Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Hawl i Holi report

I attended the first of the latest set of Hawl i Holi meetings in Llangefni last night. Over 40 members of the public turned up -- a big improvement on the last such meeting I attended --  and a lively exchange ensued between the Executive, still led by Clive McGregor, and the assembled residents.

The meeting began with a presentation of the financial problems facing the council as a result of the public sector cuts, best summarised by the below figures:


You can find full details of the proposed budget here on the council website.

The majority of questions related to two subjects: specifics regarding the actual local cuts themselves, and the ongoing political turmoil at the council. There was also a very forceful statement regarding the council having given only very short notice indeed in informing the public that these Hawl i Holi meetings will also represent a formal 'public consultation' into the proposed budget for 2011/12. The Photon has already written a very accurate and detailed pen portrait of the meeting so I won't repeat everything here.

I asked two questions:

1. How the job losses at Anglesey County Council will be managed, specifically will there be any forced redundancies? How will it affect consultants and agency staff? And whether the council is considering implementing a deal similar to that announced at Neath Port Talbot whereby the total number of job losses have been reduced due to workers earning over £21,000 p.a. accepting a one-off 2 percent pay cut and a three year freeze. 

Answer: Basically the council will be having discussions with the unions today and therefore cannot answer those questions in detail yet. Cllr Cliff Everett added that the situation in Neath Port Talbot was considerably different from Ynys Môn because of the large size of that council and solutions which work there may not be appropriate here.

2. I fully support Wylfa B, but we need to be aware that the new power station will generate approximately 3,300MW (roughly three times more than Wylfa A) and an additional 4,000MW will be coming in at peak time from the wind farms in the Irish sea. Therefore, how will all this power be transmitted off the island as the current supergrid has nowhere near that capacity? Scarring the island with hundreds of additional pylons will certainly not help our nascent tourism business. As we are hosting a power facility for the benefit of the entire country, the council needs to ensure that Anglesey is respected for its contribution and that strong representations are made to the National Grid to use either submarine or underground cabling.

Answer: The council is aware of the issue and discussions are going on with all the parties involved - "Watch this space".

The meeting ended with an appeal from the Leader, Clive McGregor, for more people to consider standing for election as county councillors in the 2012 local elections. Currently only 5 percent (i.e. 2 out of 40) of councillors in Ynys Môn are female compared to a Wales average of 22 percent. Furthermore the average age of county councillors on Anglesey is 63.5 years, fully five years older than the national Wales average of 57 years. If you fancy becoming a councillor, you are invited to get in touch with the elections department on 01248 752815 or email elections@anglesey.gov.uk. Clive even went so far as to suggest that a two term limit should be introduced for Councillors on Ynys Môn so as to ensure a regular intake of new blood -- something which is included in the People's Manifesto and a measure I would wholeheartedly endorse. Now that really would be a legacy for the Island, Clive!

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

All talk with no substance. Again

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Do you endorse 2 terms for Assembly members as well? Cllr Alun Jenkins in Wrecsam has been a Cllr since 1971 and I would miss him greatly (despite the fact he's a Lib Dem!)His knowledge of financial issues is second to none. What you need is a system of removing those who are there to 'feather their nests'

Photon said...

Don't know about Paul, but I certainly support the '2 terms and you're out' maximum. Whilst it's true that this will cut a few good men in their tracks, those same good men will realise it's a sacrifice necessary to ensure the kind of rubbish we've seen on Anglesey for so long doesn't get another toehold.

As far as I'm concerned, we're already on the way to business as usual with the anti-McGregor brigade. More will surely follow soon.

Anonymous said...

If the pipe-puffing agitator and his sinister cronies try to oust CMcG before May.....DB should and will press the nuclear button and WAG will take over, till the May 2012 Election.....FACT.
We, the People, are who matter, not the agitating bunch on the Council.
We, the People, should attend the Hawl i Holi, to ask pertinent questions, and see for ourselves how better, more honest, transparent and sincere CMcG is, compared with some of the gangsters around him.
I would vote for him as Mayor !

Anonymous said...

Nest feathering, cherry picking, asset stripping, planning permission gaining, you name it, they get it.

Paul Williams said...

Gwersyllt - long time so see, I hope you are well?
You are right that we do need a system to unseat those who's minds are elsewhere, but as you can see after almost 2 years of WAG intervention that hasn't been achieved. So, as Photon says above, accepting some sacrifices, term limits could be a practical means of injecting some new blood into the council. I did not mention it in relation to the Welsh Assembly -- which has a different set of problems altogether.

the outsider said...

ok girls, time to pick up the poisoned chalice! I support the MORE THAN 5% campaign!

voice on the street said...

Gregorists would support his claims that he is jumping because he want to spend more time with his grand kids then would they? Nuffink to do with the enemy actually winning this battle, just time at home with little ones. LMAO

Anonymous said...

We don't care about McGregor or his bunch, all we care about is recovering from the mess, and hopefully surviving the landslide that is tearing this Island apart.

Anonymous said...

We don't care about McGregor.......

You will not see any changes till McGregor is gone.

He, and him alone has done more damage to this Island than anything that's gone before.

Any team with a one man band in it for his own glorification is doomed from the very start.

Anonymous said...

13.06 Have we learnt nothing ?
The change you will see when CMcG is gone will NOT be to your liking, it will be regressive and murky, led by sinister types...back to the dark ages.
Is that what we really want ?

Anonymous said...

Time limits for councillors? They only have one term as it stands at the moment - then they have to put themselves up for election. Every one on the council today has faced the electors and either stood in an eelction or got in unopposed (not their fault). It's called democrecy, studpid.

Anonymous said...

Will the councillors be taking a cut in pay and allowances as part of the cuts "we're all in this together"

Anonymous said...

17.12 Stupid is bad grammar, and bad spelling, uneducated chum.

Anonymous said...

The Kenny Everett chap from Holyhead was rather full of himself at Hawl I Holi, pushing himself to answer questions not addressed at him, and trying to score cheap political points against the Tory AM candidate, always having to mention his self-important role as clerk or something of the tinpot Holyhead parish council. Unattractively pompous.

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Anonymous said...

SO FAR, THIS PAGE AND THE ONE FOLLOWING ARE ABSOLUTELY THE BEST ON THE DRUID BLOGSITE...WOULDN'T IT BE WONDERFUL IF IT STAYED THAT WAY

Anonymous said...

Councillor's taking pay-cuts ...more chance of seeing pigs taking off from Valley!

Over the last 4 years their claimed allowances (not necessarily the actual costs which will be higher) are £2,943,338 ...that's right, almost £3 million!

In Gold, Silver & Bronze positions:
Cllr WJ Chorlton claimed £112,910
Cllr GW Roberts claimed £111,393
Cllr PM Fowlie claimed £88,742

Cllrs McGregor & Everett claimed £65,162 and £73,895 respectively

Basic Allowance for all councillors increased last year by 3.87% to £12,960

Personally I believe there ARE some decent Councillors in place and I believe there are others there who are entirely self-serving, money-grabbing glory hunters who need to get back under the stones they crawled from.

Looking for cuts? I know where I'd start. The Llangefni Gravy Train should be withdrawn from service.

*allowance figures extracted from PDF files published on YMCC website

PS under the Council's own constitution each could decline to make claims for all or part of these allowances. There is no compulsion to take the money

Anonymous said...

Seems to have come a long way from when our Grandfather's went to the meetings on the bus, our Grandmother's having made them sandwiches for their lunch, and they never received a penny, or if a penny was available they wouldn't have claimed it because they were good and honest men

Anonymous said...

Many of our Councillors are comfortably retired with pensions and perks from other professions, trades, or business....the Council income comes in very nicely, thank you very much.....

Anonymous said...

16:05.
You imply that none of today's Councillors are Good and Honest Men.
How dare you come to such a crass conclusion, Put up your evidence, show us the proof. Or are you just another all mouth and no substance Pratt?

Anonymous said...

The evidence is all over the druids blog, it gets plastered every day, it doesn't matter which topic the druid writes as a topic, the sub blogs are always dictated and directed to a lack lustre Council with poor councillors, with their snouts in the trough, is that enough proof or evidence for you, what part of that don't you understand??

If you are elected to represent the people, do it, don't moan when you get found out to be incapable of doing your job............in a normal job you would be sacked!

Anonymous said...

INSIDER ?> Well, when Clive goes, it looks like JCh for Leader, BO for Deputy,the detested pipe-puffer for EconDev ( in reality the Leader's spokesman and bully, heaven forbid !)and who knows the rest of the Exec.....all in the melting pot as we happily BLOG...

Anonymous said...

Your 18:48 comments only make crass comments worse.

No where on any Blog will you find any evidence that today's Councillors are, as you infer in 16:05, not Good and honest or poor councillors incapable of doing their job.
Unless you can show to the contrary?

Anonymous said...

Interested says....To Anonymous 19:26....Is this news hot off the Press ???..Tell me/us more....Youve given us the Bonus Balls so how's about the other numbers for the Jackpot..!!Any Booby Numbers ..??

Anonymous said...

@17.37 only going on what happened to what happened when my own Granfather was on the council, many years ago and what his situation was, he did go on the bus, his wife did make him sandwiches and when he was offered recompense for his services, refused as he was happy to do it for nothing in the hope that he could help people without taking any money from them, now if we could say that about councillors today that would be a major improvement, how many would run for council today with no recompense, the result would be interesting

Anonymous said...

22.49........they are jockeying for the positions, as we Blog....its interesting, how politicians(so called)...like monkeys, when they climb the tree, the more disgusting the parts they expose.
There will be some very ugly and sinister people on JC's Executive, you watch !
Dark days ahead.
Election 2012, or sooner please !

the outsider said...

it will be interesting to see if any Councillors put themselves up for election and pledge not to claim expenses and allowances or else to limit the total amount. If the figures quoted above are correct, or anywhere near correct, this seems far too much of a burden on the local taxpayer, and clearly reduces the money available for services the Council provides.

Anonymous said...

Hawl i Holi will disappear under JC's regime.......BAD!

Anonymous said...

The only way to stop these people burying their ugly snouts in the trough is to put yourself forward as a candidate in their wards, imagine the chaos that would cause if they had someone else to challenge their authority, the thought of losing their money would drive them mad, they might have to get a real job then, like us.

Anonymous said...
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