1. Plaid Cymru's reported withdrawal from the Alliance
A knowledgeable commenter on the previous thread writes:
"I suspect that those [Plaid Cymru councillors] who have refused to sign the terms of engagement have moral reservations that are stronger than the given reason, (loss of position of whip in the Alliance).
Whileas Plaid's National Executive may have reservations about the extremely contentious 'naming, shaming and excluding' clause; they may find that objecting to procedural inconsistencies with their own policies is a politically safer path to tread."
Other commenters have written that whatever Plaid's motives, it is in the best interests of Anglesey residents that the Alliance fails. My feelings are that if Plaid have indeed withdrawn from the Alliance for higher moral reasons than the ones given, then they are behaving in a very cowardly manner in not making those reasons known and trying to sell their position to the people of Anglesey. If the Alliance does now fall (and its difficult to see how it cannot without Plaid's support) and Carl Sargeant makes good on his threat of "drastic and permanent consequences", then Plaid are plunging us all into the unknown for no good reason. During a period of severe austerity cuts, we will have Cardiff Bay-appointed commissioners without any democratic oversight deciding which Anglesey services will be cut and which saved. Furthermore, we will have no say on the "permanent consequences" to the future structure of the Council. If Plaid Cymru is doing all this for the 'right reasons' then they should try to sell that argument NOW - and not inevitably try and spin after the fact that they were really acting under the best motives all along.
2. The Council's complaint about Cllr Durkin to the Ombudsman
Whatever the rights or wrongs of making a complaint about Cllr Durkin to the Ombudsman, Glyn Pritchard-Jones makes a very good point that it is an extraordinarily poor use of £75,000 of public funds (i.e. the reported legal bill) at a time when the council is cutting various public services. As Glyn says:
"Closing the Council's tourist office at Holyhead was a faux pas as the sole employee would cost Anglesey Council perhaps at best £75,000 over a three year period ignoring the invisible fiscal benefits such an office contributes to the island."The question I would like to ask is: why is the Council's legal department unable to prepare the complaint by themselves without the assistance of expensive external solicitors?