeff Edmunds is in a category of his own as being the only member of the governing Executive Board to put warm words about openness and transparency into action.

There is another group of councillors who are in the limelight less often, but who nevertheless have put in some quietly impressive performances fighting their particular corners. They include Linda Evans, Gwyneth Thomas and Cefin Campbell tackling issues such as social care, public transport and the Welsh language.

Another category is the usually unsung case work carried out by councillors on behalf of constituents. By its  nature this is nearly always sensitive and confidential, but Cneifiwr is aware of several cases where individual councillors have given a great deal of help and support to local people fighting injustices.

There are, of course, councillors who fit into more than one category.

This is not a scientific exercise, and there is nothing to prevent individual councillors from nominating themselves, except honesty and a sense of shame. Since some of them are shameless, and as a preventative measure, Calum Higgins is disqualified.

Prizes are still being negotiated, but may be as follows:
  • 1st Prize - a candlelit supper for two at the new Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Carmarthen with the deputy council leader of your choice
  • 2nd Prize - an weekend in Burry Port with Cllr Tegwen Devichand
  • 3rd Prize - a week's caravan holiday in Kidwelly with Cllr Pam Palmer


towy71 said...

I wouldn't want to win any of the prizes or even touch those mentioned with a bargepole lol

Anonymous said...

I think it's sometimes too easy to be critical of the Councillors. There are some excellent people in both the Plaid and Labour group who don't get much attention. I would list the following as having made strong contributions:

-Cefin Campbell
-Emlyn Dole
-Gwyneth Thomas
-Jeff Edmunds
-Deryk Cundy
-Bill Thomas
-Sharen Davies
-Calum Higgins
-Sian Caiach

My nominees:

Cefin Campbell for his work on the Welsh language.

Deryk Cundy for his work as Chair of the Communities scrutiny committee on the impact of the UK welfare changes in the county.

I know that your having a pop at Calum because Plaid is worried about the 2015 election but I think he has done really well this year up until his recent bad press.

I would add that I think that Darren Price is a non-entity. Too much of a student politician for my liking.

Anonymous said...

The Special Award for Exceptional Contribution to the Development of the English Language goes to Cllr. Kevin Madge.

Anonymous said...

Dont forget how some got elected either.

Anonymous said...

Surely one of the prizes has to feature a dip in the Council funded hot tub with the outstanding Member?

Anonymous said...

Didn't Kidwelly Town Council enact a by-law banning Pam Palmer from the town?

If you're caught on holiday with her it's conspiracy - £90 on the spot fine.

Anonymous said...

Bill Thomas man of honour has principals.
Sian Caiach askes the questions that i would like to ask.
Darren Price askes the questions that an opposition is
Supposed to ask.
I don't fancy any of the prizes though.

Lesley said...

I (and everyone else in the area) recently got a prestigious award in the form of a large gold sticky rosette which appeared on my kitchen waste bin telling me I was a "Good Recycler". I should therefore like to nominate whichever gormless councillor was in charge of that idiotic, infantile, money and time-wasting wheeze - whoever he or she might be. If I win a prize I will donate it to Mr James.

Anonymous said...

The Award for Budding AM - the nominees are:
Cefin Campbell
Darren Price
The Award for the most boring speaker
Bill Thomas
Kevin Madge
Pam Palmer
The Award for Future leader of Plaid
Alan Lenny
Cefin Campbell
The Award for Future Leader of Labour
Colin Evans
Derek Cundy
Jeff Edmunds

Regarding the rest of the Councillors who do not speak often in Chamber- ask their constituents what they think of them, or check out the press for those who get regular mentions , who support abd camapign for local causes - which is what the electorate expect

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not from Carmarthenshire as many of you will realise, but to put my own two penneth in :

Siân Caiach, Siân Caiach, Siân Caiach - and thrice more on Sundays...

She plays the essential role of ACTUALLY REPRESENTING THOSE SHE SERVES, in trying to sort out the shambles you are all left with down there. She is also prepared to be unpopular if that's what it takes to get things done - and that is an EXTREMELY rare gift for someone in political office.

Added to which, I met her at the first High Court hearing - and she's a lovely woman to boot. Very unassuming - I wouldn't have known I was dealing with a medical consultant and a politician just by speaking to her.

The fact she was even at the hearing in the first place says a lot to me.That the Council's barrister seemed to think her going anywhere near the witness box was a very bad idea only strengthens my respect for her...

Anonymous said...

Sian Caiach yesterday was assisting in the Breakthro Llanelli xmas lunch served to learning disability adults.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole of the Labour Party in Carms need a special award for their extreme nerve in claiming to be socialists.

They have carried out policies and actions which could in no way be described as fair and run against everything a socialist should do. I'm thinking the unlawful payments fiasco - supporting the Scarletts whilst simultaneously destroying local sport, failing to introduce the living wage and refusing to adopt a no eviction policy in bedroom tax cases. worse of all though must be them getting into bed with the pseudo tories and staying there through thick and thin.

Yes my special award must go to the Labour Party. I think it is going to be a tumultuous year for them when certain chickens come hom to roost.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the madaxeman. Sian Caiach is a lovely lady and a fine Cllr. It is more people like her that the people of Carmarthenshire need and deserve.

Anonymous said...

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd dda i'r Cneifiwr a diolch yn fawr am y blog!