The Year Rolls On

Another County Council Statement of accounts was presented to the Audit committee on 28th September. Preparation of the entire financial record for the Authority is a daunting task and Kerry Feather and her staff did well in all the circumstances. I winced when our new Auditors, the prestigious Welsh Audit Office found no problem with my old friend AD Waste accounts but I have to believe them. The company has not been finally wound down yet so loose ends are still swirling tantalisingly around, begging questions but still no proper answers. Amazingly, although Flintshire owned it, no landfill was left as a legacy and we taxpayers fund the hike to Cheshire to dump our rubbish. Normally keen to save money I hope this continues as if consent was to dump in this county, the wretched residents of Buckley, Northop and Ewloe would bear the brunt again. The Brock site in Pin fold Lane and the Robin Jones site in the same lane are being eagerly eyed for all Flintshire’s black bag waste.

The only other weaknesses related to late payments of pensions to newly pensioned persons. The worse case was a delay of up to three months? Not too good and late payments demand that compensation must be paid. Why this happens was not fully explained.

The allotment search is over!

The joint efforts of all Hawarden Councillors to find land for allotments will soon be successfully achieved after a search for over two years. A landlocked plot owned by the Council has finally been secured in Aston ward. It’s defied the developers as the route to the plot makes building houses impossible. Hooray! The Clerk suggested a committee be formed to progress the site. One of my Aston colleagues could not get name down fast enough for a committee place and demanded that Aston cllrs should be afforded priority on the new committee as the site was in their ward! Heavy muttering from adjoining ward members as many political brownie points ride on securing a patch of soil for the many residents that had signed up for the waiting list. Our diplomatic Clerk, ever resourceful suggested that all wards should be be represented. Long face from Aston person. “With an election closing in, I suggested that all cllrs take credit for securing the allotments and that politics should be left in the shed”. “Not being political”,snapped grumpy Aston member. Playing politics surely not? Maybe telling porkies to the truth perhaps!

I was taken aback when our gentle and charming Vice Chair admitted that she had felt sorry for me when I chaired a Planning committee on the cricket club application in her ward. “He was so rude” she announced. “ He was equally rude when he came to the site visit”. Cllr V Amos had attended both the site visit and had spoken at the Planning committee her perception of a member’s conduct was revealing. I agreed that as the Chair life can get tough and I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. “ I really have no sanctions to threaten aggressive behaviour”, I explained “ If I go hard on one member I risk alienating that political group and in the end we do have to work as a team to make progress”. “One good thing did happen” I smiled. “A Labour member who was never keen on me once I jumped ship to the Conservatives at least had the courtesy to thank me for dealing well with a very difficult meeting”. I went on to explain that some councillors are passionate about planning and occasionally lose the plot. It’s not nice being a punch bag and I have recently learnt that my friend the Ombudsman has decided I have no case to answer having received a complaint from a disaffected member of the public. She had complained I had been nicer to a youth who addressed the committee than I had to the expert witness. Some I win and some I lose. Is the job of being a cllr worth it I keep asking myself.

I’ll keep readers posted on how the Allotment committee progresses. One Hawarden councillor is off to buy a book on how to provide a perfect allotment and so things are definitely on course for a good result

On 10th October, the Planning committee stood up for the residents of Buckley, Nothop Hall and Ewloe. We refused to pass planning consent for the Pinfold Lane site. As one of the more passionate members stated, “Buckley has had a belly full of tips”. For once I agree with this challenging members..

WHAT A SAD END TO A MAGNIFICENT CAMPAIGN.

Knowing nothing of the rules of rugby, I thought Sam Warburton’s method of tacking an opponent was really spectacular. I’ve never heard of a ‘spear tackle’ before and the result for the inspirational Welsh captain was truly devastating. All that work, all the suffering; staying tee total and to have got to the semi final and to lose by one lousy point is just appalling. As the English dwarf throwing and beer guzzling pack are now facing an investigation into their indisciplined antics having returned home, at least the Welsh team can return with pride, with huge credit to their name and with the praise of all the world wide rugby playing fraternity . They have made a nation proud to be Welsh or like me, just pleased that I live in this decent and rugby loving Principality.

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