Monday, 25 October 2010

++ Anglesey Council ruling Alliance releases Manifesto ++

In a remarkably positive step the ruling Alliance at Anglesey County Council, comprising of Llais i Fôn, Plaid Cymru, Labour and the Menai Group, have just released the below Manifesto/Policy Document outlining their aims and priorities in governing the council. This document has been approved by the National Executives of both Plaid Cymru and Labour and covers the following thirteen policy areas:

  • Education and Leisure
  • Social Services
  • Housing / Homes
  • Human Resources
  • Economic Development, Work and Tourism
  • Transport
  • The Environment
  • Property
  • Finance
  • Customer Service
  • Planning
  • Law and Order
  • Corporate Affairs

This blog has long argued that one of the main reasons for dysfunction at Anglesey County Council 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. Because of this: (a) residents are only able to vote on personalities and not policies; and (b) as we do not know in detail what they are voting for, it is impossible for us to then evaluate our councillor’s performance when the next council elections come around. Accordingly we should all welcome the Alliance's decision to publish this document because -- whatever we think of its content -- it represents a belated recognition by our councillors that by engaging in a 'battle of ideas' instead of a 'battle of personalities', both local democracy and the council's responsiveness to our needs can only be improved.

I will be posting my thoughts on its content in due course, but in the meantime I urge you all to take a look at the full Alliance manifesto below and share your thoughts and comments. IoACC Alliance Policy Document#32


TGC said...

Certainly a positive step. However, we must also recognise how long it's taken to reach this point - 16 years of the Council's existence and more. And it's not only the Druid that has applied pressure for this - the Recovery Board has also been highlighting this deficiency.

On the content, the first thing to strike me is the very narrow definition of education and leisure - just schools and leisure centres according to the document. Yet, this department is responsible for much more - see:

One wonders why these other aspects don't get a mention - and we're no closer to knowing the Alliance's views on these. Plenty of focus on welsh language teaching, but what of other languages? We're busy being welsh whilst the rest of Europe forges ahead with a couple of other languages for their kids as well.

I'm also bound to say that it's very positive on most issues, but seems only to pay lip service to the imminent cuts coming our way. The word 'cut' doesn't appear at all, nor does 'economic' or 'rationalisation' in any spending review sense. It seems unrealistically rosy in outlook.

Initial assessment? C-, mainly because there is too much 'we will do this' and hardly any 'this is how we'll do it' (let alone 'this is how we'll pay for it').

Anonymous said...

I have just been to William Hills where I put a £100 bet on that someone will come on here and say the are all bent so and so's especially X and not forgetting Y without leaving out X from such and such.

Easiest 10 pence I'll ever earned!!

Brawd o Amlwch said...

Cosy....all sweet and apple pie let's see the substance and detail, please ?

Anonymous said...

Isn't this precisely what the new administration tried to do under Phil Fowlie in 2008, when the Corporate Management team rebelled against the changes and caused so much trouble? To me this is nothing more than rhetoric.I don't believe David Bowles or Clive McGregor will be there to see any of it anyway, so they can tell us what they like, it won't make any difference to them at all.

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Anonymous said...

I was told today that the Police are investigating allegations of a criminal nature within Anglesey County Council, What next?

Prometheuswrites said...

Initial impressions:

A well balanced document. There is much included that was raised in the Druid manifesto and a few additional more items. It's pitched at a strategic level and many of the points are goals, some with more delivery detail than others.

I like the idea of releasing land for self-build - (presumably limited to one self-build per person/family).

It also recognises the shortcomings of the current local development plan and suggests a stop-gap development plan be created to address this as soon as possible.

It has a strong flavour of having been put together by an experienced management consultants given the references in the footnotes and the emphasis on team working and best practice benchmarking practices, which is all to the good, that or those councillor training sessions have really paid off.

There is inevitably a lack of detail in a strategy document of the 'how to achieve it' and the 'how will we know it's been achieved' (success criteria), but those detials are for additional suplementary documents that I'm hoping will form part of a greater tactical document to provide those details.

I'm sure a second reading will raise questions about what certain terms actual mean in practice, but that can be explored tommorow.

Anonymous said...

This could have all happened in 2008 if allowed to proceed with out hindrance.

TGC said...

"I was told today that the Police are investigating allegations of a criminal nature within Anglesey County Council, What next?"

Nothing new, is it? Ceri Stradling's Audit Report of 1996/1997 ened-up with several police investigations into some pretty serious matters.

We'll see how many investigations meet walls of silence this time around.

Anonymous said...

20.46 Yes.....its about the grants.....not before has stunk for some time !!

Between the Lines said...

Nice try, but plenty of passive comments, which in my mind don't form policy. To "look at" or "investigate ways to" doesn't inspire confidence. It's all too wishy washy. To get Anglesey on it's feet we need: "we will impliment..." "we will..." "we shall...".

As the great Yoda said: "Try not. Do. There is no try"

TGC said...

Re: Land release for 'affordable, self-build homes'.

Ideal for today's generation of youngsters priced out of the market. But once the land's sold, it's gone forever. When the occupants move out, they'll ask the market price to maximise their returns.

How does this do anything than plug a hole in a rapidly collapsing dyke? Seems to me it just allows politicians to look good now, shunting the basic problem that property is being used to make profit into the future.

Anonymous said...

I used to go to some brilliant business motivation presentations in Manchester (sports hall near the 'Toastrack'). Part of one presentationhas everyone standing up, the instruction was "Lift up the chair" all charis were lifted.
Next instruction was "Don't lift up the chair" chairs moved.
Next instruction was "Say you are going to lift upthe chair" chairs moved!

Now looking at the 'Manifesto', which seems like a massive step forward, will it be a case of
Lifting up the cahir, Not lifting up the chair or saying "I am going to lift up the chair"? with the last two absolutely nothing happens.

Time will tell.

Anglesey Islander

Anonymous said...

TGC 11.07
AH policies are always based on the premis that the land is given PP for an affordable home for a local person in AH need....(definitions apply)....and the AH is kept available by binding legal agreement in perpetuity for subsequent persons in AH need.
So the first person/owner when he wants to move has to offer that AH to others in such need, at an affordable price, as defined.
So it is not the case that the first person can make a substantial profit, only a nominal index-linked amount of profit.

The Red Flag said...

Anglesey Islander, it is very obvious - as you have notoced - that this 'manifesto' (as such) could be easily taken as a classic - seen to be saying they'll possibly do something but making no promises and certainly nothing that can be held against them.

I give one line as a grade A example, at the end of 4. Housing/Homes where at line 4.5 it boldly states 'The Alliance will review social housing to meet local needs'. A completely oirrelevant and meaningless sentence if ever there was one. I'll do the review for them now shall I? Across the length and breadth of the island their is a huge demand for and an equally huge shortage of social housing for rent. Required are hundreds (yes hundreds) of new builds as well as at the same time stopping the right-to-buy so that the sstock shows a substantial inet increase (a growth in the hundreds from the current level) of homes for families, couples and singles of all ages, all over the island.

So, that's the review out of the way, when exactly will this Alliance start building? Because these homes for rent at social levels aren't needed over the next decade - that's way to long. They are needed now and then more added year after year until there is enough to quench demand and then and only then we can start thinking of replacing the old stock.

It is a big big job and the biggest and most needed social project needed on the island and buggering about building between none and 16 per year (as has happened over the past decade) is farcical and is not even replacing stock lost through right-to-buy.

But then again, does the council have the balls to carry out a policy that will in effect all but destroy the buy-to-let industry?

Anonymous said...

If the Council expects that the private development industry is somehow going to provide social housing on the cheap......think again....they will not get built !
Private developers are not there to be milked by the Council.
It is the Council's function, or Housing Associations, to provide social housing.

Anonymous said...

16.40 An analogy ?
Would we expect the local butcher to hand over cheaper meat to the poor in society....or Tesco, or indeed anyone in business ?
So why single out developers ?

The Red Flag said...

anon 19:36, no-one has singled out developers. If anyone has been singled out it's government at all levels for failing to fund to meet requirements and for dithering and fannying about.

Anonymous said...

Social Housing needs are for the immigrants who flood here, to escape the reality of working, the housing needs are for them and NOT for the locals. The Welsh should be housed in cattle trucks and barns, social housing for the English please, who come here to employ YOU!