COUNCILLOR CAPERS. 7THDECEMBER 2009

Early November & an email hit my inbox inviting me to Rhodri Morgan’s retirement bash on 7th December in Cardiff.  Flabbergasted but flattered I held back my reply in case by chance, I could have killed two birds with one stone.  A, rub shoulders with the great and the good at Rhodri’s bash & B, appear before that Tribunal the Ombudsman has decreed I must attend for breaching councillor codes.  This decision beggar’s belief and this episode is surely shaping up for another trip to the Court of Human Rights as the powers of this public servant are draconian and severely clash with my human rights.  I wrote about the Ombudsman and me in my October blog and still I hear nothing about attending this rarely held Tribunal.  The more I learn the more I think the decision is vengeful and discriminatory.  Two other county councillors have been under the investigation for alleged serious code violations since June 2008 and March 2009 respectively.  They have not been told how far the enquiries have got. Because I was unable to travel at my own expense and at short notice to the ombudsman’s HQ in South Wales, he regards this as obstructing his investigation; so I’ve breached a code! The Ombudsman can demand anything of any elected member. We have no immediate redress. The O has judged my voluntary statement I made to assist his investigation into another cllr to be untrue.  E.G I’m a liar too according to this august official.  Amazing. As mentioned in an earlier blog, Peter Tyddall, the former boss of the Welsh Arts Council is now the Ombudsman and oversees a £3.5 million Quango. He is still empire building & has demanded yet more staff.  His annual report boasts his investigations are reaching criminal investigation standards. Not in my case, they’re not!  He complaints that “members are increasing legal representation”.  You bet I am!  He complains that as a result, code of conduct complaints are becoming more adversarial rather than inquisitorial.  He regrets this development.  Flintshire County rate payers will also be regretful if they have to shell out if I win and claim costs and damages. Who will pay for this dreadful slur on my integrity and reputation? I’ve been singled out for special treatment that‘s for sure.  Why me?  The entire top team in Flintshire have complained of one cllr, his Executive allowance has been withdrawn and I’m the one that’s off to the tribunal. To act only against me is discriminatory and I am entitled to an answer. I sent Rhodri a note rather than attend.  Apart from dropping a few clangers, e.g., attending a rugby match when he should have been honouring the dead, he’s done well on a personal note.  The state of the Welsh economy is a different story and our productivity continues to fall.  We are the poorest UK nation.    Businesses are closing and new ones are not replacing them.  The outlook is bleak.  Time for more than just a change of First Minister, time for a change of government.

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