Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Anglesey Council's problems with Freedom of Information requests (updated)

The Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) every year publishes what it calls the Town Hall Rich List, whereby, through the process of sending Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to each and every council in the country, it compiles a list of all town hall employees who receive more than £100,000 a year. The latest edition of their report, detailing town hall salaries for the period 2008-09 (when Derrick Jones was still MD of IOACC) has the following entry for Anglesey County Council:

click to enlarge

Yes - that's right: the IOACC was one of only 10 out of 430 UK councils which refused to reply to the Taxpayers Alliance FoI request. In a write-up of the affair in the Holyhead and Anglesey Mail last month, a IOACC spokesman said that they had disclosed the salary of Derrick Jones to the TPA but not details of his severance package (thought to be in the region of £180,000) as this was covered by confidentiality. If so, why has the TPA not published the salary details? Indeed the TPA claims to have still not heard back from Anglesey despite having lodged an official appeal for them to disclose the information.

This is not the only instance of Anglesey County Council refusing to deal correctly with Freedom of Information requests. An Anglesey resident has been in touch with the Druid to relate his experiences in using an FoI request to ascertain the salary of the present MD, David Bowles, the length of his contract, and what profit is paid to SOLACE, the company through which Mr Bowles is contracted. After posting his initial FoI request, the Council has a statutory duty within 20 days to either furnish the information or, if they believe exemptions to release apply, issue a Refusal Notice. So far, despite a number of email reminders from the applicant, and more than 30 days over the legal maximum the council has still not responded with either. The applicant takes up the tale:

"What seems to be confounding the council is that they have, on the evidence I have, entered into a confidentiality clause with Solace Enterprises, such that the salary of Bowles would remain secret. Solace represents chief exeuctives and senior managers, and Solace Enterprises is a spin-off company providing executives to local authorities.  IOACC admit Bowles is directly employed by Solace, to which IOACC pay a monthly fee for his service. Solace has attracted widespread criticism for inflating chief executives' pay to very high levels.  It is quite likely that it was not possible for the Council to contract themselves out of their obligations under FoIA 2000 in this way, but with the Audit regulations now in place, it seems impossible for them to hide it any longer.  Still, 54 days since the request - 34 days over the legal maximum, they have not replied nor given a Refusal Notice.  It seems that their concern is that Solace might sue IOACC if they breach the confidentiality clause - a classic catch-22 situation that really seems to have them in a proper twist. The Information Commissioner's Office is now investigating the case, and has initially (informally) agreed on the evidence he has that the Council are in breach of the Act, and their solicitor does not seem to understand properly the requirements of FoIA 2000.  This is quite alarming in itself, but the steadfast ignoring of the law in not responding in any form for nearly twice the statutory period so far is more so.  I think it absurd that a statutory position should have any secrecy about the remuneration it attracts.  So, I think the readers may be interested to learn about this story whereby some highly-paid people at the Council have decided that it is perfectly correct for public positions to have a shroud of secrecy cast over them.  There is some chance such a concept is legal.  But is it morally correct?  Not in my mind."

The Druid wholeheartedly agrees. We are currently being asked to bear one of the largest Council Tax rises in the UK whilst at the same time the Council is pursuing a programme of closing local schools and leisure services. Under these circumstances, the question of how much of our taxpayers money is being spent on the salaries upper management of the council is a perfectly legitimate question - are we getting value for money? We don't know because the council is happy to flout Freedom on Information legislation and not tell us. 
UPDATE: David Bowles was interviewed on the BBC flagship Today programme on Radio 4 last month about town hall salaries and severance packages. He is quizzed repeatedly on his own salary by Sarah Montague but steadfastly refuses to answer - but does admit he received a £300,000 pay off when he left Lincolnshire Council. You can hear the full interview here (starting around 3 mins 47 secs in).
UPDATE 2: As a commenter points out below, even Katherine Kerswell, the President of SOLACE believes that Council Chief Executives should publish details of their salaries and expenses - accordingly what are you waiting for, IOACC?


Anonymous said...

This is just another example of the IOACC's
unlawful activities. Lynn Ball and her whole legal
department should be sacked.

Ieuan bach said...

What does the WAG Minister for Local Government say about this? Is he aware of the situation?

Anonymous said...

Ieuan bach: no, I don't think he is. I think someone should write to tell him.

Gwynt y Mor said...

Mind you, this doesn't fill me with confidence:

From the WAG web press release pages, April 2010:

"Minister tells local government of tough challenge ahead.

The Minister for Business and Budget, Jane Hutt, has addressed the annual conference of SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives). "

Guess she doesn't see much wrong with SOLACE, then?

Anonymous said...

You can write to every minister and every politician that suckles in the Welsh Assembly and I can tell you now, they don't care, as far as they are concerned, Lynn Ball and her crew, are doing a splendid job, letting us all down, well, isn't that why we employed them in the first place.!

There can never be any real direction and clarity in IOACC while they are constantly ignoring the plight and the pleas of the people.
The Freedom of Information Act as well as the hUman Rights Act does NOT apply to this Council, they are a law unto themselves, accountable to no one, and are allowed to drive a coach and horses through any complaint that any memeber of the council or public have against them.

In this case Druid, your case is sunk, the Council will always have their own way, irrespective of what we write here, Mc Gregor and his cronies always have their own way.

Hogyn Borth

Up the Swanny said...

"The Freedom of Information Act as well as the hUman Rights Act does NOT apply to this Council"

Oh, yes it does! They You are right to infer that they THINK it doesn't apply, but apply these regulations and laws do, and in a few days, there will be an outcome.

A letter to the Minister for Local Government (that's Carl Sergeant, Labour), has recently been issued.

Anonymous said...

Aha! He likes the idea of threatening elected members with financial penalties, doesn't he? Listen about 6 minutes in - he mentions the same kind of drivel that he was threatening in his letter about 'complaints' in yesterday's posts. Except, on the BBC, he applies the concept to 'misusing council money', not recovering compensation money from members if the Council management isn't doing its staff health safety and welfare function properly.

stats man said...

I agree, we should know what the pay of the Chief Executive is, as does interestingly the President of Solace (see their website).

It would appear the the Information Commissioner for Wales has still to reach a final conclusion on the complaint made to them, and we await the outcome with interest.

I have argued for some time that a private company that provides the function of a Council and therefore is paid for by tax payers should (for at least that element) be subject to the same Freedom of Information legislation as public authorities.

Anonymous said...

Financial Penalties and threats are all the qualities of an incapabale Council, and I still say, to this day, that the Human Rights Act and Freedom Of Information Act does NOT apply to this Council because they work AGAINST the people and NOT for the People.

The Minister for Local Government, Carl Sergeant, has no RIGHT or POWER to investigate breaches of these acts, he is like an old woman with her mouth full of treacle toffee, not a pretty sight, because they both have no teeth.

The Human Rights Act does not apply to IOACC, because we all know they are a law to themselves. The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to IOACC because they will only tell YOU what YOU think YOU should know, and that's only after it has been checked and double checked by their lawyers and other scum they use to destroy the Welsh People.


Anonymous said...

IOACC response to my FOI request was to delay responding until after I made a complaint to the FOI comissioner/ombudsman. The FOI comissioner wrote to the council about the matter at which point the council promptly sent me the information I had requested, (well half of it), thus enabling them to inform the Comissioner that they had complied with FOI act. The Comissioner accordingly found that they supplied information as requested and chose to ignore the fact that IOACC had NOT sent it until I made the complaint to the comissioner.
Also noticable in another complaint I made to the Ombudsman was the fact that statements I made were considered to be 'claims' (despite documentary evidence provided) and the IOACC's statements were considered to be 'facts'. The Ombudsman found in IOACC's favour as they hadn't breached 'the rules' (what rules you may ask - as did I - without receiving the statutory information as to what the rules are) - upshot is that the Ombudsman is not able to respond to 'duty of care' complaints against the council - this has to be dealt with by the (very) expensive route of the civil courts, open those that can afford to do so and not to your 'average Joe'.


Anonymous said...

BTW - Does anyone know the outcome of the directive in the Auditors report about the 'situation' regarding the access track round the house in Amlwch that was purchased by IOACC. The Auditors report stated that this situation should be resolved 'within three months' of the publication of the report. I haven't heard or seen a thing about this since.
(comments from Auditors report are from memory - I will check up)

Anonymous said...

The access track, probably " adopted" by the Council, then " GIVEN" to the new owner(s) as per standard access and highways adoptions rules as laid out by the Gestapo in the Council of Betrayal.

Don't be so worried, I've been a victim of that con, highway and access being " adopted" by whole comittee, then "given" away to an English Developer. This is standard, it's called asset stripping, and torture, they torture the asset owner by giving it away.

For torture, see wikipedia for crimes against humanity, there's a particular paragraph there that refers to this Council.

Oh, and as the Auditors, they are there to ensure taht the Councillors comply with paragraph 1 above, the rubber stamping of the giving away of assets, and their stripping by IOACC. Doesn't the tank farm in Rhosgoch ring any bells, all the assets there were stripped, as per paragraph 1 above, the con of giving and taking away, the Anglesey way.

Pilot Boat

confused said...

How can the council adopt the track, making it a public highway (Highways Act 1980) and then give it away ?

Anonymous said...

David Bowles deserves every penny he gets, they are all covered in blood, the blood of the people he has betrayed and allowed to die due to his ineffectiveness, his lack of ability and leadership, I hope he counts his money well, for they are indeed the money due to a traitor. What will he be remembered for? For gagging the people that were elected to represent the people!
He will be remembered for turning the council AGAINST the wishes of the Welsh People, for sitting back and allowing Democracy to be hindered, free speech to be gagged and for allowing the fools we have there, the opportunity to carry on with their policies of ethnic cleansing and asset stripping.

We will remember you, for covering up malfeasance, for covering up corruption, for declining to listen to the people of Anglesey, for ignoring complaints, for squandering opportunities to clean the shit out of the Council of Betrayal, we will remember you, for coming here, and promising what you delivered, nothing. We will remember you for being part of a freak show, a bearded lady, that should had been put in the bin, we will remember you, for losing jobs, we will remember you for allowing the immigrants to take over our jobs, our homes, and we will remember you, when you take your wages, and we have to live on handouts, the left overs from that overladen filled table called IOACC, we will remember you for being a TRAITOR to the Welsh People, I hope every blood soaked penny you receive, eventually chokes you.

Huw Terry

Anonymous said...

speak to legal department of IOACC, ask them about Amlwch.

Pilot Boat

confused said...

What about Amlwch in particular should I ask them about ?

Anonymous said...

Ask about the road that was built by a Welsh Family, then " adopted" the given away to an English Developer, there shouldn't be a problem, except, they won't tell you, as they are too frightened to talk about it, ask the committee instead, they were there and one of them is a big gun now....

Pilot Boat

Anonymous said...

Best of all ask Peter Rogers or Goronwy Parry they know..........

Pilot Boat

confused said...

Why don't you tell us about it, maybe you can explain how they did it, so others can avoid it happening to them.

Anonymous said...

Ask Clive McGregor or David Bowles, they know, they cover it up....that's what they get paid for, hiding things, playing games, destroying Welsh Families.......

Pilot Boat

confused said...

No I'm asking you Pilot Boat, you seem to know the facts, let's us here them.

Anonymous said...

Happen to them??? it happened to one family and it should NEVER have happened1 do you think it's standard practice then to do this? we call it ethnic cleansing, what do you call it? A mistake by Joskins??

Pilot Boat

Anonymous said...

I say, Druid, some of these posts are bordering on anti English racism don't you think?

Don't keep deleting them they are a valuable insight into the thinking of the majority on Anglesey.

confused said...

How can I know, I'm waiting for you Pilot Boat to tell us the facts.

Anonymous said...

"they are a valuable insight into the thinking of the majority on Anglesey."

Are they? They seem to me to be merely the views of a couple of people. It's just as intolerant to say the "majority" of Anglesey folk have this view as it is for any one person to say they hate such-and-such an 'other'.

Let's not go down this tired route, please. Stick to the topic under discussion, which is why a statutory public position has secrecy applied to it.

Anonymous said...

The topic under discussion is the lack of clarity over David Bowles secrecy over his dosh, his dosh, not mine... I work hard for mine..he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

The valuable insight into the thinking of the majority of the people of Anglesey is that they are all fed up of being treated like fools.. is that enough insight for you.

The other valuable insight into the thinking of the majority of the people of Anglesey is that we the indigenous Welsh People are NOT treated the same.

The other valuable insight into the thinking of the majority of the people of Anglesey is that there is no hope and no future for the young people.

The other valuable insight into the thinking of the majority of the people of Anglesey is that Democracy and Free speech is being thwarted and taken away by an incapabale Government, the Councillors have been gagged, and the Officers are dictating policies that are destroying the majority of the people of Anglesey.

We need Democracy and Free speech is the small voice of the majority of the people of Anglesey.

We want freedom, and Human Rights is the cry from the majority of the people of Anglesey.

Pilot Boat

Anonymous said...

The above is for the benefit of I say Druid, posted 17.01.. this is what the majority of the people of Anglesey want is only the tip of a very large iceberg, created by a political system that put the people of Anglesey LAST!

Pilot Boat.

stats man said...

For Information - Key Statistics for Anglesey April 2008 from Welsh Assemble.

Of population of Ynys Môn in 2006, place of birth - 67.6% wales, 29.8% other UK, elsewhere in EU 1.4 %, non EU 1.2%.

Anonymous said...

Number of people being shafted by a useless council who just won't change: 100%

The Druid of Anglesey said...

For the record I agree with Anon 17:07.

Anonymous said...

For the record I agree to disagree.... I want to know why the Human Rights act doesn't apply to IOACC.

Anonymous said...

Number of people who want to know how much Bowles earns 100% ..number of people who think the Human Rights does NOT apply to them..100%, the number of people who have no future in Anglesey 100%

Anonymous said...

The number of people who believe there is no Democracy or Free Speech in Anglesey 100%.

The number of People who know that Bowles and his crew are reading this tonight 100%

The number of people who believe that David Bowles and Clive McGregor are poor value for money for the people of Anglesey..100%

Anonymous said...

I say, Druid, If you keep deleting the most bigoted posts then you give a false impression of the opinions of the people posting here. Its censorship don'cha know. If a number of people feel, as they clearly do, that there is an anti Welsh establishment in Ynys Mon it isn't up to you to remove those posts because of intemperate language.

Quite clearly it is unlikely that we will ever know whether racist bigots form the majority in Ynys Mon (I'm not expecting a yougov poll anytime soon) but "Let's not go down this tired route please" (17.07) is not the answer.

Remember in 2005 Eurig Wynne "Borrowed" slogans from Cymuned ( the people who painted ENGLISH OUT on Holyhead embankment) to fight Plaid's campaign in Ynys Mon.

He did better than Dylan Rees.

Anonymous said...

The number of Councillors who are too afraid to sign a petition to have a vote of confidence in David Bowles 100%

The number of Councillors who are wandering around like lost sheep and have no idea what they are doing 100%

The number of people who think that David Bowles's position as Managing Director is untenable 100%

Anonymous said...

Exactly where does this English Out and David Bowles salary fit in? Is it because David Bowles has been found out to be a con man, who by circumstance has found himself on a nice wedge, sitting in his ivory tower, being fed tea and biscuits and allowed to Lord it over all he surveys?

Eurig Wynne did the right thing, he wrote what he thought was right, the racist bigots you mention are not bigots, they are victims, victims of a system that has constantly bled them dry, we don't want sympathy, all we want as a Welsh People is the right to be treated fairly and equally, we never had that on Anglesey.

The majority are submissive and are kept silent by a reign of terror, that comes from the offices of David Bowles.

Even, our Councillors are gagged, and they are terrified of speaking out, against injustice, about concerns, about complaints, because no one there cares. David Bowles's idea of corporate management is to threaten and bully, to close down and pull his inner circle close to him, any complaints or freedom of information requests are dealt a savage stinging rebuke, to question him is to question his intelligence and integrity, both of which are lacking.

So why is he still here, because he is the only one the Welsh Assembly have got to sort this pile out, be it in the interest of the English or the Welsh, one way or another something has got to give, yet not one of our so called Councillors are willing to challenge his authority, or question his integrity, why? because they, the Councillors know that David Bowles has a long memory, friends in high places and a scum filled legal department to protect his every move and action.

So Eurig Wynne you were right then, and you're right today.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Let us remember that the vast majority of IOACC councillors and staff are Welsh, Anglesey residents. The previous MD, Derrick Jones, was also Welsh. I personally don't believe that the council purposefully victimises any residents because of their origin or ethnicity.

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. I think this whole tirade about the Council being anti-Welsh people on Anglesey is a complete red-herring; an utter nonsense!

The matter at hand is lack of accountability to the citizens (whatever their ethnic origin and language of choice)and council tax payers of Anglesey by the Council executive.

Surely if this situation continues much longer the Welsh Assembly will have to intervene directly.

stats man said...

I suggest we follow the example of Shropshire, another rural area, and abolish the smaller council's, maybe the Welsh Assembly should employ Carolyn Downs to advise them. But I'll stop there as I'm straying off the subject of this post.

Anonymous said...

For all the trouble he is is causing and for being David Bowles's Puppet, Clive McGregors. Thirty piece's of silver, amount to £40,639 Per Annum + 40np per mile travel allowance + £120 overnight stay in cardiff + £28 Day Subsistence!!

Anonymous said...

I have had dealings with IOACC with regard to FOI and Personal Data requests strangely enough.

I complained to the ICO in 2007 it took nearly nine months for the ICO to allocate an officer to the case, Three extra documents were provided and then came a long period of lies and obfuscation. IOACC said documents had all been provided; ICO closed the case. I asked for a review by the ICO on the grounds that I hadn't received the said documents. Long period of delay, Review upheld my appeal and returned to IOACC to ask for copies of documents and proof of them being provided. This time after long delay IOACC acknowledged that documents had not been provided (We lied?) but that there were reasons for not providing them. ICO refuted reasons for not providing them and advised that they should be released. No documents forthcoming.
Long delay second appeal for review to ICO; upheld once again. Eventually a new case officer investigates discrepency between IOACC accounts and accounts of another local government establishment. Claim emerges that the requested documents had been destroyed before they were requested in 2007. Comparison of letters finds that the documents were still in existence in 2009.
I request that ICO prosecutes for unlawful destruction of documents.
ICO sends in an investigator to interview Head of Services and Head of other responsible body.
Final letter from ICO "AS you may be aware in order for any criminal investigation to go forward the investigators have to be certain that the evidence would indicate that there is a likelyhood of conviction and the courts would have to consider that, beyond all reasonable doubt, that person was guilty of an offence. In a section 77 investigation we would have to prove that information was withheld or destroyed with the intention of frustrating that request and as outlined above we would have to bring an action within 6 months of the offence being committed"

They go on to say that, without a record of the destruction of the documents they are unable to say who was responsible for that destruction and, anyway, the offence was "timed out".

So there you have it; a blueprint for the conduct of Local Authorities in Ynys Mon;

First break the law.
Second Hide the evidence.
Third Delay all answers.

BINGO--- You're in the clear.

Oh and I forgot; recruit your local AM to help you out.

Request for documentary evidence from ASSEMBLY perhaps with regard to AM's dealings?

FOI request refused.
Request for review by ASSEMBLY COMMISSION?
Refusal upheld on public interest consideration.

"What we now know about the history of J’s dealings with various public bodies inevitably attracts sympathy. It is clear, in view of that history, why J’s suspicions have been raised, even though they are not based on any direct evidence. There is a public interest argument in favour of disclosure which would not exist if his suspicion had not been provoked by his experience in pursuing his grievance to date. However, I do not regard this factor as being at all weighty. It is clear that J’s allegations of the response to his request being part of a “cover-up” is at best mere speculation. Whilst it would be tempting to accede to his request just in order to free ourselves from his unfounded allegation, this consideration should not, in my view, carry more than minimal weight compared to the public interest in withholding the information which I have considered above.
Balancing these arguments, I have come to the conclusion that the public interest in withholding the information in question outweighs that in disclosing it."

And there you have it.

FIVE years of being shafted all nicely covered up (or not as the case may be.)

Anonymous said...

Some of the above this raises questions about how this blog operates.
1) Is it possible to start a new thread?
2)Is it possible to contact 'The Druid' with items that will be of interest?

Maybe Druid can clarify regarding this on the main page.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the issues of ethnicity on Ynys Mon check out these pages and make of them of what you will:

Welsh on census form: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=449&Pos=1&ColRank=2&Rank=192

Welsh National Identity: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=448

Country of Birth: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=445

Welsh Language (51% on Ynys Mon)http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=447


Gont Sais Cochyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hmmm... if the Welsh folk feel persecuted by IOACC and the Sais folk feel persecuted by IOACC ... (and that's probably 87% of folks as there are only 3% of all other ethnic groups and probably about 10% Irish folks on the island(and we don't know what they think - yet)... then surely it's the case that most of THE PEOPLE
of Ynys Mon feel they are being persecuted by IOACC (and other 'authority figures')

Anonymous said...

Well that last post doesn't much sense now that Gont Sais Cochyn's post has dissapeared.

Gont Sais Cochyn said...

As a human being that has lived on Anglesey for over 40 years i have read this blog and do feel the need to comment on not the main issue of this posting (Local Council failing to report high salary levels to TAF) but the corrupt, xenophobic and judgemental stance of not only the local authority but a significant number of other locals people in positions of influence.
I take your point Druid and recognise that you may not feel it is real but having been schooled and raised most of my life i can assure you that much in the same way as any other local area - there is a resistance to outsiders ideas and views - however my experience on Anglesey has been a particulary vehement racisim against english which is not apparent against the irish, scots or even londoner's of jamaican decent. Whilst it is easy to understand that local people look after local individuals sadly we as the general public vote in our council members, so in theory we get the council we deserve. My honest feelings about this is that whilst the elected members of the council have their own issues the civil servants that are appointed are just as self seeking and thus equally to blame - IOACC is a corrupt mess that seems to see itself as being above the law, the points of which they seem to promote, create or ignore for their own benefit and on their own whims.

Gont Sais Cochyn said...

Sorry Anonymous - felt it best to edit my comment to make my point clearer - looks like no one is happy with the clowns we have running our sunny little island - but no one seems to be able to do anything about it, though i am sure there are many that have good intentions the general human stance of having to evaluate the return for time. effort, money invested is probably a good indicator of how entrenched the core ideals of our local government are when individuals what to try to make a difference. And with the latest elections yet another opportunity missed to have some change to the status quo - What was the ancient name of Ynys Mon's inhabitants, a title endorsed by fellow countrymen

stats man said...

To Gont Sais Cochyn

You will find the majority of Ynys Môn's residents main concerns are:

How good is my children's education.
When is my bin being collected.
How safe is my environment.

We all know Ynys Môn Council be it in it's current guise or before 1996 has had its problems, mostly I suggest with small minded councilors. I do not think that the answer to the problems is to hark back to the past.

We need a peoples manifesto, we cant wait for the islands old politicians anymore. We need a new start, free from the past, a future based on the will of the people and not on the interest of the few.

Anonymous said...

You have to wonder though, although some councillors seem to be a few sarnies short of a picnic (OK, half a hamper)it looks increasingly as if the complaints against senior officers are valid.

With regard to the demographic profile of the Island it's worth remembering that although the 2001 census showed that 60% of the over 3 year old population could speak Welsh the definition of "Can speak Welsh" is loose.

The Welsh language board 2004-2006 survey clarified this;

Of that 60% top figure only 78.7% were fluent Welsh speakers.

The Number of fluent Welsh Speakers who are FIRST LANGUAGE Welsh speakers is smaller still, about 76% of all welsh speakers in Ynys Mon.

Nevertheless we have an all welsh Medium Education Policy despite the fact that in year 6 58% of Primary school pupils are not fluent in Welsh.

That is their entire primary career without a proper means of understanding or communicating with their Welsh speaking teacher.

Do we care? Not on your life!

And Ynys Mon Council? 81% Welsh speaking to cater for how many who prefer to speak Welsh?

Anonymous said...

They are basically common thieves who bung each other to keep it quite.

It's not rocket science, if you want evidence of corrupt officials then look no further than the former Gwent Valley Chief Superintendent and his former Detective Inspector both recently found guilty of money laundering and found in possession of £200,000 belonging to a known drug dealer.

Welcome to the real World where corruption does exist.

Prometheuswrites said...

I beg to differ, on a couple of points, with you stats man.

I believe that most people don't give the council much thought until they try to access council services ... then they start to care.

with children demographics falling and retirees numbers growing then (old) age and health related services are the ones that will matter.

Given my experiences with local attitudes towards Health and Safety in the workplace (observed more in the breach than the observance) then 'safe environment' is low on their agenda. (BTW. Have you seen the 'plan' for the evacuation of Ynys Mon in the event of a 'critical' situation at Wylfa - (It should be renamed 'Sink or Swim')

I do agree that bin collection is a popular concern (have you tried to contact the council department responsible? It only took us a year of requests to get recycling bins and a further year to get the collection schedule sent out - thank God for neighbours)

As far as IOACC goes I have had excellent service from some departments and some appalling service from others. Let's not tar everyone working at IOACC with the same brush.

Letting bygones be bygones is all very well if it were just procedural breaches; but I'm hearing allegations of white collar crimes and don't feel that such offences deserve mitigation, or it becomes one law for the rich and another for the poor.

Now a peoples manifesto would be something to agree upon.
Any starters?
here's mine;
I'd like something along the lines of providing an education AND a post schooling working environment that would financially allow the young people of the island to stay and have their own families and business's, instead of leaving the area and taking their idea's, their culture and the language with them.


The Druid of Anglesey said...

Stats man, Prometheus - A people's manifesto? Now you're talking. I have previously floated the necessity of a 'Good Governance' movement on the island. Such a movement could start by compiling a 'people's manifesto' (most councillors and groupings currently don't bother with one) and then place candidates to stand against some of the more useless councillors. Only when their seats are threatened will they start to change.

Prometheuswrites said...

New thread for that Druid?

Headings like Transparency, Accountability, Inclusion, Education, Care, Fairness and Community spring to mind.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Prometheus - a good idea, why not. If anyone else wants to suggest any other headings I will post it tomorrow morning.

Anonymous said...

The greatest threat to any " Good Governance" movement is the indifference of the people, people don't care, as long as they get what they want, this is why we are all facing extinction.
That has always been a popular rant of mine, indifference and apathy.

A people's manifesto should be written here and contributions should be encouraged, be it any contribution it would encourage people to become more involved, and allow the people to take back, the things that have been taken from us by an incapable force.
Mainly the right of the people to have their say in the running of this Council, instead of having our Councillors gagged and democracy threatened by God Kings who are there to help and not hinder us all.

Anonymous said...

A good one would be the Human Rights Act, and the issues that affect us all, and how IOACC should respect this Act when they represent and decide issues for the residents and People of Anglesey.

Anonymous said...

Article 8: Right to privacy

(1) Everyone has the right for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

(2) There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 10: Freedom of Expression

(1) Everyone has the right of freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

(2) The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Article 11: Freedom of Assembly

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

(2) No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the state.

Article 14: Discrimination

The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.

Protocol No 1

Article 1

Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law.

The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of the State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.

Article 2

No person shall be denied a right to an education. In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

Article 3

The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature

stats man said...

To Druid and Prometheuswrites from small beginnings great things can be achieved, a true rainbow coalition in the interest of us all. Willing to draft manifesto, taking into account comments made on Druids blog. Let's us begin.

stats man said...

Um so that we are clear a manifesto is a public declaration of intentions and not a charter of rights - the Magna Carta is that, for a start.

Anonymous said...

Dear Druid,

I am disgusted with two particular of the elected who have held back from answering communications for four months and a reply received today does not answer the questions posed and is damned rude. How do I get copies to you sir?

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 20:29 - if you post your email (or a temp one) here, I will delete it then contact you.

Anonymous said...

The failure (refusal) by IOACC to abide by their statutory duties with regards to the FOIA 2000, only goes to show how much dishonesty and wrong doing they have to hide.

What other reason would they wish to continue breaking the law?

Anonymous said...

Read Druids Blog list.

Anglesey-Malfeasance at Heart of "FOI Act2000"

Very Interesting, say's it all.

Anonymous said...


I don’t know why all this carping about FOI. You have to use the system to your advantage. Only the other day, and after a narrow escape from my pursuers, I obtained some quite explosive information from public sources. My friends:


Prior to 1960 there is no reference in any work of fact or fiction to Anglesey actually being an island.

The first mention of Anglesey as an island is in a Shell Guide of 1962. Indeed, prior to 1950 the best way to get to Anglesey was through a wardrobe in the back bedroom of the terrace house of Mr Jack Lewis in Upper Bangor.

My research, in conjunction with top secret information available in the café at the National Library of Wales, reveals that the myth of Anglesey being an island was concocted as part of a US-British conspiracy.

Following the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the US State Department wanted to retaliate against Soviet aggression in Cuba and found a willing collaborator in the scandal-enfeebled and supine Government led by Harold Macmillan. In a craven attempt to win favour with JFK, the then far from “SuperMac” agreed that giant lenses and mirrors be stationed on ships out in the Atlantic which would project an image of the Menai Strait onto the land that separates Anglesey from the mainland. “Operation Gullible” was a great success.

The plan was implemented in mid-1964 under the titanic leadership of Sir Alec Douglas-Home and was, arguably, that Government’s greatest success. Indeed had it been generally known at the time it is likely to have won him the October ’64 election by a landslide. A fleeting and circumspect reference is made to the project in Sir Alec’s autobiography, “My Old Man was a Dustman” (Collins, 1976, pages 236 to 679).

The aim was to replicate the threat posed by Cuba to the USA. In case of Soviet invasion of the UK there would be, close at hand, an island wary of its near neighbours, defiantly trying to be different.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mrs Thatcher retained the device in the hope and belief that it had contributed locally to the election results of 1979 and 1983.

Today, the mirage continues to work. But you can easily step off either of the two bridges and, instead of falling into the apparent waters beneath, you will, in fact, step onto dry land at the same height as the bridges. Indeed, I would recommend that some of your more addled contributors should prove me right on this point and step off the bridges. Either bridge will do.

Peter Whimsy-Wright.

Anonymous said...

The number of comments made during wroking hours has dropped right off. that ban at the council offices must be wiorking.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 14:06 - i can see plenty of hits coming in from IOACC servers - doesn't look like The Druid has been banned...!

Nooka said...

@ Peter Whimsy-Wright I lodged with Jack Lewis in Bangor - that's how i got here. I didn't think anyone else knew about it. It was the promise of Turkish delight - I didn't realise I was entering a winterland filled with despairing inhabitants where all the good guys were turned to stone.

Nooka of Narnia

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Dear Mr Whimsy-Wright,

I for one am glad to receive your most latest communique. Your unorthodox FoI techniques have indeed unearthed a stunning revelation - though I must admit I am confused how your finding that Anglesey is actually not Island squares with your previous assertion that Anglesey broke free from its moorings on the evening of 14-15 April 1912 and contributed to the sinking of the pride of the White Star Line...

Looking forward to the next time you break cover,

Anonymous said...

Go on titilate us - what percentage of your traffic is coming from the council server ;-)

Keep up the good work


The Druid of Anglesey said...

Bogbrush - Today? 4.58%. After "IP pools", the Council's server is the 2nd largest provider of hits.