Thursday 16 January 2014

Tantrums, huffs, blackmail and foul play - the Community Asset Transfer Scheme gets underway

If you watched the excellent series Tair Chwaer a few years back, you may recall a conversation about the dangers of GM food. "Just look at what's happened to people in Ammanford!", one of the sisters said to clinch her argument.

Whether it's the effects of GM food or not, Ammanford Town Hall has been the scene of some extraordinary shenanigans, as chronicled by the South Wales Guardian here and here. The row is about proposals to  raise the town council's precept to cover the cost of employing a technical officer to manage the parks and recreational areas which the town council is having to take on because of cutbacks by the county council.

The Labour mayor stormed out of the first meeting in a huff, with accusations and insults flying. Another petition appeared (remember the recent row over the cricket nets and a dodgy petition?) at the following meeting calling on councillors to reject proposals to raise the precept.

According to the clerk, a member of the public had telephoned before the meeting to threaten that if councillors ignored the petition, they would have no choice but to seek the dissolution of the council. Cllr Colin Evans, who is of course also a member of the county council's Executive Board, said this was blackmail.

If councils could be sent packing because they ignore voters, Kevin Madge wouldn't have lasted five minutes.

Meanwhile over in Llanelli, a group including some Plaid Cymru councillors had called a public meeting to raise awareness of the county council's plans to implement dramatic increases in charges for sports facilities.

A member of the public turned up saying that he had contacted two Labour county councillors to check the time of the meeting only to be told that it had been cancelled.

The meeting went ahead, with no Labour or "Independent" councillors showing up, presumably because they were hoping that it had been cancelled.

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