Last Councillor Post

I had a suspicion that once unleashed from the discipline of work, I’d become lazy. Sadly its true this last blog as a cllr, had taken forever!

I drove out of County Hall for the very last time on Friday 7th July 2017, at 3pm; thus closing another chapter in my working life. I had to return my FCC laptop to County Hall & had hoped to to go through the emails in privacy as several were important and stood as a record of much of the dreadful behaviour metered out by the Chief Executive, his lamentable blunder-bus Head of Legal Services and bully boy Aaron Shotton. My decision to press for justice is still uppermost in my mind, hence the email need. Access to the FCC IPad had been withdrawn so I was reliant on my minder, who nice chap as is is, insisted on detail of what I was seeking. Knowing that my list would be would be passed up to CE, Colin Everett, I realised I had been outgunned. This is what happens in this now toxic Local Authority. The CE controls nearly everything & Aaron Shotton, the Council Leader & his henchmen work as a team. No matter. Doors shut and doors open.

I once dreaded the thought of leaving County Hall. I loved the huge old trees and the well cut grassy area with its picnic benches, the scrutiny meetings and all the rest of working as a cllr. The area is now a wilderness of uncut grass, too tall to walk through any more & the trees are taking over the area too. As with the current administration, the grounds are in a sorry state indeed. Scrutiny committees are a shadow of what they once achieved. Elected members are simply superfluous to the Council leaders requirements.

Why had it all gone wrong for me? Once riding high as chair of Planning and the Audit Committee meant I had some talent & someone trusted me so what happen to change all that? Was it the demand for proper information that did for me, or refusing to chair the meeting to sign off the annual Statement of Accounts as the time for meaningful consultations had been skilfully ignored? I was not voted back as Audit chair the following year which was handed over to a more amenable member.

Was it because I had raised the huge cost of consultants not once but twice? £3 million’s rather a lot to pay regularly for advice and although improvements were promised, £ millions are still being squandered. Perhaps my fall from grace was connected with my demand for answers to the shocking & expensive way the A D Waste affair was handled. We now know that rogue officers had been ripping off the Council and the tax payer for years. A whistle blower tipped me off and although protracted in-house investigation took place, what really went on was conveniently buried. The truth would not look good on any control freak’s CV. The police refused to investigate as FCC’s administration was in tatters & nothing could be proved, so poor the way the waste company had been brought in house.

Even basic Tupe rules, bread and butter to any efficient Human Resource Management, had been badly messed up by Flintshire’s finest. How was this allowed to happen by highly paid officers & our hapless Labour Lovies , Aaron & Bernie. Criticism was simply not allowed. How A&D Waste was brought in house, together with all the mistakes, the enormous cost to the public and the countless bad practices were all brushed conveniently under the corporate carpet.

i was a “dead cllr walking”. I had not realised how vulnerable I was. The vengeful and powerful Ombudsman’s office, (hoovering up £4 million of tax payers money, appeared to be totally on the side of officers, had me in their sights. The power of the Ombudsman is a serious issue for competent, elected members. The last still ongoing investigation into me for telling Mark Jones, a senior enforcement officer that I found his performance poor, has gone on for over a year and my emails have been described as malicious & bullying. How long must I a decent hard working cllr be stressed out by this intimidation and corporate bullying. Time he retired too. Only Welsh Labour hang on to this obscenely biased Outfit.

Favouritism appears rife too. When my highly professional residents with the help of Mark Isherwood AM, lodged a complaint against the same Enforcement officer for not doing his job of enforcement in my ward, the PSOW decreed there was no case to answer. The complaint was simply not accepted. When I hunted down evidence to show that this Enforcement Officer had fallen short on other enforcement issues & sent a copy of my findings to the PSOW, I was harangued for daring to share the investigation into me others. A cardinal sin. So gathering evidence, helpful to me; to show the other side of the Mark Jones performance story, is not allowed. This is yet more corporate harassment at the highest level.

In the end, with the O lining me up for yet another trip to his beloved Adjudication Panel, I had no choice but to retire to get the bearded bully off my back once and for all. I finding retirement is a cool oasis from a former hectic life. I’m enjoying the inertia.

My favourite saying is, “doors shut & doors open”. It may still happen. Let the County Hall grass overwhelm that seedy concrete pile of political misdeeds & smother all the many “No Marks” inside that dare to take the money of the public they are supposed to represent.

Thank you Ewloe residents for all those years of encouragement & support. If was a real honour to have been your councillor.

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