Thursday, 24 May 2018

Democracy denied

Citizens' Advice services under threat 

A motion to last night's full council by the Labour Group calling for £50,000 to be given to Citizens' Advice to keep it open was effectively blocked last night.
 The motion, which had the support of Plaid Cymru, was an attempt to provide funding for a vital independent advice service that is more needed than ever at a time of cuts and benefit changes. Wrexham is the only council in Wales that does not fund Citizens' Advice and there are real concerns that the service will have to close without this funding.
 The legal advice given to the chair stated that the motion involved a financial commitment and would therefore have to go before the Executive Board - the very body that decided to stop the funding in the first place.
 So we have a ridiculous situation where the 52 councillors on the full council do not even have an indicative vote on a matter that is clearly important. Their views are irrelevant while the views of 10 councillors representing barely half of all the councillors are paramount.
The only people cheering this denial of democracy will be the rogue landlords, dodgy salesmen and bad bosses - these are the people held to account by independent advice services such as Citizens' Advice when tenants, workers and customers get a bad deal.
 Had Plaid Cymru councillors been able to speak, we would have recommended the council pay the money from the tens of thousands we've saved over the past seven months by not having a chief executive officer.

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