Sunday, 28 September 2008

Tory Hypocrisy

George Osborne the shadow Tory chanchellor of the exchequer calls for greater regulation of the financial services sector prevent the crisis that has occurred recently in the financial markets ...now this in itself is unusual a Tory calling for greater government intervention...whatever next?

It's a shame that David Cameron hadn't spoken to Osborne first before inviting wealthy donors to join his exclusive dining club and accepting over a million pounds into Conservative Party coffers from Hedge Fund Managers...yes those exact same people Osborne wants to regulate. These same Hedge Fund Managers are the ones that 'bet' on the price of HBOS and Bradford and Bingley falling and then raking in the millions when the banks fail. Talk about acting in our best economic interests!!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Spotlight on Gwersyllt.

Spotlight on Gwersyllt is a Labour Party Newsletter aimed at the residents of Gwersyllt, it comes out with some astounding statements like claiming the credit for the Gwersyllt Resource Centre, no mention of the European Urban II funding...oh, and incidentally, two Labour County Councillors for Gwersyllt failed to attend the official opening of the Centre...some support!!

Another item talks about Ian Lucas working so.....so hard for affordable housing, shame his 11 Labour colleagues on the County Council were that disinterested in affordable housing that they ALL failed to attend a member workshop on the subject last Tuesday, yet again Plaid Cymru had a 100% attendance. Affordable housing is likely to be one of the 3 Council Priorities and the only reason its there is because its been pushed by the 'coalition' with a big influence from Plaid Cymru...Labour nowhere to be seen.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Towards a more open council

Wrexham Council has agreed to another small step towards a more open and accountable system of government.
 At tonight's full council meeting, a Plaid Cymru initiative to allow citizens to present petitions to the council on matters of concern was accepted unanimously.
 This change in the constitution was proposed by Plaid's Executive Board member Cllr Arfon Jones and was taken up by the council's legal services department.
 This will allow people more direct access to the council rather than having to rely on councillors to raise issues on their behalf.
 
 Plaid also successfully challenged a move to keep part of tonight's agenda from the press and public when Cllr Marc Jones pointed out to the same department that there was nothing on the agenda that was private or confidential. The agenda item in question was duly heard without excluding the public.
 Plaid will continue to push for more public scrutiny of council decisions.
 

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Our Assembly

A recent survey of 2500 people in Wales indicate that 70% of the those polled favoured the Welsh Assembly and devolution, 39% wanted more powers and 31% wanted the powers to remain the same

At the same time, Gordon Brown addresses the North of Ireland Assembly promising full devolution with tax raising powers and control over Policing, what's good for Northern Ireland should apply to Wales, but will it? Not if our Unionist Labour MP's have anything to do with it.

The Assembly may not be perfect but what system of governance is? To make it better we must have more powers.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Caia allotments

A public meeting has been organised for everyone interested in new allotments in Caia Park. The meeting will take place at the Pentre Gwyn Community Centre on Abenbury Rd at 7pm on Tuesday, 7 October.

 Everyone's welcome to hear about the latest developments in our attempts to secure allotments for people in Caia.  Councillor Marc Jones and Wrexham Council's allotments officer Nicola Ellis will be there.

 Tea and coffee will be provided.

 PS This has taken longer than expected and there are still issues with funding. So just one question - how did Cllr Arfon Jones get his community gardens sorted so quickly?! 

Plaid Cymru leading the way on Social Justice

PRESS RELEASE - Bailiffs and Council Tax Collection.

Plaid Cymru Councillor express concerns over malpractice by bailiffs used by Wrexham Council to collect council tax arrears. Wrexham Council issued nearly 8,500 summonses in the last financial year for arrears, which is an increase of nearly 2,000 summonses from 2005/06. The Council released over 2,600 court orders to external bailiffs last year and some anecdotal evidence suggests that in a number of cases, bailiffs may have used dubious practises to obtain payments from local people, many of whom are vulnerable!
Councillor Arfon Jones, who is also a volunteer advisor with Wrexham & District Citizens Advice Bureau said,

"It is essential that council's do collect council tax to maintain service, but they do need to monitor, more closely, how bailiffs operate, through robust service level agreements to prevent malpractice and abuse.and I am not sure that this is happening at present."

Councillor Jones has carried out research locally on the extent of the problem, for example: (permission to quote this example has been approved by the Bureau).

"The numbers of clients coming in to Wrexham & District Citizens Advice Bureau for advice on council tax arrears has increased by approximately a third from last year, and from some of the cases, we have evidence of bailiffs bills on file, showing very high charges. Clients are claiming that bailiffs are trying to force entry and also appear to be subcontracting to other bailiffs."

Citizens Advice published a report in 2006, called 'Putting Bailiffs On the Spot" which called on the Government to legislate to regulate bailiffs because of evidence collected nationally of malpractice. This report said that two thirds of cases of bailiff harassment, reported to Bureau's nationally, concerned the collection of council tax. Councillor Jones will call on the Council's Finance and Scrutiny Committee to carry out a review of Council Tax collection, he goes on to say,

"It is important to the Council's credibility and reputation that they contract out this type of work to bailiffs who treat debtors with dignity, and respect. I believe that Councils should employ their own in house bailiffs like Denbighshire Council who also have the second highest rate of council tax collection in Wales whereas Wrexham is in 10th place"

Monday, 15 September 2008

Half a century of service

Plaid's annual conference in Aberystwyth has paid tribute to a Wrecsam man who has served the party for 50 years.

Dafydd Franklin Jones, of Borras, has done every job imaginable in the party and was described in the presentation as Plaid Cymru's "cornerstone" in Wrecsam. He has been the branch's secretary, chairman and fundraiser. He's been a candidate and agent at election time and is still among the first to volunteer for leafletting, canvassing or street activities.

Without his work during the lean times Plaid has faced, we would not have enjoyed such a breakthrough in May 2008.

After receiving his award from North Wales AM Janet Ryder, he thanked his wife Rene for her help and modestly said that it was the young people that he could see in the audience that were important not oldies like him.

Plaid Cymru members from Wrecsam were out in force on the day to make sure Dafydd realised how much he's respected by his fellow Pleidwyr. Llongyfarchiadau mawr i ti a diolch i ti am dy gyfraniad arbennig dros hanner canrif!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Plaid condemns outsourcing of council jobs

Tonight's Evening Leader carries a story about the outsourcing of council jobs. The council's official response fails to recognise that Cllr Carrie Harper was, in fact, a member of the scrutiny committee that considered the report by officers and made her feelings clear at that meeting.

The service that is now being derided as inadequate has actually been praised both in the council's own magazine ("Keep up the good work!") and by service users, who gave it a 99% satisfaction rate.

 Outsourcing is a pretty word for privatisation, made worse by outsourcing across the border in Chester. 

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Dafydd Iwan

Ail etholwyd Dafydd Iwan yn Llywydd Plaid Cymru heddiw ma, curodd Dafydd arweinnydd y blaid seneddol yn San Steffan sef Elfyn Llwyd AS Meirionnydd. Llongyfarchiadau i Dafydd oddiwrthym ni Gynghorwyr Plaid Cymru Wrecsam. Edrychwn ymlaen i ddatblygu y Blaid ar lawr gwlad ac yn arbennig cael mwy o aelodau.