What have we had in return for £128,466.59?
Well, we've got the seven reports from the Recovery Board to the WAG Local Government Minister which they have made public here. That works out at just under £20K a report then.
(Incidentally, according to its terms of reference the Recovery Board is obliged to produce a report to the Minister after each of its meetings. Why then, you might ask, have no new reports been produced since last July despite the board having met on 15th September, 8th December and most recently on the 31st January? Well, according to this FOI reply, they didn't bother in September as the Minister attended their meeting (therefore there is no need for any public record apparently). They also didn't bother for the December meeting. Why? Because of, and I quote, "the proximity of Christmas"...)
What else have we got? Well apparently not much because, as you know, despite Plaid Cymru and Labour in Cardiff Bay having spent £128K on the Recovery Board and a further £270K a year on an interim MD, the recovery has stalled and the auditors have been sent in, again.
In conclusion: plenty of public money has been spent but we are back to square one. Its like déjà vu all over again.
UPDATE: To further underline the failure of WAG to turn around Anglesey Council, Gwynedd Council have today announced that they are suspending their involvement in the scoping study imposed by Carl Sargeant in December to find areas where Anglesey and Gwynedd councils can cooperate.
Harry Thomas, the Chief Exec of Gwynedd, is quoted in the Daily Post as saying:
“Since Gwynedd Council agreed to the Minister’s request in December 2010, Anglesey Council has experienced considerable political turmoil which has created uncertainty regarding its future political leadership.”
He added: “Such a climate of instability and uncertainty is not conducive to successful large-scale collaboration. Gwynedd Council has consequently had to reconsider its position.
“Despite these developments, Gwynedd Council will continue to work with Anglesey to explore smaller scale, specific collaborative opportunities providing the benefits substantially outweigh the risks.”