Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Original Independents get in touch.

Cllr Ieuan Williams from the Original Independents has now also got in touch:

---------- Original message ----------
From: IEUAN WILLIAMS 
Date: Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 1:27 PM
Subject: Re: A People's Manifesto for Ynys Môn
Diolch am y maniffesto a'r holl waith sydd wedi mynd i'w gynhyrchu. Mi fyddaf yn ei drafod efo gwedill aelodau y grwp annibynol gwreiddiol yn ein cyfarfod nesaf.
Thank you for the manifesto and the hard work that went into producing it. I'll be discussing it with the other members of the original independents group at our next meeting.

So now we are only waiting to hear from the Menai Group and Gareth Winston Robert's Anglesey Forward group. Oh, and IWJ too of course!

27 comments:

Fillan said...

Druid - Thank you and keep on doing the good work.

I think the Peoples Manifesto is a wonderful example of how things can work if it's not about 'me' (as in - will this broaden my appeal to the public)

Free from names and an image we are allowed to make (in the most) constructive comments and or suggestions without fearing someone will tease us for your views.

Democracy is about the will of the people after all, nobody said we need to know who the people were.

Anonymous said...

Druid
Well said. Thanks

Anonymous said...

That's another party who have read and are now discussing the present situation, maybe they will be willing to listen to the people.

Anonymous said...

We should thank the Independents for making an effort to respond to you, at least you know they have received it, it's all a bit quiet down in Cardiff, the home of the Welsh Assembly and the playground of IWJ, where is his response?

Anonymous said...

DRUID
A thought...might it be better, and possible, for comments to appear as latest first, rather than have to scroll down the page to read the latest at the end of 100 comments ??

The Druid of Anglesey said...

12:42 - I agree that would be a better system, unfortunately Blogger does not have an option to allow comments to be shown like that...

The Great Councillini said...

Well done! We can onyl congratulate those making the effort to recognise the input made by the people of Anglesey, and respond to it.

Of course, we'll await the outcome of the discussions with interest...

Anonymous said...

We should not hold our breath for any response from GWR`s motley little group...there no-one in it who can string a coherent sentence together...they are insignificant !
The brains have abandoned them.

Anonymous said...

We should not hold our breath for any response from GWR`s motley little group...there no-one in it who can string a coherent sentence together...they are insignificant !
The brains have abandoned them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they have realised that they will find it difficult to influence the people, because the most modern instrument for influencing the people of Anglesey and creating public opinion is in the hands of the Druid, and in the hands of the People, and nothing they can say will pull the wool over the eyes of the people again!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that they will struggle with their propoganda, first the Druid and his followers have run the manifesto on a scale never before experienced on Anglesey.

Second the Druid has put up a very good front for the change the people want in Anglesey, and what the people are aiming for is more than a revolt.

Our Historic mission is to transform the very spirit itself to the extent that people and things are brought into a new relationship with one another.

And unfortunately, the old system has proven to be a massive failure, the crisis of the regime is evident, they have no influence, they are unwanted, unwelcome and their influence is in terminal meltdown.

Huw Terry.

Anonymous said...

Must not forget, The Original Independence are total different Group to GWR's.

No matter what we may think of GWR, at lease he and his group refused to lower themselves to Clive McGregor's level and sign away our Human Rights.

Prometheuswrites said...

I had initially assumed that Huw Terry was involved with the Amlwch 2 but their surname is Pritchard. Huw can you explain what has happened to you and why the Human Rights Act is the big issue for you?
Reading the Guardian on-line report of the Pritchard brother’s case I suspect that their difficulty lay in proving beyond doubt that ‘malfeasance in public office had occurred’. Did they also have to go to the high court ‘to exhaust all other avenues’ before taking the case to the EU?
I think they have a stronger case under the Human Rights Act. From the reports I have read I certainly believe they are justified in taking the case forward and have a good chance of winning.
See my post below

Prometheuswrites said...

There has been a lot of posting mentioning the Human Rights Act 1998.
Human Rights: Improving Public Service Delivery: Public Sector, National Report. The Audit Commission
http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/docs/acrep03.pdf
This document explains and reviews the responsibilities, problems and remedies to abuses by Government and Local Authorities.
It is well written and clearly set out. It gives plenty of case studies to illustrate both breaches of the act and where good practice is taking place.
Before looking at the document the scope of the act should be understood.
The Human Rights Act came into full force in 2000. The only body who can make laws that override the Act is The UK House of Commons Parliament, subject to a few limited exceptions (i.e. National Security).
The Act takes precedent of any of the laws and statutes enacted by The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies.
A good summary is found here:
http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/documents/digitalasset/dg_070456.pdf
The parts of the act that have most relevance to the postings made on the Druid’s blog are:
That it makes it unlawful for a public authority, like a government department, local authority or the police, to breach the Convention rights, unless an Act of Parliament meant it couldn’t have acted differently.

Article 8
Right to Respect for Private and Family Life
You have the right to respect for your private and family life, your home and your correspondence. This right can only be restricted in specified circumstances.

Article 1 of Protocol 11
Protection of Property
You have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of your possessions. Public authorities cannot usually interfere with things you own or the way you use them except in specified limited circumstances.

Councillor Durkin would be within his rights to complain under article 8 as the Local Authority has named him in public (without known cause) in the ‘terms of engagement’. This does not show respect for family and personal life. This could also be the case for other councillors who have been mentioned in a disparaging manner by the Local Authority.
It does not apply to anything said by an individual acting in a personal capacity.

The people who have experienced problems with planning development issues and housing grants will probably have cause for complaint under Article 1 Protocol 11 as damaged properties and insensitive and intrusive planning fall under terms of ‘peaceful enjoyment of your possessions’.

This area though is more complex legally and further examination of the report from the Audit Commission is useful in understanding how the act applies.

(Continues below)

Prometheuswrites said...

Further examination of the report from the Audit Commission is useful in understanding how the act applies.

Unfortunately the document mentioned on page 2 ‘The Human Rights Act: A Bulletin for Public Bodies’ their previous work, is not available on-line.

The first section of the report deals with problems and attitudes of public bodies.

Page 4: cost and reputational damage to an organisation: highlights the costs to authorities of defending Human Rights actions and the even higher cost due to the damage to the reputation of the public body. Unfortunately in our case this is a case of ‘the horse has bolted’.

Page 5 Section 6: Reacting to complaints and case law when they happen is not an appropriate response to the Act and will not bring about service improvement, particularly for those who are most vulnerable and heavily dependent upon public services.

Page 6: New Case Law and how it is affecting public delivery: Public bodies that fail to consider human rights implications in their consultation processes have been ordered by the courts to remedy this by repeating the processes incorporating human rights elements (R (Madden) v Bury Metropolitan Council 2002).

Page 10 Section 20: Organisations were reluctant to promote human rights with citizens and their communities because they feared an increase in the number of complaints raising human rights issues. Most failed to see the benefits of using human rights as a vehicle for service improvement by making the principles of dignity and respect central to their policy agenda, which would place service users at the heart of what they do.

Page 11 Section 24: (The nub of the problem with the various housing grants is found in this section).
Ensuring Contractors Comply. When a public body contracts out services to a private or voluntary sector provider, it cannot assume that the service provider will be liable for any breach of the human rights of service users. Most public bodies have no arrangements.

Page 12 Section 26: The complexity and difficulty experienced by public bodies in ensuring that contractors comply with the Act cannot be underestimated. This is also compounded by emerging case law as to what can be defined as a public body under the Act. Following the decision of the Court of Appeal in R (Heather) v Leonard Cheshire, most private organisations that contract with public bodies to provide services do not constitute public bodies for the purposes of the Human Rights Act, despite the public nature of the work in which they engage. Unless the public body exerts a significant degree of operational control over the service provider, it is likely that the courts will consider the service provider to be outside the scope of the Human Rights Act. The courts have made it clear that individuals may bring an action against the public body that entered into the contract rather than the supplier for failing to protect adequately their human rights.

Suggestions from the courts for public bodies commissioning services
In order to minimise breaches of human rights by service providers, public bodies should, when negotiating contracts, require the service provider to undertake to protect the human rights of service users. This will bind service providers to the Act. If an individual’s human rights are breached by a service provider who has entered into a contract that guarantees service users’ rights, an individual may bring a claim directly against the service provider using the Act. If a public body enters into contracts in this way it will have endeavoured to protect the rights of service users.
S o u r c e : Review of case law

The next section of the report goes on look at how improvements can be made.

I will return to this topic and the issues regarding the legal complexities in my next posting. I’ve got a liver to regenerate so must go get some sleep.

The Great Councillini said...

I wouldn't expect much from GWR's party - his Town Council demanded the removal of their own section on Amlwch.net, and accused commentators of giving 'a very poor image of Amlwch'. The two local people who've operated Amlwch.net have both eventually stopped operating it as an open forum, no doubt under pressure from our beloved representatives. It seems if the local politicians of Amlwch had their way, they'd cut the telephone lines and smash the cellular phone masts to restore Amlwch's perfect image.

And what of Amlwch Communities First? Based in the Town Council office, and in reality an entwined subset of it, it and all other Anglesey CF offices have been audited recently as 'high risk' organisations. When I made a FoIA request to the Assembly, they said they were 'not aware' of making any payments to Hyfforddiant Parys Training, of which GWR was until recently a director. But with other questions the WAG revealed payments worth £88,000 to Parys Training, payments which it itself said it did not know about. A report to the relevant Minister is due soon.

Source: FoIA responses and other communications between myself and the Welsh Assembly Government's Communities First Office over the past few months.

Anonymous said...

Promethuswrites.

In you reply please consider the following statment:

Mr Dukin is a private person, Councillor Durkin is a public role.

Prometheuswrites said...

11.32

Exactly.

That is why it is so important to be clear as to when someone is speaking as a private individual and when someone is speaking as a representative of a public body.

This distinction is extended into clarifying 'conflicts of interest' when discussing planning and development issues and the IOACC web-site information about councillors has 'declarations of interest' attached to their profiles.

I do not know how well these conflicts of interests are addressed in council. Previous postings about 'the Craigwen affair' suggest disagreements within the board/executive on this very matter.

Prometheuswrites said...

Regarding comments about the Chair of IOACC and his lack of public comments:

That is exactly what I would expect, (a lack of comment), as the role of the chair is to moderate and control discussions and ensure that procedures are properly followed. It is not the remit of the chair to expound an opinion. In this respect the chair should be much the same as the role of the Speaker in the House of Commons.

He is not a mayor, a role from which I would expect to hear expressed opinions.

I am aware that my view above does not fully match the description I posted on the previous thread as it mentions his role as 'taking the council's message out into the community' and 'acting as a focal point for the community in times of crisis'.
I'm not aware of any mechanisms that are in place that would enable him to do so.

Planning Agent said...

Conflicts of interest are not difficult to deal with at all. All it needs is a commitment to openness - which is where some people get touchy.

For example, the rules say that councillors should not only avoid wrongdoing but also the appearance of wrongdoing. That means anything that people might reasonably interpret as wrongdoing, even where there is no actual wrongdoing.

So, if you are a councillor involved in some private matter like planning for your son's house, and see the matter coming up for discussion, then it is easy to see that, even if you haven't spoken to your son about the application or have not sought to influence the matter, then it is not enough to just sit there and claim these things - you have to demonstrate acceptance of the public's view that influence _could_ have been exerted, and so the only course of action in a democracy is to declare the interest and remove yourself from any situation where the public could have cause for concern.

The only reason some councillors can't make the right choice is because they have grown so used to doing things their way, and not the people's way. Their failure to accept public input at planning committees until very recently - way behind most other authorities - is evidence of this.

Anonymous said...

It would be easy enough to count the number of applicants from friends and family of councillors by seeing the number of times that a councillor declared an interest. And maybe checking to see how many applications that were turned down by officers were subsequently allowed by the committee.

If there is nothing funny going on, the proportions should be the same as average. If they are above average then the system has failed, whatever the reason.

This is something that can be counted and would be very hard to explain away.

Anonymous said...

We already know that Anglesey Council has one of the highest, if not the highest rate of approvals for so-called 'departure applications' in Wales. The statistics are around somewhere, but I can't find them quickly this morning.

From the Council's own 'Improvement Plan 2009-10':

Why have we identified this area for improvement?
• The number of decisions taken contrary to the Council’s Policies (including Departures) has created general adverse publicity for
the Authority.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Druid,

Yesterday you removed a post of mine from this page "as there was no Planning Thread" later I pout it on Llais i Fon where there was mention of planning.

Is it now OK to continue the theme here

Anonymous said...

Prometheuswrites 19th 12.45
Your comment about the 'Chairman' only "speaking out at a time of chrisis" , from the vastly numerous pages on the Druid along one must accept that there actually IS a chrisis but still no word from the Silent Chair, disgusting and weak!

Anonymous said...

Having acquiesced to breach the Human Rights Act, as Chairman of the County Council, speaks volumes for his own integrity. hH should resign as chairman and make a public apology.

Over here said...

Are we talking about planning again, a major problem it appears with this Council. A recent WAG announcement about new houses on farms may help address some of the concerns.

The critical issue is to have a local development plan, the foundation, on which all other decisions can be made, together with wider regional spatial policies. That why the decision by Ynys Môn and Gwynedd to work together should be welcomed.

Lastly all I will say about 'Human Rights' is that it's a two way thing, so if you kick someone do not complain if they kick back.

Anonymous said...

Human Rights, if a thief takes your money and you take it back, does that also make you a thief? If this Council takes your Human Rights and treats you like a piece of dirt, does that mean you have no rights? or is it only for the reserve of the few, the few who have more money and power than the one who has not?

This is the dilemma, every one should be treated the same, in some cases this does NOT happen!