Thursday 6 March 2014

All For The Best

One of the best performing councils in Wales with an excellent record in education, housing and social care.

No, not Carmarthenshire but Pembrokeshire; at least according to members of the ruling Independent Plus Group on Pembrokeshire County Council. At one time, one councillor recalled in horror, things were so bad in education and child protection that there were fears those functions could be taken away from the council and handed to....Carmarthenshire, which of course also claims to be one of the best if not the best council in Wales.

The leaders of the two councils do not just share a delusional belief in their own achievements but the rare distinction of having to deal with damning public interest reports from the Wales Audit Office.

To be fair to the council leader in Pembrokeshire, Jamie Adams pointed out that things are rather worse in Carmarthenshire, where there was not one but two separate WAO reports and what he called "a personal element" in the case of Carmarthenshire Chief Executive, Mark James.

In Carmarthenshire the Labour-Independent coalition saw off a vote of no confidence in three Executive Board members who bear particular responsibility for the unlawful decisions. In Pembrokeshire the chief executive and monitoring officer saw off votes of no confidence thanks to the backing of the ruling Independents.

The Labour groups in the two councils found themselves on different sides of the fence, but the general public in both counties is united in disgust.

Incidentally, Pembrokeshire also has its own version of Cllrs Meryl Gravell and Pam Palmer rolled into one in the shape of Cllr Sue Perkins.

Today's meeting was another marathon at around five hours. The motions of no confidence in the chief executive and monitoring officer came in the last couple of hours so of proceedings.

Of interest to those of us in Carmarthenshire was that the cost of employing Mr Timothy Kerr QC and a firm of financial consultants in connection with the unlawful pension arrangements in Haverfordwest was around £27,000.

Bearing in mind that Mr Kerr also acted to defend the libel indemnity decision in Carmarthenshire, the Kremlin on the Towy won't be getting much change out of £50,000. And that does not include the hundreds of hours spent by council officers scrambling to the defence of the indefensible since the scandals broke last September.


Anonymous said...

I am ashamed of Pembrokeshire County COuncil when such "Independent" councillors follow their leaders instructions like sheep!
They were elected for the good of their own constituency and Pembrokeshire, some of them should grow some balls!

Anonymous said...

Rather reminds me of "The Producers" and "Springtime for Hitler"!

Anonymous said...

I have been reflecting on the recent shameful events in Carms and Pembs, coming as they do at the same time as the appalling revelations about the Metropolitan Police. They share the same underlying problem - public officials or elected members are doing things that they would rather the public stayed ignorant about the full facts. And they will resort to every tactic to ensure that discreditable actions are mired in secrecy. It seems to me that this is seen as acceptable "spin", but it really amounts to dishonesty, and public trust is shaken with each new revelation. Whatever happened to the ethos of public service?

Anonymous said...

Public service is a dirty word these days - it means something hasn't been privatised for obscene profit and so public servants should be ashamec of themselves for standing in the way of fat cat profits.

Anonymous said...

I see that Lesley Grifhiths has commented on fat cat pay
this morning,woken up at last.