Tuesday 8 July 2014

Clarifying the clarification - Updated


Within seconds of this post going out, news has come in that the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has given Carmarthenshire County Council a very public ticking off for its refusal to accept criticism, saying that it should accept the Wales Audit Office reports and that the Welsh Government did not agree with the indemnity.

Carwyn has had a pretty bad day, what with one thing and another, and he was already doing a pretty good impression of a bear with a sore head, so the timing of some pertinent questions from Rhodri Glyn Thomas about the Labour-run Best Council in Wales won't have improved his temper.

More to follow.


The Western Mail today picked up on Carmarthenshire County Council's latest attempt to wriggle out of the unlawful libel indemnity mess by getting councillors to give their blessing to an agenda item at tomorrow's meeting of the full council, in which senior officers put a bizarre interpretation on a letter from Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Local Government, with Mr James telling his troops that the letter backs up his claim that he was right all along.

The Minister has now confirmed that she has asked her officials to take a look at what the Council has done with her letter.

Let's hope that it does not take them two months, which is how long it took them to write back to Dave Gilbert, Carmarthenshire's Deputy Chief Executive, when he asked for clarification back in March.

An interesting aspect of tomorrow's meeting will be whether Labour and Independent councillors are daft enough to give the Chief Executive's innovative legal manoeuvrings their seal of approval, especially since the WLGA panel set up to review governance in the local authority will apparently be watching proceedings from the public gallery.

Although their presence is likely to ensure that everyone is on their best behaviour, there are hours of archived film footage of council meetings from the last year for them to peruse with lots and lots of interesting examples of governance Carmarthenshire style.


No comments: