Monday 9 December 2013

Flame retardant underwear

Readers of the South Wales Guardian were treated last week to a lengthy interview with Calum Higgins, Labour councillor for Tycroes. More on that later this week, but the piece kicks off with Calum complaining that he has been given a rough time in the blogosphere for his attendance record.

Calum tries to have his cake and eat it by saying that the blogs (actually, this blog) have got their facts wrong, before going on to admit that he has taken on too much and will have to adjust his workload.

The facts are simple enough, with Calum accepting a string of appointments to various council committees and the Mid and West Wales Authority, while also embarking on a one-year full-time postgraduate law course in Cardiff as well as accepting nomination as Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr.

Calum has been too busy to attend meetings of the Fire Authority since the AGM in June, but he did turn up to a meeting of the Resources Committee last Monday where he put forward a motion calling for a reduction in proposed cutbacks.

Later in the same meeting Plaid's Cllr Elwyn Williams put forward a second motion calling on the authority not to close any fire stations. The motion was lost by one vote, although we shall never know how Calum would have voted because he had already left the meeting.

Calum has been paid an allowance of £1,106 for his membership of the authority this year.


Jac o' the North, said...

The case of young Callum exemplifies a problem I've dealt with on my blog more than once. In a nutshell, Labour is having trouble recruiting fresh blood.

In Swansea, this problem is disguised by recruiting students . . . young, naive, and totally ignorant of the city they're helping to run. But what the hell! it's bums on Labour benches.

This option is less readily available to Carmarthenshire and other authorities, with the result that when they find a likely lad (basically, anyone under the age of 50) he's liable to be flogged to death.

With the decline of the old industries, the unions, the resultant breakdown of traditional voting patterns, plus the more general apathy towards politics, this is a problem that can only increase for the Labour Party.

Although Labour councillors are generally opposed to culling councils (for purely selfish reasons) the party's best hope for disguising this problem could be fewer councils and fewer councillors.

Cneifiwr said...

Thanks Jac. Your analysis is spot on. A quick glance at the Labour Party in Carmarthenshire would put most young people off, although the lack of talent and young blood means that there are career prospects for the few who can stomach it.

Anonymous said...

Plaid are not against umanned stations then by the sound of it.
There just against closure of stations.

Anonymous said...

I think Anon 16:05 is talking wet.

Living in Ammanford, I've seen the efforts my local Plaid reps have put into keeping the fire station operating full time.

In saying that, though, unmanned stations would be far more welcome than the closure of stations. Goodness knows what response times would be like if stations closed.

Anonymous said...

And who had the great common sense to put forward a motion to reduce the budget cut percentage....YES IT WAS CALUM HIGGINS.
Calum has worked hard to ensure front line services will be saved in the Fire Authority. And I for one would like to commend Calum on his hard work so far! Well done. It's great to see one of our elected representatives use his initiative.