Friday, 31 July 2009

Respectable Fascism

The moderate Tory MEP, Edward McMillan-Scott had the Tory whip withdrawn from him for standing against Michael Kaminski, Leader of the Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS)for one of the European Parliament's Vice Presidency. The Conservatives and PiS make up the Conservative and Reformist Group (ECR) in the EP. The agreement was for Kaminski to have a free run at the VP whilst Timothy Kirkhope MEP the Tory leader in Brussels headed the new ECR Group, but because Kaminski was beaten by McMillan-Scott, Kirkhope had to give the leadership to Kaminski. McMillan- Scott gives his take on Kaminski and PiS to the Yorkshire Post.

We must all heed McMillan- Scott's call for 'respectable fascism' to be stopped.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Perks of the Job.

The new Chief Constable of North Wales will benefit from a nice package of perks worth in the region of £200,000 on appointment. This will include a salary of £126,471, a performance related bonus which is currently around £10,000, a relocation package worth £50,000 and finally free private medical insurance the value of which will probably take the perks up to the figure quoted. Clearly our new Chief Constable is not the only one to benefit from these perks as this article shows

The big question now is, who the lucky guy is...and yes it will be a guy. From my understanding there were only 2 applicants (despite the Authority paying a Recruitment Consultant a substantial amount of money to head hunt recruits). The two candidates were the Deputy Chief Constable's of Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire, both of whom required the nod from the Home Office, both got the nod, Howard Roberts the DCC of Nottinghamshire got the nod for North Wales whilst the other guy got the nod for another Chief Constable's job. The only problem is that this reduces the power of Police Authorities to select their chief Constables and apparently their members are less than happy with the process.

Incidentally Howard Roberts is or at least was a Welsh learner from Penmon, Ynys Mon, who has previously served with North Wales Police.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Saving Vestas jobs to save the environment

How often are we told that it's a choice between jobs or the environment?

But this latest dispute at Vestas involving workers at the UK's only wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight is about saving jobs that will save the environment.

The 600 workers are fighting plans by their multinational bosses to close the plant at the end of this month, just as the need for renewable energy becomes more central to reducing global warming and safeguarding all our futures.

The workers are not giving up without a fight - they have occupied the factory and have won the support of the RMT union to challenge the decision to close a profitable factory.

This is a struggle with huge symbolic importance. The banking crisis revealed finance capitalism to be little more than a rotten casino-style operation with huge rewards for failure. Now industrial capitalism is in the dock - only concerned about maximising profits. If we want to protect the environment, we will have to do it ourselves.

Also in the dock is Ed Miliband, Labour's environment minister. As one Vestas employee whose job is under threat said: “why is the government closing our only wind turbine factory down, when it says it will have 7000 wind turbines up by 2020?”

This is about saving jobs to save the environment.

What you can do:
Send messages of support from yourself or your organisation to savevestas@googlemail.com.
Send a donation from your trade union or other organisation, or make a personal donation: cheques payable to Ryde and East Wight Trades Union Council, 22 Church Lane, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 2NB
Contact energy minister Ed Miliband. His e-address is ps.ed.miliband@decc.gsi.gov.uk. His phone number in his Doncaster constituency is 01302 875 462, and at Westminster, 020 7219 4778. Flood him with calls for the Government to take over the Vestas factory and keep it producing, under new management.
Organise a visible demonstration of solidarity. Take a photo with a placard that reads “Save Vestas” and email the photo to savevestas@gmail.com.
Sign the petitions http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveVestas/ on the No.10 site and http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/press_for_change/vestas_petition_20414.html on the FoE website.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

74% of Welsh people want the troops out of Afghanistan

Paul Flynnn has had word of a damning opinion poll in tomorrow's Wales on Sunday:

The Wales on Sunday newspaper will be worth reading tomorrow.
The full details are not yet available but they have the surprising result of an opinion poll that will terrify Defence Ministers. Asked whether the troops in Afghanistan should be brought home now, 74% said 'Yes.'
The case for the continuing waste of life is collapsing. Apart from some fragile reconstruction and more children in education, everything else is deteriorating. The Western Mail will publish an article by me next week exposing the depraved thieves of Karzai's Afghan Police, human rights 'worse than the Taliban', and the diversion of $billions of aid money into the pockets of Karzai's crooks and the warlords.
The witness of Malalai Joya has been ignored by the press. She spoke in London last Thursday and published a new book. Who noticed? When the public learn the truth on this futile war, more than 90% will want to bring the troops home to safety.
It's far better to do a deal now that to retreat under duress as the Russian did from Kabul and the Americans from Saigon. It was public opinion in the USA, aghast as the returning body bags, that forced the stampede from Saigon.
After last year's recess Gordon Brown read out the names of 18 soldiers who died in the previous three months. More than that have already been killed this month. It cannot continue.


There was never a case to send troops to Afghanistan - bring them home now.

Iain Dale

Says a lot about the Tory readers of Iain Dale's blog doesn't it...and what's worrying is that this lot are likely to form the next government.

Angela Wilkins for South Clwyd?

Labour have an all female shortlist for the vacant South Clwyd seat, one of the favourites for the seat is Angela Wilkins a Labour party staffer who worked i Harriet Harman's office. Angela made the news in 2007 in connection with David Abrahams making donations of £600,000 through proxy donors. The Electoral Commission called in the Police to investigate. Ms Wilkins's was named as the ex administrator of Labour's 1000 Fundraising Club in the Daily Mail

I wonder if South Clwyd Constituency Party have any choice in this nomination or is Ms Wilkins being parachuted in (like a number of other Welsh MP's) for loyalty to senior Labour Party people like Harriet Harman?

Friday, 24 July 2009

Gogledd Norwich

Doedd canlyniad Gogledd Norwich heddiw ddim yn sioc, roeddwn i fel pawb arall yn disgwyl i'r Ceidwadwyr ennill ond doeddwn i ddim yn disgwyl gymaint o fwyafrif na 'swing' mor aruthrol a 16%.

Gwnaeth UKIP hefyll yn eitha yn dod o flaen y Blaid Werdd a wnaeth hefyd yn arbennig o dda.

Ar y llaw arall mi fydd y Rhyddfrydwyr Democrataidd ar BNP yn siomedig gydai canlyniad hefo cyfartaledd y Rh Dd i lawr i 14% a miloedd yn llai o bleidleisiau i gymharu a 2005.

Balch oedd gweld y BNP yn cael llai na 1000 o bleidleisiau a dod tu ol i'r cyn ddiplomydd, Craig Murray yn y seithfed safle.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Seremoni Dinasyddiaeth.

Ddoe mi fuas i mewn seremoni Ddinasyddiaeth yn Wrecsam lle roedd yna nifer o fobol yn cael ei derbyn i fod yn ddinasyddion Prydeinig. Cefais wadd gan fod gwraig o'm ward oedd yn dod yn wreiddiol or Aifft yn derbyn ei dinasyddiaeth ac roedd wedi rhoi gwadd i mi. Yn arwain y seremoni oedd y Maer Arwel Jones ag er fod y seremoni yn ofnadwy o Brydeinig gwnaeth Arwel job dda iawn yn ei araith o atgoffa ein dinasyddion newydd ei bod yng Nghymru, gyda'n hiaith a'n diwylliant ein hunain ac roedd hi'n amlwg fod nifer o'r dinasyddion newydd yn gwbwl ymwybodol o Gymru gyda un gwr yn diolch i Arwel yn Gymraeg am ei dystysgrif. Mae'n debyg mae beth synnodd fi fwya oedd y nifer fechan oedd yn tyngu y llw Cristnogol gyda'r mwyafrif llethol ohonynt yn gneud datganiad seciwlar...ddim fo genai ddim problem sut fath o lw mae rhywyn yn dyngu dim ond fy mod ddim yn disgwyl y nifer. Mater arall ydy cynnwys y llw i weriniaethwr fel fi, mi ddylsen ni yn yr oes sydd ohoni allu tyngu llw heb gynnwys y frenhiniaeth yn union fel y llw mae yr Heddlu yn yr Alban a Gogledd Iwerddon yn ei dyngu. Mae angen newidiadau cyfansoddiadol yng Nghymru fel bod ganddom y dewis sydd ganddynt yn yr Alban a Gogledd Iwerddon.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Tories's Candidate Selection Process.

So it has finally dawned on Nick Bourne that the Tories in Wales are represented by white middle class males. He quotes the appalling example that in the three Assembly Terms since 1999, only 3 out of 19 Conservative AM's have been women and no BME's (Black and ethnic minorities)

So Nick intends to change this at the 2011 Assembly Elections by proposing the following:

A priority list of candidates for target seats with the emphasis on getting more women and BME candidates and secondly reserving the top spot on the regional list to a woman or BME.

This is undoubtadly a laudable position to take but whether it will be acceptable to the Tory grass roots is entirely another matter. I just wonder if poor old Nick has taken on more than he can chew and whether this will lead to another attempt to unseat him (Darren Millar are you listening?),or it could get worse and will we see a Tory Peter Law standing as an independent in a Tory stronghold and winning.

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Total Politics Blog Poll 2009.

To vote in the Total Politics Blog Poll 2009 go here

Sewage explodes onto children's play area


The sewage pipe running by the children's play area in the Happy Valley just off Whitegate Road in Hightown, Wrecsam, has overflowed, leaving a trail of human waste and raw sewage.

It appears that the pipe has suffered what the experts call "a hydraulic overload" - that's too much water - because it carries sewage and flood water away from the town.

I've contacted Welsh Water who are now on the scene and the council's Streetscene operative.

UPDATE: Welsh Water say they have cleared up the immediate mess and will return when the rain stops. I will want assurances that the play areas are not contaminated with sewage.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Anti-war, pro-squaddie

This morning I was present as Wrecsam Council welcomed the 1st Queen's Dragoon Guards - the "Welsh Cavalry" - back from Afghanistan.
As someone who helped organise the first local protest against the Afghanistan war on 30 October 2001 and remains convinced that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fundamentally wrong, it wasn't a decision I took lightly.
However wrong the wars were and are, it's not the fault of the ordinary soldier who are doing the London politicians' bidding. I'm just glad they came home safely - the same cannot be said for the many thousands of others who have died needlessly out there.
The troops must get out of Afghanistan - they should never have been there in the first place.

Wrecsam anti-fascists freed after BNP lies

Three young Wrecsam anti-fascists have had charges against them dropped after the BNP failed to intimidate them off the streets. Read the full story here and an account by one of the three here

The Tories in Europe Implode!!

First day of the European Parliament and thinks go pear shaped for David Cameron as his decision to leave the centre right EPP alliance and form a new European Conservative allianace comes back to haunt him. Readers will recall that the Tories had gone into an alliance with a right wing intolerant Polish party called the Peace and Justice Party or commonly known as PiS (says it all really doesn't it!!). One of the backroom deals that formed this particular dodgy alliance was that the Poles would get the alliance's Vice Presidency who nominated a guy called Kaminsky. It was obvious for some time that some Tory MEP's were not happy that Cameron had forced them to leave the EPP and go into alliance with this homophobic right wing Polish (PiS) party. One of the Tories not impressed with these done deals was the Tories longest serving MEP, Edward McMillan-Scott who decided he'd stand against Kaminsky as an independent and won, leaving the European Conservatives the only party without a Vice President in the European Parliament. Anyway that wasn't the end of it, as you can imagine the PiS MEP's were not impressed with their Tory partners turning bandit on them, and they have forced the Tory leadership to hand the leadership of the European Conservative alliance over to the PiS leadership...further deterioration in the UK's influence in Europe.

UPDATE on BNP - When it came to taking their seats in the European Parliament Griffin and Brons were firmly seated at the back with empty seats either side after the Democratic Unionist MEP refused to be seated next to Andrew Brons. Now the DUP are not exactly well known for their tolerance and understanding but to shun the BNP to that extent just goes to show how far out on a limb Griffin and Brons are.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

North Wales Police Bonus and Special Priority Payments

Please see below tables outlining amounts of Bonus and Special Priority Payments made to Police Officers and Support staff of north Wales Police 2008/09. Again I make no judgement on these payments except to say that these are on top of the officer's salary. The purpose of this particular blog is to inform.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Llongyfarchiadau i Sainsbury's

Gwahoddodd rheolwr archfarchnad Sainsbury's, Plas Coch, Wrecsam, nifer o Gymry Cymraeg, yn cynnwys Mrs Jones! i gyfarfod i drafod sut i hyrwyddo y defnydd o'r Gymraeg yn yr archfarchnad ac hefyd hybu gwerthu cynnyrch Cymreig. Roedd agwedd bositif y rheolwr Nick tuag at yr iaith wedi gneud argraff ar bawb oedd yno... llongyfarchiadau a diolch iddo.

Ar y llaw arall siomedig oedd agwedd dwy o'r banciau mawr yn Wrecsam sef y Nat West ar HSBC. Chwilio oeddwn i am ffurflenni 'archebion parhaol' neu Standing Orders. Doedd gan y Nat West ddim a doedda nhw ddim yn mynd i gael rai chwaith oherwydd fod yna ddim gofyn amdanynt. Roedd yr HSBC chydig bach a mwy o gydymdeimlad tuag at y galw am wasanaeth Cymraeg, ond eto doedd ganddy nhw ddim ffurflenni 'archebion parhaol' ond mi fuasent yn gyrru rai i fi...gawn ni weld.

Mae hyn yn dystiolaeth bellach bod angen Deddf Iaith newydd ar gyfer cwmniau preifat, mae'r esiamplau yma'n dangos yn glir mae chydig o gwmniau tebyg i Sainsbury's sydd yna, mae'r nifer helaeth yn debycach i Nat West a HSBC. Tydy cynnig gwasanaeth Cymraeg yn wirfoddol ddim yn gweithio...mae angen deddfwriaeth.

Hwyrach fod darllenwyr y blog yma yn cofio ryw 'spat' bach rhwng y fi ag Ian Lucas ynglyn a'i adroddiad blynyddol uniaith Saesneg ag ymateb haerllug yr AS i nghwyn i. Wedyn cychwynais ddeiseb ar wefan y Cynulliad i newid Adran 6 o Deddf yr Iaith fel fod ASau yn dod o dan adain y Ddeddf. Mae Pwyllgor Deisebu y Cynulliad wedi derbyn y ddeiseb ac wedi gofyn am farn gyfreithiol ynglyn a newid Adran 6 a mi fydd yn ol o flaen y Pwyllgor, fis Medi... dwi'n eitha hyderus o lwyddiant.

Monday, 13 July 2009

BNP fails to find allies to form new bloc in Europe

Good news for all that the BNP cannot find partners to join with them to form a group within the European Parliament and the reason why:

Their plans to forge links with other parties, such as Italy's Northern League, failed because other Right-wing groupings feared that the BNP's controversial reputation would lead to isolation.


You must be seriously nasty if other nasty European Fascist parties like Hungary's Jobbik, France;s National Front and Italy's Northern League don't want to play with you because of you're reputation.

For the full story in the Telegraph go here

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Wrexham MP's 'cheap point scoring' over Venture


Curious coverage of this in the Leader - the story has appeared online twice, here and here, in a matter of days. Same story, different headline.

For the record, this is how we responded to Ian Lucas's initial press release:
Wrexham's MP has been accused of trying to score cheap political points by attacking Plaid Cymru.

Plaid has two councillors in Caia Park and they expressed surprise that Labour's Ian Lucas had opted to attack Plaid on the matter of funding for The Venture playground. They said they visited parents and staff at The Venture just last week and have tried to keep party politics out of the matter.

Plaid councillor for Whitegate Marc Jones said: "Ian Lucas really has to get his facts right before he starts making these unsubstantiated attacks. He makes much of a pledge* before we were elected to end the £8,000 grant that Caia Park Community Council gives to The Venture each year as an open-ended subsidy. All other bodies applying for funding from the community council have to make a detailed case for what is being funded - The Venture shouldn't be any different.

"We have never mentioned The Venture's funding from Wrexham County Borough Council - the process for this funding was already ongoing before we were elected. So he is mistaken in his claims and I would urge him to withdraw his remarks."

He added: "Everyone accepts that, due to greedy bankers, there will be less money in the public sector in coming years. Does Mr Lucas think The Venture should be immune from cuts in the public sector? Does he think The Venture cannot make savings because during our visit last week Malcolm King told us that could make 10-20% cuts if needed. In fact, savings have already been identified. Not for the first time, it seems Mr Lucas is out of touch with the reality on the ground."

Cllr Carrie Harper, who represents Queensway, said: "For the past two months we've been promised financial details from Malcolm King. We're constantly being told The Venture has no money to run its core services but we know that the council this year is giving it £86,000 for just that purpose. On top of that there is three years' funding amounting to £316,000 from Communities First, which includes core funding. "

"Yesterday Ian Lucas was in the paper blaming the council leader, today he blames Plaid - perhaps the blame lies closer to home."

Both Plaid councillors stressed that decisions about funding for children's services had been made by officers and the entire process had started before they were elected. They said: "To try to score cheap political points on this matter may suit Ian Lucas's agenda but won't help the children of Caia Park one bit."

Mr Lucas also criticised Plaid Cymru councillor Arfon Jones, who is the lead member for children and young people. He responded: "Ian Lucas tries to make this out to be a Plaid vendetta against The Venture but the truth is that The Venture is one of many organisations subject of a new Commissioning Strategy. This was first mooted in November 2007 - six months before we were even elected as councillors. All the other organisations co-operated with the Council and provided the information requested months ago but Malcolm King and The Venture have failed to co-operate. We have always said there is no need for the Venture to close, their own returns to the Charity Commissions shows their income to be £500,000 a year.”

Cllr Arfon Jones, who will challenge Ian Lucas at the next General Election, added: "This attack by Lucas is politically motivated and is the start of his fight to retain his seat and his £94,000 salary. Ian Lucas knows that Plaid Cymru’s excellent result in the recent European election makes his position extremely precarious and vulnerable. This attack on us has nothing to do with the welfare of children but all to do with the welfare of Ian Lucas.”




* Plaid's pre-election (April 2008) leaflet in Caia stated:

For the lack of £30,000 Queens Park Youth Club has been forced to close. Many people will have fond memories of it as a place where they met, socialised and perhaps had their first kiss.
£30,000 is a comparatively small amount to ensure a place for our youngsters to meet up safely, socialise and engage with others in their community. If we compare value for money with The Venture, which last year spent over £400,000 on 214 children, we get some perspective.
Last year Caia Park Community Council, Communities First and the Caia Park Partnership all donated money to The Venture but couldn’t save the youth club.
Why is The Venture considered more of a priority than our youth club?
Why is our community council the only one in Wrexham that gives it money when it is a facility that takes referrals from the whole of Wrexham?
Our community council is Labour controlled and the Venture is run by Labour councillor Malcolm King.
When Plaid Cymru community councillors are elected in May, we will end the open-ended subsidy of the Venture and instead invest in our community and our children.


It is quite clear that our pre-election leaflet refers to the £8,000 grant The Venture receives from the community council rather than Wrexham Council's funding, which still amounts to £188,000 a year.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Auditor General Critical of Communities First.

Jeremy Coleman the Welsh Auditor General has published a critical report of the Communities First Programme in Wales saying that the Welsh Assembly Government:
"...cannot demonstrate how far Communities First is meeting...its objectives."
The objectives of Communities First is to reduce poverty and helping to improve the lives of people who live in the poorest areas. In another critical comment the report states, "WAG has not monitored effectively the impact of the programme."

As readers of this blog will recall I wrote to the Auditor General some time ago to complain of Caia Park Communities First wasting £35,000 plus on producing a book the Wisdom of Caia Park and distributing free to all households in the area.

Since 2001, the Welsh Assembly Government have spent £214 million on 188 Communities First areas across all 22 Local Authorities in Wales. Ask yourselves do we have more children in poverty now than we had in 2001, I think the answer is yes.

I am very pleased that the Auditor General has come to the same conclusion as I and many others have about whether this massively expensive programme has delivered lasting benefits to our poorest communities.

Gwersyllt Community Council Website.

Just been to the launch of the Gwersyllt Community Council Website at the Resource Centre.This website provides details of services provided within the community as well as council business. It is one of the very few Community council websites in Wales and the first in Wrecsam. Anyone who has any suggestions or additions feel free to contact the Clerk Keith Bryan via the contacts link from the website. The next stage is to translate the website into Welsh.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

New flats will be for students say Wrexham FC bosses

From the Evening Leader 8/7/09, following Plaid Cymru Press Release.

WREXHAM FC bosses have denied, in the strongest possible terms, that new flats to be built as part of The Racecourse redevelopment could be rented out to anyone other than students.

The move comes after Plaid Cymru county councillor Arfon Jones said he would be writing to chief executive Paul Retout after concerns were raised with him that some of the 840 planned apartments might be rented out to the private sector if terms with Glyndwr could not be agreed.

But both Mr Retout and Wrexham chairman Geoff Moss have flatly denied any such plan exists, and said their relationship with the University was as good as it could be. In April, Wrexham Council's planning committee approved plans by Wrexham Village to build 521 flats and then a further 319 flats in the two-phase scheme along Crispin Lane which club bosses have said will secure the future of Wrexham FC.

Mr Retout said: "Basically we have got a very good working relationship with them and will be working on a reservation agreement together.

"It's part of the planning requirement that the flats are just for students, so it's required by law and would be illegal to do otherwise.

"We have worked so hard with this development – to have someone spreading rumours that act against us is not helpful."

Speaking about the potential rental cost of each flat he said: "New standard accommodation at Bangor University is £103 a week. It is not going to be in that region, but we are talking about a brand new development with state of the art rooms."

Chairman Geoff Moss said: "We are on really good terms with the university – I could not see how the relationship could be better – and I think it is a case of somebody trying to make a political noise."

He added no discussions as to rental prices had yet been conducted with Glyndwr, and added: "We'll sit down with the university at a later date and discuss it with them."

Cllr Jones said he would be writing to Mr Retout after concerns were raised with him that the flats might be rented out to "other organisations" or the private sector if terms could not be agreed between Wrexham Village Ltd, the company set up to develop the project, and Glyndwr University

Councillors hit back at MP's new claim over Wrexham Venture funding

Article from Evening Leader's Website written from a press release by Ian Lucas MP and responses from Plaid Cymru Councillors in Wrecsam

WREXHAM'S MP has hit out again over funding for a playground in the town – this time attacking Plaid Cymru County Councillors

Ian Lucas has already accused Wrexham Council of delays in setting up meetings between himself and the authority to discuss the future of the Venture, in Caia Park.

Now he has turned his attention on Plaid Cymru's county councillors who last week claimed the Venture was not in danger of closure despite claims to the contrary by the centre's management.

Mr Lucas said: "These councillors say they have given assurances about the Venture – but the only assurance they give is that they "believe" the Venture has the money it needs to operate.

"Yet the Venture cannot trade insolvently and much of its funding is ring fenced, so it cannot be accessed simply to meet any running costs.
"Plaid Cymru councillors in Caia Park said in their election leaflets in 2008 that they would cut the Venture's funding.

"The lead member for children and young people is a Plaid Cymru councillor (Arfon Jones), and although he receives a special responsibility allowance for this post he has not yet spoken out about the issue but left officers to face the media instead.

"Cutting the Venture's funding in the way Plaid Cymru have proposed will ultimately lead to the closure of the Venture or cuts in the service it provides."

Cllr Arfon Jones, who will challenge Lucas at the next General Election, added: "This attack by Lucas is politically motivated and is the start of his fight to retain his seat.

"Ian Lucas knows that Plaid Cymru's excellent result in the recent European election makes his position extremely precarious and vulnerable

"This attack on us has nothing to do with the welfare of children but all to do with the welfare of Ian Lucas."

Whitegate councillor Marc Jones said: "We have never mentioned the Venture's funding from Wrexham Council - the process for this funding was already ongoing before we were elected. So he is mistaken in his claims and I would urge him to withdraw his remarks."

Cllr Carrier Harper added: "Yesterday Ian Lucas was blaming the council leader; today he blames Plaid – perhaps the blame lies closer to home."

Source - Evening Leader 8/7/09.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Members Allowances - North Wales Police Authority

Please see Allowances paid to members of the North Wales Police Authority. The different bands relate to distance and travelling time to authority meetings at Colwyn Bay, the close a member lives the less the allowance etc.

The Allowance paid to Councillors is on top of the allowances paid to them by their respective Local Authorities.

Again I make no judgement the information is provided in the interests of openess and transparancy and as the information is not yet published on the Authority's website. The figures quoted do NOT include expenses.

NORTH WALES POLICE AUTHORITY
MEMBERS ALLOWANCES
WEF 1/9/08

Cllr Chris Bithell
6,744.00

Cllr Peter Pemberton
6,744.00

Cllr Ian Gunning
6,135.00

Cllr Graham Rees
6,135.00

Cllr Gerry Craddock
7,359.00

Cllr Ian Roberts (Chair of Authority)
23,925.00

Mr Douglas Wynne
9,201.00
Primary Chair (Professional Standards Committee)

Mrs Enid Rowlands
9,201.00
Primary Chair (Performance Review Committee)

Ms Morag Webb
6,744.00

Cllr Charles W Jones
6,744.00

Mr Chris Drew
9,201.00
Primary Chair (Audit Committee)

E Alun Lewis
13,251.00
Vice Chair of Authority

Cllr Peter Rogers
6,744.00

Cllr Selwyn Griffiths
11,037.00
Primary Chair (Human Resources Committee)

Mr Roger Hebden
6,135.00

Mr Richard P Hughes
7,359.00

The Parachute Brigade

Labour's problems with finding a candidate in Arfon have been noted - the talk is of parachuting in a candidate from outside the constituency. Bad enough in a notionally marginal Labour seat but they're also having problems with finding a local candidate for a previously safe seat in Clwyd South.
Just nine months to go before the election campaign gets under way and no sign of a candidate.
Will Labour be parachuting in someone in to replace Martyn Jones as well?

Wrexham Local Health Board.

Before its abolition/amalgamation I thought it would be interesting to see the costs of running the actual Board...Non Executive Directors etc. The total amount of allowances for 2008/09, was approx £100,000, broken down as follows:

T.G.Roberts (Chair) £34,050.
Eric Roberts £1,793
Marjorie Dykins £5,793
John Gilbert £5,793
Shan Jones £5,793
Sally Rees £5,793
G. Seys Llewelyn £5,793
James Wild £5,793
Paul Myres £5,793
J.R.A.Davies £5,793
Dr Phil Alstead £5,793

There are other members of this Board who did not claim or receive any allowances or expenses, amongst them is the two local authority representatives on the LHB, Cllrs Joan Lowe and Mike Edwards.

The purpose of this blog is not to criticise or pass judgement on these claims and allowances but to inform readers of these facts which are not publicly available without making a Freedom of Information Act request of the LHB.

It will also be interesting to see the running costs of the new North Wales LHB and to see what the actual savings will be!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

UKIP's True Colours!

Nigel Farage the Leader of UKIP's 13 MEP's has formed an alliance of 30 MEP's called the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group. Now what is worrying is that UKIP are described as the most moderate party in the group, which makes one think who the hell are the others.

Well the second largest group is Italy's Lega Nord party with 9 MEP's which is described as anti immigrant and xenophobic...the leader of these charmers suggested opening fire on African boats calling Africans, Bingo Bongoes.

Also in the group is Denmark's 'Dansk Folkeparti or the Danish People's Party an anti immigration 'racist' party with 2 MEP's.

The Dutch party SGP has one MEP which is a Calvinist Protestant Conservative party which wants, "where it wants a government totally based on the Bible."

Another nice tolerant party friends of UKIP are the True Finns with 2 MEP's another anti immigration intolerant party.

Finally we have the Greek LAOS party who are anti semetic and who describe Auschwitz and Dachau as 'myths'

So there we have it, the reality of what UKIP really stand for!

(Source - Agoravox & Wikipedia)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Playing fields protected

Yesterday's vote in favour of a Plaid AM’s measure to protect playing fields will make it impossible for councils in Wales to ignore local people's views.

In the past, we've seen previous Wrexham councils try to ignore public opinion and build on the Nine-Acre Field - this was only saved by a determined campaign. Other sites weren't so lucky.

The Assembly measure is the result of a two-year campaign for a new law to protect playing fields

Dr Dai Lloyd AM is seeking to introduce new legislation to the Assembly that would place a duty on local authorities to consult communities before selling any playing fields for development.

He said: “This measure is incredibly important to communities fighting to save their playing fields. All too often in the past they have felt let down by the current process because it doesn’t empower them to influence decision making at an early stage. If made law, my measure will enable true and meaningful consultation with the public, at a point in the process when the public can genuinely influence the decision.

“Local authorities tell us that they want to be more citizen focussed. This measure will set a precedent for true and meaningful engagement with citizens. This more open and upfront system will, in my mind, improve the standing of local authorities and their councillors with the residents they represent.”