Thursday 17 April 2014

An own try

To use a rugby analogy, the chief executive of Carmarthenshire, Mark James, voluntarily removed himself from play to sit in the sin bin on 14 February, and there he remains. The sky has not fallen in and the council has continued to function, leading more and more people to wonder why on earth we needed a chief executive on close to £200,000 a year in the first place.

In fact the extraordinary thing is that we have gone, almost overnight, from Chernobyl on Tywi to Boring Council where the bins are emptied and people quietly get on with their jobs. Even the bloated press office appears to have been muzzled and brought to heel.

Whatever happens in the ongoing investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary it is hard to imagine that things will be allowed to return to they way they were before 14 February, but just as with Chernobyl the toxic legacy will be with us for a very long time to come.

Over on Caebrwyn's blog (here), the decontamination squad have just fished out some documents relating to the Scarlets-Marstons deal which show how the council ended up with just £200,000 from the £850,000 sale of a piece of land leased to the Scarlets.

Despite protestations at the time (i.e. before 14 February) that all was above board and perfectly normal, it is now clear that senior officers including the Head of Corporate Property and the Head of Resources regarded the outcome as anything but normal and acceptable. Given that Cllr Jeff Edmunds (Lab), the member of the Executive Board responsible for resources, spilled the beans on the deal to Cllr Sian Caiach, it also seems that at least some senior elected representatives had serious misgivings.

To return to our rugby analogy, Jonathan Fearn (Head of Corporate Property) and Roger Jones (Head of Resources) were robustly fighting the council's corner to ensure that the council and the taxpayer got a reasonable deal, when the team captain grabbed the ball and ran the entire length of the field to score a try for the other side.

Before anyone writes in, there is no such thing as an own try - at least not under the normal rules.


Anonymous said...

Or to use a riper analogy, the team captain instructed his team to turn away from the opposition, drop their shorts, and take, what our American cousins quaintly refer to as "a good buttf***ing".

The real question is why Mr James was so ready to hand over thousands of pounds of public money to the Scarlets when, in the view of his well-informed (and well-paid) professional directors, he need not have done so? Surely the interests of the public purse should have been paramount, especially in the light of the generosity which had already been showered on the Scarlets in other financial dealings.

Has Inspector Knacker been asked to cast his investigatory eye over this matter? If not, he should be.

Redhead said...

Of course there is such a thing - if the CEO says there is and Kev is "persuaded" to agree with him!