Thursday, 23 September 2010

Why more accountability is necessary in setting Public Sector budgets

The revelations about the pay-off made to the outgoing head of the Wales Audit Office are simply staggering:

"According to information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, Anthony Snow was paid £107,580 in compensation when he left his job in September 2009 and the WAO will also have to pay more than £618,000 of his pension contributions until he turns 60."

This comes to a total of more than £750,000 -- yet farcially Mr Snow found himself another well-remunerated public sector job as COO of the Financial Reporting Council quango just six weeks later. Lets put these numbers into context: in this example just one Welsh public servant has received a pay-off amounting to almost half of the putative £2million cuts to the S4C which are currently causing such a fuss. And lets not forget that this is not an isolated incident: remember the hundreds of Welsh NHS executives who had their £50K plus salaries protected for ten years (!) following the reorganisation of the service which cut local health boards down from 32 to just seven?

And yet, despite all this, we are asked to believe by Labour and Plaid Cymru in the Assembly that the Welsh public sector is so unimprovably productive that any budget cuts at all will affect front line services. I'm afraid as just these two examples show, the lack of any competitive or downwards pressure on public sector budgets just leads to an otherworldly profligacy -- especially with regards to top-end public sector salaries. We need look no further than David Bowles' £1,000-a-day pay deal at Anglesey Council to know that this is true.

Only by applying some direct accountability for results in the setting of public sector yearly budget rises can these kind of excesses be avoided in the future. This is one of the reasons why I am a supporter of the coalition proposal to elect police commissioners, as one of the main planks of this policy also includes the need for any rises to the police precept element of council tax to be approved in a local referendum. The Police will be free to explain why they think they need more tax money, and the public will be free to accept the rise or not. In fact I would be happy to see this policy extended to include council tax rises as a whole, whereby local authorities would have to make their case in a local referendum. Based on the council's record and future plans, local residents can then decide what level of settlement they feel is fitting.

Imagine how much more engaged Ynys Môn residents would be with local politics and with the actions of councillors if we had the opportunity to hold Anglesey Council to account in this way. Imagine how much better services the council would need to provide in order to justify a rise in their budgets...

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can only wholeheartedly agree with the need for change and accountability.

The reality for many of the boards approving these rises and awards is that they simply nod things through, afraid to be the one who says anything against their mates. I've seen it happen first hand in the public sector, and for some reason, the people involved seem to think its a nice game, judging by the 'well, we couldn't refuse, could we?' smiles on their faces as the boss returns to receive the inevitable outcome of his pay application.

It stinks. It really does.

Anonymous said...

talent = reward, high risk = high reward.

public sector equates to limited talent hence limited reward.

The public sector historically paid badly but pensions were good.....the pay deal has gone out of control.

We see this in, for example, David Bowles being chummy with Dr Brian Gibbons and haninging on his coat tails...the gravy train.....

Jobs for the boys must come to an end...

Profit means re-investment....these guys are just a cost ....which YOU have to pay.

Anonymous said...

Well every one.

This is the same outfit that engineered the report against Anglesey County Council, enabling Gibbons to send in trouble maker David Bowles on £1000+ a day to cause havoc.

If David Bowles was paid on his performance he would owe the Council thousands. Hopefully the Assemble will have the Ball's not to approve the Audit and sack those responsible. O'h nearly forgot he's gone already for unrelated reasons.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I warn you that Paddy Gibbons and his puppy Carl Sargeant were taking the mickey out of all of us, this Council isn't accountable to anyone, and now you will learn the Welsh Assembly isn't accountable either.

There can be no negotating with rude and awkward servants of the public, when they have no faith in their own Authority and the people they represent and serve. The days of their fat snouts in the trough are unlimited, unless we protest.

Anonymous said...

David Bowles is here under false pretences and in his own words after being kicked out of Lincolnshire.

"If anything it has got worse".

The Red Flag said...

high risk = high reward.

Surely then, if youy are paid to take a high risk you should be fired (no severance) if you get it wrong otherwise you aren't really taking any risks at all and certainly no responsibility.

Anonymous said...

The irony of the Council's situation is that those who caused all the trouble pre the 2008 elections are now back in power!

Anonymous said...

Of course they are, we all agree with you that the Monkeys are running the zoo, it's our own fault, there's no one here to stand up and fight for freedom and for democracy, our whole way of life is being destroyed by an uncaring, beligerent Council, no wonder we are all depressed, no wonder we have no faith, no future and will be treated like low lifes for the rest of our natural lives.

Anonymous said...

The Welsh Assembly have conned us all, they knew it would be more cost effective to transfer the baboon called Bowles in, than to send in the Cardiff Clowns to run this shower of shit.

It's our own fault, no one listens, no one cares, all of the political parties on Anglesey are clueless and have no real bearing on the real life issues, and it;s not the usual crowd I;m referring to here, it's the big shitters, the old skins who have done nothing foir years but have made a success of trawling their fat snouts in the trough, and this is the biggest bone of contention, the people are starving, their jobs have gone, their homes are in a state that wouldn't go amiss in the third world, and all our politicians do is bleat and moan, because thay have no IDEA how to run a bath, never mind run a Council.

Anonymous said...

The big shitters living in a shower of shit called Anglesey County Council..perfect vision..thank you.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Druid doesn't delete that posting, your right, the shower of shit we have is the biggest embarasement in Wales.

Anonymous said...

In other words if your a failure your rewarded, what sort of democracy is this? The Welsh Assembly are technically guilty, guilty of employing a person who has failed to deliver what the Welsh Assembly promised.. a way out of this mess.

If everything was ok, why are we so angry?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Its time a petition was put up so the frustrated electorate of Anglesey communicate their anger to WAG for:

a) Removal of Clive McGregor

b) Removal of Bowles

All say aye please lets get Druid to start one!

Anonymous said...

AYE

Jarlath said...

We start with a post, about the need for more accountability in the public sector (which I agree with) and end up with a tirade against the council.

As far as I can see Cllr McGregor is doing a good job for the island, together with the MD Mr Bowles things are improving, if slowly.

Yes, we will need a new MD for the Council and hopefully we can persuade a suitable and worthy applicant. But honestly who in their right mind would apply if all they read about is the tirade and abuse the current leader and MD have to endure.

I think if you asked the frustrated electorate of Anglesey they would tell the outspoken critics of Cllr McGregor to shut up. He is after all attempting to sort out the problems, something I suspect they where never able to achieve.

Outside said...

Jarlath.
The tirade against the council as you put it, is about their lack of accountability, their dishonesty and their cover ups, condoned by McGregor and Mr Bowles. So how can they be doing a good job?
The Council has never been so split, never been in such turmoil and the backstabbing wrongdoers have never had it so good. So please spare us the paragons of virtues crap, for goodness sake.

jarlath the forgiving said...

Outside

As the old saying goes it is easier to stand and criticise the marathon runner than actually taking part in the marathon.

I am a pint half full person, whereas you it seems are a pint half empty type. Don’t worry I forgive you.

Outside said...

No need for your forgiveness jarlath it's a good job we are all entitled to our different opinions without fear or favour that's democracy at it's best.
Mr Bowles doesn't like other people to have their own opinions, but so what.

Anonymous said...

The shower of shit hiding Human Rights Abuses on Anglesey, what a disgrace, and what an embarassement to WALES.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm pinning my hopes on investigative journalism by now; it's clear the Assembly involvement has not worked at all well, and in many ways, has made things worse. Whilst we had rubbish councillors since year dot, we never had a man at the top saying 'dare to criticise and we'll sue or trash you'. If nobody else thinks Bowles should fall for such an approach, I certainly do.

Let's wait and see what Rebecca turns up; Lord knows we need some probing questions, some evidence and some story-telling.

Anonymous said...

There is a book being written at the moment which will blow the lid off this shower of shit, the manuscript I read was amazing, it deals with the bad attitude and the wayward thinking of these idiots. It's written by an uneducated victim but it was a good read. Planning permission, and the whole rag taggle molasses of the planning committees and the lack of interest by the councilw hen it comes to destroying families, I asked him to send a copy to Rebeccah or the druid, he said he couldn't because he didn't want to be made a fool of, how strange is that, even today he still feels like he is a laughing stock and we don't care. Hard times, but a real good read, it's called Hogia ni, Hogia Borth.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he should have called it life is a showre of shit! No honestly, if there is a manuscript about, and it is worthy of a look or read then it should be sent somewhere to be looked at. Obviously, if it's that good then see about having it printed,especially if it's about Anglesey and the political mess that destroys people!

Groundhog Day said...

As one of Hogia Borth could you tell us how we can get a copy of this manuscript - I am sure the Druid would assist you in getting it shown on here.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Certainly - I'd be happy to host the manuscript on this site (assuming there is nothing slanderous or actionable in it -- as I've said before we don't do trial by blog here).

Anonymous said...

Has anyone read the Daily Post today Why is the Adjudication Panel for Wales denying Phil Fowlie the right to a public hearing and basing the tribunal on written submissions against Phil Fowlie's will?

Is this another stitch up?

We already know in the Complain by David Bowles against Cllr Durkin that the Ombudsman has already compromised his Impartiality by dancing to the Council's tune.

So what's next? How much more dishonesty do we have to endure before the People rise up and say on mass, enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

What we need is public demonstration,s and send these so and so's packing. All of them.

Anonymous said...

One rule for Bowles and the Ombudsman and another rule for free speech and democracy. The Welsh Assembly know what's going on, they instigated it all, by encouraging confusion amongst the people, it distracts us all from real issues, the issue of the lack of faith that we have in this Council.

Labour, Lib Dem Con Trick Coalition, Plaid Cymru, they all exist to deny us what we want, words do not create jobs, words do not build affordable homes, words do not stop the exodus of the young from Anglesey, the only thing that's stopping us getting rid of all of these problems is ACTION, AND A NEW WAY OF THINKING BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE FOR ALL OF US.

Total Sceptic said...

As the old saying goes, "publish and be damned". No use saying you have the evidence and then say you do not have the courage to publish it.

Once again I’m afraid it’s just more innuendo and gossip with nobody willing to stand up and be counted. Yes I know how ironic this comment is, me an anon after all, but I’m not the one making the damaging accusations.

Apparently according to Anon 11:30 “I asked him to send a copy to Rebeccah or the Druid, he said he couldn't because he didn't want to be made a fool of”

So I ask why would the website Rebecca not believe him, or even the Druid, maybe it’s because none of it is true.

I stand to be corrected of course, maybe what they says is true, well the options are clear, publish or allow either Rebecca or the Druid to publish extracts.

What have they to hide?

Anonymous said...

We need to find answers to the problems we have with Bowles and the WELSH ASSEMBLY.

Anonymous said...

The answer is with us all, show your support for the one with the courage and you will see changes very quickly.

Anonymous said...

Who wrote the letter to the Welsh Audit Office exposing Officers.?
Clive McGregor.

Who wrote the Letter to Derrick Jones MD accusing Officers of malfeasance in public office?
Clive McGregor.

Why then has David Bowles not complained to the Ombudsman about McGregor breaches of the Code of Conduct?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the Address, Telephone Number and Email Address is
for Y M INVESTIGATIONS Ltd?

Who's moaning now said...

Druid, are the above abusive comments towards Cllr McGregor and Mr Bowles accetable?

and anon

"The answer is with us all, show your support for the one with the courage and you will see changes very quickly"

If you are referring to the person I think you are referring to, then seriously you need to get a life!!!

Anonymous said...

I think he is referring to Barrie Durkin, who actually refuses to answer his mobile now. Messages and calls go unanswered, a shame really as I thought he was genuine.

Anonymous said...

They are perfectly acceptable, we refer to carhtu cytiau, that means clearing the cow shit out of cow sheds, it's an old Anglesey saying, there are loads of them in Anglesey, famous ones, some of them are so famous that they haven't been invented yet, but my favourite is the shower of shit we call Anglesey County Council, a classic picture of a mess.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Several comments deleted for going too far and for not being conducive to further argument.

Excuse me said...

To anon 18:25 a pity you can't spell either it's CARTHU, and did you never the learn the good old english saying - It's not big, and it's not clever.

Anonymous said...

I wondered if I wrong I was quoting from Private Eye you see, anymore famous Anglesey Quotes out there, like chware teg?

Anonymous said...

the comments were good though and the narrative relating to showers were worthy, your too frivolous with the tone Druid, and while were at it, when will you be giving an updated list on the location of all the readers of your worthy blog?

i.e ANGLESEY COUTY COUNCIL 500
WELSH ASSEMBLY 1
BBC WALES 4
etc, etc, not referring to Yul Bremmer in the King and I, etc.

Anonymous said...

to anon 18:55 we didn't learn that famous english saying, we learnt Welsh ones. there was never a need to learn much English, sorry to disappoint you...

Sais fi said...

To Anon 19:08

Pam wyt yn dyfynu dywediad saesneg felly ?.

Anonymous said...

18:06
What Mobile.

Anonymous said...

WHO'S MOANING NOW.
at 17:53.
No matter how much abuse David Bowles and Clive McGregor get, It will never reach the amount they've dished out. I know It's not your fault, but you clearly haven't got a clue, however all will be revealed.

Anonymous said...

18:06
Over 60.000 supporters and half a dozen against. I'd say that's pretty convincing wouldn't you?

Still waiting for a reply. Why has David Bowles not complained about Clive McGregor to the Ombudsman.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 18:06
"I think he is referring to Barrie Durkin"

If you really wanted to contact Cllr Durkin in his roll of County Councillor all you need do is give him a ring on 01248 689182 or email him on barrie.durkin@btinternet.com which can both be found on the Council's web site. You will then find out how genuine he is.

Anonymous said...

Genuine yes! But perhaos he should have been called Lawrence

Anonymous said...

As no-one has answered the question can we take it that Y M INVESTIGATION Ltd, has no Trading address, Telephone Number or Email.
If not. Can Clive McGregor the leader of the Council and a Director of this Ltd Company or anyone else for that matter tell us. How do those who wish to us their services get in touch?

Anonymous said...
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The Red Flag said...

How do those who wish to us their services get in touch?

Hire an investigator to track them down.

Seriously though, they will be registered in companies house I should imagine, even if it's only to a PO Box and a mobile number. But if it is a PO Box, will have a postcode belonging to the address of the owner of the PO Box.

Anonymous said...

Red Flag
The Company is registered to a private address in Llangefni with no telephone number or email address. The address of registration has no planning permission to be used as an office. So where does the company trade and operate from?

Anonymous said...

Mildly amusing to note comments regarding Anglesey being an embarrasement to Wales. Possibly a touch of navel-gazing / cabin fever for those who don't leave the Island enough. Unfortunately, the sad truth is I don't think Wales gives a monkeys about the Island. Otherwise why allow the merry go round continue of a dysfunctional local authority?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget you can use webcheck at http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk//index.shtml to look up any registered company.

Anonymous said...

"You do not usually need planning permission just to work from home but sometimes you do. The key test is whether the nature of your residence has changed because of the business. If the answer to any of the following questions is "yes", then you will probably need permission:

•Is your house no longer chiefly a private residence?
•Will your business result in a marked rise in traffic, people calling or working around the house or in out buildings?
•Will your business involve obvious activities not usual in a residential street?
•Will your business disturb your neighbours because of noise or smells? "

Anonymous said...

Ok. So where is the operating address and Phone Number?

The Red Flag said...

Ok. So where is the operating address and Phone Number?

Well I can use my mate as an example. He owns and runs two internet companies - one selling disability aids and the other selling fitted kitchens, conservatories etc. Both registered to a PO Box each and his mobile number. That's how I know the postcode on a PO Box number address relates to the owner of the PO Box.

He hasn't got planning permission to use his home address as a business because he says he didn't need to - I assume for the same reasons anon 29 September 2010 00:26 gives namely that it's still chiefly a private residence. (in fact it's totally a private residence. He goes to the client then arranges building and fitting contractors and the delivery of supplies and materials direct to the client's address)