Posts Tagged ‘councillor’

The Ombudsman and me!

I’ve been rather preoccupied since 15th June 2009, when I received a bombshell letter from the Head of Investigations, a member of the Wales Public Service Ombudsman. I learnt that the Ombudsman considered that I had been contradictory and there was “prime face evidence that I have or may have broken two of the council’s codes of conduct”. An investigation would be carried out. On 3rd June, I had volunteered a statement to offer support to a very knowledgeable and experienced Cllr who had been accused also of breaking council codes over how he had conducted himself at a Head of Housing Selection panel last February. As I had been a panel member, I did not think he had broken any code. Knowing the misery, stress and loneliness of being accused of breaking rules in a former life, I knew it was my duty to stand up and tell it how it was! Big mistake! I then was caught up in the Ombudsman’s web and soon discovered that his office gives him immense and really frightening powers. A councillor “must comply with any request of the Ombudsman or the Monitoring Officer in connection with an investigation Code 6.2.” “Any request” …..

County Pomp & Circumstance

Momentous day for Cllr Colin Legg, because at the 11am County Council meeting, the outgoing Chairman was to relinquish his chain of office & present it to the incoming chairman: Cllr. Colin of Halkyn Ward. I would be in on the act too as I had accepted Colin’s invitation to be his consort for his Civic Year. The practice run the day before had been a little chaotic & I had been reminded that after my chain was bestowed, I would return to my seat in the chamber to finish the rest of the business. During the real ceremony Quentin Dodd handed over his chain, oath was signed under the watchful eye of the Chief Executive and then I was called to the dais to collect my chain. Kisses and handshakes all round after the heavy metal piece of Flintshire history was laid on my shoulders. Sadly, my name won’t appear on the roll of honour. It will never appear on Hawarden Community Council’s Chairman’s role of honour board either – I would have liked to have been engraved somewhere! What vanity! Owen Thomas, as the incoming deputy chair was then called and the ritual was repeated. Bouquets appeared from …..

Councillor Capers. March 2009.

Under the prudent and wise leadership of Cllr Arnold Woolley, Flintshire’s Leader, the Coalition ( in government for almost a year now); set its first budget. The first attempt pitched it at a 3.5% increase; fully aware of the prospect of swingeing cuts next year by WAG. The only real stumbling block to a Coalition consensus was the newly proposed Ward Councillor scheme, which allowed members to spend up to a given sum on their own ward improvements. Rural members of my Group favoured it whilst I, sharing Ewloe with an Independent Cllr, felt conflict could arise. I worried about transparency in how the projects were chosen & also the cost of policing & administering the scheme. Cynical County Hall watchers could easily dismiss this project as a local member ward jolly and argue that the scheme should be shelved in favour of a smaller council tax rise. Arnold and the Finance team were prepared to offer smaller amounts and build in extra monitoring which resulted in the original draft budget increase being shaved down again. When my Group met under our leader, Nigel Steele Mortimer on 3rd March, it seemed that the Ward Scheme had been ditched complexly completely …..

Twiggy Rescue

Alison’s recent donation to Capricorn Animal Rescue Centre, Padeswood has been heralded in the February 3rd edition of the Evening Leader. The article can be downloaded below: [download#5] Alison, much impressed by the conscientious work of Shiela Stewart, is quoted as saying: Shiela does a wonderful job and quite often around here we take it for granted that whenever we find an injured bird or half-dead dog, we can call her up and she will take it in straight away.

Councillor

COALITION MEETS FORMALLY AT LAST.

Taking as long as I had to find a solution to the disability access problem, the first INAUGURAL MEETING of the Official Coalition finally got under way in County Hall on 11th December. Cllr George Hardcastle as the Alliance leader took the chair whilst we resolved that Executive members were already too busy to chair this group and that whoever was nominated, the chairmanship would be rotated yearly. A paper ballot secured the role of chairman to Cllr Robin Guest and Veronica Gay was the vice chair. Out of the blue, Cllr Patrick Heesom asked if I would be the Coalition Secretary and although I muttered I never went hunting for work, the decision was forced by a show of hands. I was projected onto the top table armed with a pen and a few scrappy bits of paper on which to take the note. I wonder if my obsession for writing throughout meetings had been noted by Patrick. I confess that it was a skill I learnt years ago when judging if young officers had what it took to make them special and fast track officers. Of course, the trick is not just writing fast but to decipher what’s …..

Election Diary- The End game.

28th to Election Day to 1st May 2008. On Monday afternoon, taking time off from shoving leaflets though doors, I met with Paul DAVIES, an ex superintendent from North Wales Police and John Iball. Both of whom are Ewloe residents and the main players in the Action Group that had successfully lobbied to abort the 7 lane Aston Hill road scheme.  “But the road needs improvement, I argued, and where do we go from here?”  They did not know. Knocking on the doors in the high employment Ewloe ward realistically means grabbing the few hours between getting home from work and sitting down to an evening of Telly watching. Smells from kitchens wafted out of every house that opened the door to me. I selected an area I thought would be fertile Tory territory and was invariably rewarded by a positive response. Many indicated I had their vote. By 7.30, it was time to pack in as a major football match was about to start on television. 1st May dawned bright and sunny but with a biting wind. Mike and I finally met our major opponents outside our two Polling Stations. We learnt that both candidates had positioned themselves close …..