Wednesday, 8 September 2010

++ Cllr Phil Fowlie steps down ++ (Updated Again)

Apparently Phil Fowlie, the councillor for Rhosneigr, has just announced he is stepping down.

Fowlie was Leader of Anglesey County Council from May 2008 until April 2009. His decision to step down as Leader came just 20 days after former Managing Director Derrick Jones had his contract terminated following deteriorating relations between Jones and the ruling Original Independents.

It was under Fowlie's watch that the Wales Audit Office first reported on the "erosion of trust" between senior officers and senior councillors, prompting a two week inspection by the Wales Auditor General. This all led directly to the Welsh Assembly appointing the Recovery Board and David Bowles as Interim MD.

UPDATE: By popular demand, below is the letter Phil Fowlie sent to Alan Morris at the Welsh Audit Office whilst he was Leader of the Council in December 2008. In it he made serious claims against various senior officers, including:

  • Officers wanted some, if not all the Executive to fail
  • Officers dragged their heels over implementing the island’s school re-organisation programme
  • Officers failed to offer “any assistance” to the executive on governing Anglesey council
  • Officers failed to attempt to resolve a “serious issue with sickness” with council staff
  • The corporate management team displayed a lack of “honesty” and “integrity”, in the manner in which they handled the “Graigwen” issue.

This letter and the Audit Offices own findings led to the Welsh Audit Office's 'Annual Letter' on IoACC in January 2009 detailing an "erosion of trust" between executive members and corporate officers.

Fowlie was later caught out when he claimed that the same Alan Morris at the Welsh Audit Office had advised Executive Members not to attend a meeting with the Corporate Management Team arranged by the  Council's Audit Committee in February 2009. Morris sent an email clarifying that he had offered no such advice. I understand that Ombudsman complaint against Fowlie concerns this and other matters. 

Anyway, the thoughts of the Druid are with Phil Fowlie and his family at this difficult time. Phil is widely known as an all round nice guy and deserves our sympathy and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Fowlie Letter Welsh Audit Office 18.12.2008

UPDATE 2: Glyn Pritchard-Jones has some more documents of interest from this period up on his site here and here.

45 comments:

Groundhog Day said...

At the time of his standing down as council leader due to "ill health" I did note that his poor health did not preclude his staying on as a councillor thereby keeping his ca £13k stipend - plus allowances of course.

I really must try to suppress the cynic in me but it has come to pass that I question anything a IoACC cllr says in public these days. Being a pig fancier, I am sure that Mr Fowlie's porkies will keep him occupied during his convalescence.

Anonymous said...

Good, thats 1 down !
Good riddance.
He steps down supposedly for illhealth.... to avoid being hauled over the coals by the Welsh Adjudication panel which without doubt would have found against him for misconduct. Now he is free to walk away, but is still very much tarnished, locally.
If he dares stand for re-election in 2012, DB has said that the complaint would be revived against him.
Who is next >

Anonymous said...

If you new the truth of what ex Cllr Phil Fowlie did to try and put Anglesey County Council back on track and to what extent some of the Senior Officers went to, to stop him, I suggest you would not be so quick to bad mouth him off.

Anonymous said...

17.11 Thank you for that Councillor.

Anonymous said...

No trouble at all.

Cllr Barrie Durkin. said...

Ground-hog Day.
Your attempt to assassinate Phil Fowlie's Good Character only highlights the fact that you have no knowledge of him whatsoever ever, if you had, you would know that Phil is about to undergo life threatening surgery next week.
Perhaps instead of publicly abusing phil you might like to change places with him? I think not.

Anonymous said...

Much is made of ex-Counc. Phowlie`s state of health, yet he has been seen jovial and ebullient, as large as life and enjoying himself in our agricultural shows, showing off his beloved pigs. Yet he has rarely been seen in the Council, where the electorate pay him to be ?
Strange that ?
Had he faced the adjudication panel, he would most certainly been disqualified.
Convenient ?

Anonymous said...

19.34 Yes indeed, but we should wish him well with any surgery with an early recovery....but a permanent stay-away from any politics to which he is NOT suited...keep to the pigs Phil.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

19:34. Seems to have a very big chip on his shoulders, This is another case where Bowles, McGregor and John Chorlton have a lot to answer for.
Good luck Phil, we are all praying for you.

Anonymous said...

19:34
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER HE'S SEEN RARELY AT COUNCIL?
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHETHER THE ADJUDICATION PANEL WOULD HAVE DISQUALIFIED HIM?
YOU SEEM TO KNOW TO MUCH FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, OR IS IT A MATTER THAT IN REALITY YOU KNOW NOTHING?

Anonymous said...

19:34
Your out of your depth on this one. You have no idea how popular Phil Fowlie is with his electorate and the staff at Anglesey County Council. Shame on you.

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

You all know why Phil Fowlie has resigned so have some dignity and put yourself in his shoes for a moment. At least the guy had "balls" to despatch an MD who was acting "ultra vires" and making decisions in areas where was not mandated to.

I wish good luck to Phil Fowlie.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
19:34
Your out of your depth on this one. You have no idea how popular Phil Fowlie is with his electorate and the staff at Anglesey County Council. Shame on you.


I think i'm going to be sick !
One down 39 to go.

Anonymous said...

22.10
We recall his majority last time was a mere 20 ??? hardly resounding.
And was he not the one who sent that letter to Cardiff (never mind who drafted it !) condemning several senior officers...so he is so popular with staff is he ?
Lets not lose sight of why exactly he was soon to be hauled before the adjudication panel....do you need reminding ??
A nice enough bloke but useless as a politician.
We wish him well with his surgery but expect that will be the end of him as a politician...please !

Anonymous said...

20.31..... Praying ?
Councillors pray on their knees on Sunday, and prey on their enemies the rest of the week !

Anonymous said...

"Lets not lose sight of why exactly he was soon to be hauled before the adjudication panel....do you need reminding ??"

Yes, please. I'm sure most of us have no idea. There's nothing wrong in stating the topic of the intended investigation, because that hasn't taken place so we can take no view on whether or not soon-to-be Ex-Cllr. Fowlie was in fact 'guilty' of whatever wrongdoing he was claimed to have undertaken, and so must assume he is innocent.

Anonymous said...

From the Daily Post, some time ago:

"Cllr Fowlie, who stood down as leader last April due to ill-health, is also accused of withholding information that people are entitled to by law."

Well, he certainly isn't alone; the Council wagged a finger at Fowlie for this and recommended the enquirer report the matter to the ICO. But, the Council itself took 64 days - more than 3 times the legal maximum - to provide us with Bowles' salary under the same statutory framework, and only then after massive pressure and referrals to the authorities.

Pot, kettle, black again...

The Red Flag said...

Cllr Fowlie is very obviously an ill man. Invasive surgical procedures are not to be taken lightly.

However I wonder if anyone can enlighlten me to the legal position - ie are there any direct accusations against him? If so can the Council/Ombudsman/whatever investigate accusations aganst him if he is no longer a councillor? Can they take punitiove actions if said accusations prove to be true? Can they force him to attend tribunals and testify of what he knows about others?

Or does anything he might be accused of haveing done or might know about end with his time as a councillor?

(And I might add at this point that from what I have read and heard, he is not part of the rot)

Anonymous said...

What ever Phil Fowlie did to warrant a complaint to the Ombudsman made by John Chorlton, Pails into insignificance with what he endeavoured to expose regarding the endemic corrupt within Anglesey County Council along with Clive McGregor who turned in to just another cover up bod as soon as Bowles arrived.

Anonymous said...

9.34 By resigning, for whatever reason, he is away scot free.
But, there is no absolutely doubt, he would have been disqualified by the adjiudication panel from being a Councillor. No argument.

Anonymous said...

It was Clive McGregor who engineered the letter to Cardiff and was sent on behalf of the then executive.

Most of the executive apologised for doing so, don.t know why. Every thing in the letter was true.

I'm waiting to see if the Ombudsman is going to send the complaint made by Bowles against Cllr Durkin to the Adjudication Panel. Then we should see fireworks.

Anonymous said...

9.58 Everything in the letter was true ??
That is a very wide statement to make.
We cannot judge the veracity of the complaint to cardiff as we the public don`t have the benefit of seeing that letter.
Can anyone post the letter here so we may make up our minds about it.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

A precis of the letter to Cardiff being referred to can seen under the entry for December 18, 2008 in the IoACC Timeline section of this blog.

Alternatively the Daily Post write-up is here: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2009/06/20/anglesey-council-conflicts-exposed-in-letter-55578-23929811/

The Great Councillini said...

"there is no absolutely doubt, he would have been disqualified by the adjiudication panel from being a Councillor. No argument."

Erm, yes there is doubt. That is why we have such things as investigations such as Cllr. Fowlie was to face. Innocent until proven otherwise. It still holds (just) in the UK.

Anonymous said...

If we consider the rather less serious precedents of Councillors Morris Jones, and Glyn Jones of Aberffraw, being suspended for misconduct....Counc. Phowlie`s misconduct as then Leader was greater....disqualification was a more of a certainty !

The Great Councillini said...

DO NOT WORRY! The WAG gas sent a distress call on the intergalactic channel, and we're to be sent a new Council, comprising some faces you'll know, and some faces you won't:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrCFKJtggrs&feature=related

(Isn't there anyone out there who can come up with a decent Star Wars parody of IoACC? Lynn Ball: Princess Lea Organa; David Bowles: Darth Vader, etc, etc...)

Mozilla said...

To Red Flag - My understanding is yes the Adjudication Panel could still pass judgment even though Mr Fowlie is an ex councillor.

However, if the procedure was likely to further harm the health of Mr Fowlie, then the matter may be dropped.

Irrespective of what Mr Fowlie is alleged to have done, I'm sure most of us would wish him well and that he fully recovers from his operation. This must be a really difficult time for his family, and our thoughts should be with them.

Anonymous said...

The Letter From Phil Fowlie to Mr Morris of the Welsh Audit Office really shows why the Assembly sent in Bowles. To cover up and suppress the truth. If only 10% of the letter is true then Lynn Ball should be suspended today and a full public inquire held as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

I think now we are getting the real insight on how Anglesey County Council was run pre 2008 and what the new administration was trying to do to rectify matters.

The letter of Phil Fowlie's show how much conniving the Senior Officers were involved in to try and stop change and keep the status quo for their benefit. I agree. Nothing less than sackings and a public inquiry we do now.

Anonymous said...

Bowles's true remit is now quite apparent. Cover up, Cover up and keep covering up. Ever likely he's spending vast amounts of public money trying to silence Cllr Durkin, conniving with the Ombudsman of whom Cllr Peter Rogers "considered to be a complete waste of time and public money".let the truth come out. No Cllr can now sit back and say nothing.

The Great Councillini said...

Well, Phil Fowlie has put forward a very robust letter there, very well expressed and with a high degree of civility under the circumstances.

It does, as others have noted, reveal an awful lot about what was going on, and who was involved. The attempted silences by McGregor's agreement document and Bowles' 'criticise and be sued' approach must, in light of Cllr. Fowlie's letter, lead us to ask very serious questions about the motives for these attempts at shutting public representative up.

It does rather look like things were totally out of control then, and what Fowlie says in that letter certainly reflects some of the experiences I've had as a mere member of the public.

We need investigative journalists to descend on Llangefni, quick! Paddy French - call Paddy French!

Anonymous said...

The irony is that CMcG drafted the letter (well beyond PF`s cababilities !), and PF signed it !

Anonymous said...

If McGregor wrote the letter and PH signed it and was fully endorsed by the whole executive, Why is McGregor working with Bowles to suppress the truth now? Why is he engaged in deceiving the Public that It's Cllr Durkin who is the Trouble Maker, when its really him?
When removing Cllr Durkin from the ruling group saying that what he was doing in exposing the truth was not in the County Council's interest? now we know what he meant.
Time to go McGregor you and Bowles are going to cost our Council a lot of money before you've finished if you don't.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Druid of Anglesey said...

Comment made at 19:33 deleted for making a specific unconfirmed allegation.

Anonymous said...

If Clive McGregor wrote the letter then he must have believed in what he was writing. So why is he now abusing and treating those who want answers.

It's now obvious that Clive McGregor is an untrustworthy nasty piece of work, in an untenable position.

Luba Law said...

"The irony is that CMcG drafted the letter"

Ironic indeed! Cllr. McG and I once exchanged extensive views on the Beaumaris Marina legal case.

Whilst he was certainly articulate, he was picking only the positives from the judgements, and none of the obvious and several negative points, highlighted at the first hearing, that would be the ultimate undoing of the entire, £1+ million case.

In backing the legal fight, which he says he saw as a 'David and Goliath' battle on the Council's web site, he was merely reflecting what the entire Executive had done, which was clearly not to read what the judge had said, take some time to learn a bit about the law, and see that it was all a massive waste of the people's time and money. So they nodded the legal team ahead (not the Council's internals) to continue with an appeal - which also failed. Did they read the writing put up now by four judges at this point? Not a bit of it. Off to the Lords (pre-Supreme Court), who dismissed it out of hand as not justifying a further appeal because the Council's case did not raise any valid point of law.

For those interested in law, and how your tax money was chasing a paper dream, see here. Of note is the judges' following remark:

"It is surprising and disturbing to find an ultra vires argument being advanced by these particular claimants more than 40 years after the order was made, particularly as it would have the effect of undermining the legal basis of the whole fishery, not simply of that part affected by the marina proposal. The 1962 Order was made with the consent of the Commissioners, and the participation of the predecessors of the County Council"

First hearing:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2008/921.html

Appeal:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/94.html

Anonymous said...

Cllr McGregor's. Don't do as I do, do as I say mentality has not only cost the rate payer's of Anglesey an enormous amount of money already, but also show's that he care's nothing for the electorate. He cannot be allowed to get away with any of it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the exact figure of how much that Marina case cost? I last heard a figure of about £400,000 was given by the Council, but that was before costs against the Council were decided.

Anonymous said...

How are we, humble folk, to make sense of Counc.Phil Fowlie`s explosive letter to Cardiff, as then Leader, condemning senior officers effectively for sabotaging the Executive`s efforts to reform the Council....which is the subject of the complaint against him which would certainly have resulted in his disqualification from the Council....but it was widely accepted as written for him by the present Leader CMcG his ally at the time.....and CMcG is now in charge..........Can anyone explain in simple terms ?

Anonymous said...

19.25
Why exactly would the Executive, as then led by Counc. Phil Fowlie, want to remove so many senior officers....why and who......can anyone explain in simple terms ??

Anonymous said...

Phil Fowlie, will be remembered as a man who did nothing to stop the corruption, he stood aside when he could had stood UP.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean like all the rest did before 2008?

Anonymous said...

anon 19:25

Can anyone explain in simple terms ?

How about 'patsy'

Anonymous said...

ynysmon.com tonight

Is this the start of Anglesey County Council's 9/11?