Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A request to potential candidates in the Rhosneigr By-election

It strikes me that this is an opportune moment to remind anybody who is considering standing in the Rhosneigr by-election of the following passages from the People's Manifesto for Ynys Môn:

One of the major reasons why Anglesey County Council is dysfunctional is because our councillors lack both a shared vision for the Island and a policy roadmap of how to get there. This is in large part due to a significant number of Independents who are elected without issuing to voters in their wards either individual or group manifestos, i.e. a statement of where they stand on various issues and what they should like to do if elected. Such a situation is intolerable because:
- Voters are denied the opportunity to vote on a political vision and set of policies – instead they must try to make their decision based only on the personalities of the candidates. However when you consider that the current average councillor to elector ratio on Anglesey is 1:1,270 people, it is laughable to think that each of those 1,270 voters are able to make an informed decision on the personalities of each of the candidates. Furthermore this situation will worsen at the next council elections when, following Local Government Boundary Commissions changes, the number of councillors will be reduced from 40 to 36, and the councillor to elector ratio will increase to an average of 1:1,411 people.
- Independents, once elected, are effectively accountable to nobody but themselves and are certainly not constrained by any kind of group manifesto or ‘party discipline’. As a result they are free to behave pretty much as they please – leading to the myriad problems of ill discipline we are currently witnessing at the council.
- Independents do attach themselves to a number of opaque groupings (the Original Independents, the Menai Group, Anglesey Forward, and, recently, Llais i Fôn), however these groupings also fail to (i) produce or publicise their aims or policies; and (ii) often fail to impose any form of ‘party discipline’. As such they are better regarded as ‘factions’ not ‘parties’.
- As voters do not know in detail what they are voting for, it is impossible for them to then evaluate their councillor’s performance when the next council elections come around.

Following a similar analysis by the Anglesey Recovery Board, the WAG Minister for Local Government has required that all Anglesey non-party independent groupings produce a "statement of their aims and values" no later than May this year. However as of now only one group -- Clive McGregor's Llais i Fôn -- has unconditionally made their statement public following requests from this blog (for which they deserve great praise). I have emailed the Original Independents, Anglesey Forward and the Menai Group asking them to also send me their Statements but have been met with either silence, or a request for my name and postal address. As we are now four months past the deadline set by WAG all groups must surely have completed their Statements, yet for whatever reason do not wish to publicise them -- which surely defeats the object of producing them in the first place. How can Anglesey residents vote for you if they don't know what on earth you stand for?

Accordingly, for all those thinking of standing in Rhosneigr (and the groupings which may be backing them), I would like to re-iterate this section of the People's Manifesto which deals with local elections:

- All Parties and Political Groupings must publish an updated and Anglesey-specific manifesto of their aims and values at least two months prior to local elections. To save costs these can be hosted on the Anglesey County Council website.
- All Independent candidates standing to become County Councillors in Local Elections must either:
(a) state which Political Grouping they intend to join if elected; or
(b) publish a personal manifesto of their aims and values at least two months prior to local elections.

If we are ever to break with the problems which have bedevilled the council for too long then candidates to become county councillors have to start becoming more open and more transparent about their intentions should they be elected. Therefore I appeal to all Rhosneigr candidates to let us know either know which group they intend to join if elected, or to produce a manifesto of their aims and values which can be distributed among the 748 ward residents. Let's all make Rhosneigr the turning point.

You can download the full People's Manifesto for Ynys Môn here.

------------------------------------------
A SIDE-NOTE: I found out yesterday that this blog has been shortlisted amongst four others in the politics section of the inaugural Wales Blog Awards. The winner will apparently be announced at a ceremony in Cardiff on the 14th October. I know many of you come to read the comments rather than my well researched and finely argued postings ramblings, but nevertheless I thank you all for helping making this blog the force it is!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

The slight difficulty here is a candidate, if not standing for a registered political party and is standing as an independent, can only use the word "Independent" on the Nomination paper.
A candidate's can of course state their manifesto in their canvassing leaflets but that means very little.
once elected who knows what.

Anonymous said...

The slight difficulty here is a candidate, if not standing for a registered political party and is standing as an independent, can only use the word "Independent" on the Nomination paper.
A candidate's can of course state their manifesto in their canvassing leaflets but that means very little once elected who knows what.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon 13:33

"A candidate's can of course state their manifesto in their canvassing leaflets but that means very little once elected who knows what."

It can hardly "mean very little" to inform those who you are asking to vote for you, what you intend to do when elected.

Anonymous said...

Druid.
Quite.

Anonymous said...

who ever stands lets hope that they have the integrity and backbone to stand upto the other councilors and not fall into there crooked ways and be there for the the ward of rhosnieger and not themselves

Jarlath said...

Druid first of all congratulation on the nomination for the ‘best new blog category’, we may not agree on everything, but to your credit you do so with dignity and respect.

Turning to the election in the Rhosneigr ward, maybe this is an opportune moment for us to consider the attitudes of the main political parties towards the island. Will any of them put forward any candidates at all, and if they do will they be credible?

Prometheuswrites said...

Druid: I endorse your posting.

Anon: The thing about making manifesto pledges is that you can be picked up on them afterwards and held to account - at the next election if not before.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:48
When you say "Stand up to ALL the other Councillors and not fall into their crooked ways".

I hope you are not suggesting that all Councillor are crooked.

Anonymous said...

The Adjudication Panel decision on Phil Fowlie is now with the Council. It's being checked to see whether the Council are content with the findings!

Anonymous said...

Information leaking out of the Kremlin is that the Council are getting their wrists smacked?

The Great Councillini said...

Who's going to be the Parti Druid Party candidate, then?

If the deadline for the others to produce their manifestos was May, why haven't the various people being paid vast amounts of money made sure the public can now see them?

Anonymous said...

That in welsh should be 'Plaid yr Derwydd', to be somewhat correct. Like your version though.

Anonymous said...

Plaid y Derwydd surely?

Anonymous said...

Probably

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:48


where do you see ALL in my comment ?

Anonymous said...

ammendmet to the above post
its for
28 September 2010 14:54

where do you see ALL in my post ?

me another anon said...

Anon - "where do you see ALL in my post ?"

I suspect Anon did not see ALL in your post, in addition to the absence of punctuation, and spelling.

Anonymous said...

"Who ever stands lets hope they have the integrity and back bone to stand up to the OTHER councillors and not fall into THEIR crooked ways"

This Implies that ALL the councillors are crooks, no matter how you try to spin it.

Anonymous said...

ADVICE TO THE NEXT RHOSNEIGR COUNCILLOR....be your own man/woman...be independent !

not another indepenent said...

“ADVICE TO THE NEXT RHOSNEIGR COUNCILLOR....be your own man/woman...be independent !”

Please nooooooooooo!!, not another independent, which independent group would they join to start off with, the original independents, the alternative independents, the really not speaking to the original independents or the isolated 2

Cannot someone just to stand in the name of a political party for a change; there must be plenty of members out there, suitable and ideally positioned to represent the Rhosneigr ward.

Anonymous said...

No one should stand all perspective candidates should boycott the election in disgust at how whoever wins will be treated.

Anonymous said...

All prospective candidates should gain a perspective, on those who accidentally mistake prospective for perspective. Me I just laugh.

Anonymous said...

"Me I just laugh".
If that's all you do then can I take it you don't even vote.

Anonymous said...

Druid,

Apparently a tape recorder is a vital tool for a prospective candidate, maybe others can recommend the best tape recorder to buy.