OFF TO THE HIGH COURT & B—-GER THE COST.

The summer recess has been joyous but sadly the Monday Planning site visit broke my holiday torpor fanned by an article by my most despised politician. ( no, worse even than Edwina Hart, maverick Welsh transport minister). Tony Blair had been given free rein in my paper & arrogantly made out a case to attack Syria. He is still in denial over his craven decision to go to war on flawed facts. His views were cleverly brought down to earth by the Times cartoonist who showed two badgers in their sett, with a silhouette of a marksman with weapon cocked, framed in the entrance. badger cartoon Badger one was reading the “B Liar” article, big grinning teeth & topknot sketched in, whilst distraught Badger 2 was wringing her paws under a caption, “Hasn’t TB caused enough death as it is !?”

If not humiliating enough, the following day’s lead letter was from GENERAL SIR MICHAEL ROSE who wrote, ” I was surprised that you gave so much space to Tony Blair’s views on Syria. It’s like having an arsonist advise on how to put out a fire he lit”.

When the Labour Party was refashioning itself with its “Third Way”, all those years ago, I was so impressed I joined its ranks & proudly served as the Labour AM for Delyn from 1999 to 2003. By 2004, I knew better. I was no longer impressed by the over egged spin of New Labour and as a protest, I joined the Tory Party and I serve this party as a Conservative county councillor. My real challenge is in my role of the Audit Chair. The Audit Committee brief is widespread & probing and is throwing up several worrying scenarios that raise questions over some policies and procedures. The overview is not good. Weak management, poor decision making, never fully admitting mistakes are just some problems encountered by the Audit Committee.

Insiders say that really turbulent times are fast approaching when Welsh Government will slash our budgets. Unlike many other Authorities, who have made provision for leaner times, little attempt has been made to reduce staff costs, usually the biggest part of the overall budget. We drift it seems with no urgency whatsoever over threatened massive cuts. Labour policy of Single Status, geared to ensure proper equal pay for the job has still not been finalised even after allegedly 8 years of trying. Why have other LA’s succeeded whereas Flintshire has failed so far? The staff see it as a joke as every new dawn has proved false again. So disappointing!

This inertia & muddle has nothing to do surely with the pernicious obsession of some of our highly paid Corporate Management team to destroy Cllr Patrick Heesom rather than focus on improving services? A judge in Chambers overturned his Adjudication Panel’s recent decision to suspend him from being a councillor. PH was back for all of a week when the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales ET AL, struck back with vengeance. The case was listed to appear before J. Timothy King on 3rd September. If the decision to hound Cllr Heesom still further was made with the connivance of Top Flintshire Brass, (on their £90K – £190K plus breadline), we must be told? How much more does this decent Cllr have to suffer?

J. King succumbed to the snake words of two of the Ombudsman’s finest; Mr Hughes, the Panel’s barrister and a SILK. Our Cabinet bosses must say how much Flintshire taxpayers will have to stump up for ongoing harassment of an elected member. Welsh Government Chair of Audit, Mr Paverlin, should also be pressed to spill the beans over the entire cost of the High Court escapade, especially as their victory is doomed. Although his original suspension is back on, J King has demanded that the all important judicial review is fast forwarded most urgently.

When the facts of the witch hunt, the plotting and the dreadful bias are finally exposed; Patrick Heesom will find justice at last. That day of reckoning could be very interesting indeed!

The case is listed as Heesom V Public Service Ombudsman Wales. Yet again, the Ombudsman seems keen to show himself as deeply biased. Why cannot Patrick Heesom continue to serve his Mostyn community until his own appeal, against the shocking decision of the KANGEROO Court? That cannot be stopped & will go ahead eventually. No one’s saying.

By comparison, the Cllr who lied on oath to my tribunal is now under investigation for perjury, (possible 7 year imprisonment), is still a member of the Standards & Audit Committee! I mentioned that Patrick was again under the cosh to a highly respected Labour member. “Now it’s getting very messy and spiteful”, he replied gravely. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

The appeal to overturn the Panel’s decision must happen soon on Judge’s orders. Patrick and I will have more in common than wanting to call unacceptable governance and financial waste to account. Hopefully, he will join me who successfully won a Judicial Review, years ago. Patrick’s case, like mine, will go on to make important legal history thanks to Martin Howe & Michael Murphy, his magnificent legal team.

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