Friday 17 October 2014

Furry Friends

There cannot be many councils in the British Isles which have faced angry demonstrations from outraged members of the public at the conduct of their chief executive, but as BBC Wales reminded us last night, earlier in the summer large numbers of people turned up at County Hall in Haverfordwest to demonstrate, and someone brought along a giant inflatable rat.

The response of the closet Tory administration led by Jamie Adams yesterday was to quash disciplinary proceedings against Bryn Parry-Jones, chuck out the public and press, and vote through a secret severance package said to be worth around £320,000 to get rid of him.

A few days before that Cllr Adams was telling anyone who would listen that his council faced a 25% budget cut over the next few years and things were looking desperate. The £320,000 pay-off was not budgeted for.

The inflatable rat was not the only rodent to make an appearance at County Hall, however, as quite a few Labour voters in the county could attest, having voted for Labour candidates who then defected to Jamie Adams' IPPG.

Cllr Paul Miller, the leader of the Labour group on the council, has had a good media year, and he popped up on last night's news bulletin to deplore the decision to give Bryn a truckload of cash.

Credit where credit is due, although it was a pity that the BBC did not find space for Cllr Mike Stoddart (Old Grumpy) or others who have been pointing out the council's failings for rather longer.

At the last council elections in 2012, Labour took 9 of the 60 seats. A year later Cllr Sue Perkins defected from the Labour group to the IPPG where she bagged a seat at the Cabinet table and a special responsibility allowance, having previously ranted and raved against other Labour defectors to the dark side (see Old Grumpy).

Labour voters who thought that Cllr Perkins had set something of a record for rodent-like behaviour had reckoned without Cllr Alison Lee, elected as Labour councillor for Pembroke Dock Central.

With scandal after scandal have broken in Haverfordwest, the integrity of the ruling Independent cabal in shreds and just days before the crunch council meeting to decide BPJ's fate, Cllr Lee defected from Labour to become Cabinet member with responsibility for Housing.

Along with Cllr Perkins and previous Labour defectors, she voted to exclude press and public from the meeting and then supported the motion to pay off the discredited chief executive.

With two and a half years to go before the next council elections, Labour in Pembrokeshire seems set to defy the laws of political gravity by which opposition parties normally grow in numbers between elections. At this rate the party will soon fit comfortably into a Smart car.

Cneifiwr stands to be corrected, but there are now at least 6 serving councillors in Pembrokeshire who were elected on a Labour ticket but who are now loyal supporters of Jamie Adams' rotten IPPG junta.

And yes, before anyone points it out, there is one Plaid defector in the form of Stephen Joseph, but at least he voted against the pay-off.


Anonymous said...

And of course the Plaid leader failed to turn up for the debate - just thought I'd mention that !!!

Anonymous said...

It's a funny old life.

The leader of Plaid was absent from the debate yesterday in Pembs claiming to be ill and it has been reported on a blog that he was seen today.

It's a bit like Mrs gravel I suppose. Do you support this harassment of the Plaid leader along the same lines of Mrs Gravell I wonder.

Bet you won't publish this !!!

Anonymous said...

no answer from Cneifiwr... what a surprise

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@15.43 - if you read Jacob Williams' blog, you will find the answer you didn't want to hear - and from a non-Plaid source to boot. Michael Williams was ill and was desperately sorry to miss the vote. Not that it would have made any difference. If everyone who was originally elected on a Labour ticket had voted with the opposition, Bryn wouldn't have got the pay-off.

Anonymous said...

@cneifiwr I don't know why your answer was all about Labour. My point is that Councillors occasionally miss meetings for personal circumstances, possibly illness or family illness, the one rule should be consistency and respect for their personal space. If a labour councillor hadn't turned up and stated that he/she was ill I'm sure you would question it and probably (on past form) go for them. Either set a standard of reporting, or don't bother at all. I'm not labour, but I can't stand your partisan BS either.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@21.23 - I think you have misunderstood this point. I was not complaining about councillors not showing up to vote, but pointing out that in Pembrokeshire six councillors who were originally elected as Labour councillors now vote with the ruling closet Tory administration.

In the case of the most recent defection from Labour, the switch was particularly disgraceful because Cllr Lee jumped ship just days before the vote.