Thursday, 3 March 2011

£128,466.59 (updated)

According to this FOI request, that's how much in total the Anglesey Recovery Board has cost the public purse to date.

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.”

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there any meaningful recovery activity at all?

The Recovery Steering Group, established in Sept 2010, should have submitted a report at the Council meeting on Dec 9th but it was deferred to 8 Feb. The report should then have been available with the Agenda but wasn't published with the other documents and doesn't yet seem to be there. Has anybody been able to find it, was it actually discussed at the meeting?

The minutes of the 8 Feb meeting are apparently still not published, which is a bit poor almost four weeks later.

http://www.anglesey.gov.uk/doc.asp?cat=5417

Maes Llwyn said...

No, there has been NO recovery.
The Recovery Board has, not surprisingly, been an expensive waste of time, quite inept despite their supposedly high credentials, might as well not have not bothered.
I predict that The Minister, to get the insoluble Anglesey problem out of the way before the NAW election in May, will have installed the Commissioners by the end of this month.
We will then be governed by them, until the local elections of May 2012.
Then, if we are sensible, we will know what to do ?

Photon said...

Deja vu? Blody hell, it's more like a total nightmare. We ought to demand most of the money is returned. Why? They came here as the 'Intervention Board'. The Council didn't like that, so it was re-branded the 'Recovery Board'. Seeing as they haven't brought about a recovery, they surely don't deserve our money.

An excellent example of the sensible use of FoIA, Paul. Well done.

Anonymous said...

and I wonder how many of you voted YES yesterday .....

Photon said...

09:19 - You have a point, certainly. But we were voting for law making powers, not the right for Cardiff to make expensive, ineffective interventions in local government.

Paul Williams said...

Photon - to be fair I only made one of the FoI requests. The other I found on the WAG's disclosure list.

Groundhog Day said...

Same old, same old, Here we go again. Is anyone really surprised at Paul's findings? No doubt a resounding "YES" vote will be announced later today by the minority who could be arsed to even pop down to the polling stations to vote to give these clowns in Cardiff carte blanche to destroy our country to an even greater extent than they have done to date. Personally I would never buy a used car from any of the AMs down there regardless of their political persuasion. The inept Carl Sergeant who took over from the equally inept Funky Gibbon has been sitting on his hands in a stupor for months now while our dodgy councillors ran rings around him. He and the other AMs should be made to foot the bill for this fiasco out of their generous expenses.

Deadly Serious said...

I have it !
The Solution !
Get Col. Gadaffi to come to Wales as our Dictator, he's available, and he would sort this mess out once and for all....no bickering gutter politics ever again........?

Photon said...

Whoever put the request in, it potentially pushes the boundary of law - the request was received and acted upon by WAG over the phone. The Act requires requests to be in writing.

Well done, again!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

and what is AM doing about this? - Zilch!

Anonymous said...

Gwynedd Council want it both ways, their either in or out.

If they no longer want to be part of the Scoping Study, then they need to keep his nose out of our Local Development Plan, and start putting their own dysfunctional house in order first.

Anonymous said...

Absolute scandal.
All those involved want sacking particularly Bowles and the Recovery Board.

Loads a money, no value. Then what can we expect from a rip-off Society?

Anonymous said...

"Whoever put the request in, it potentially pushes the boundary of law - the request was received and acted upon by WAG over the phone. The Act requires requests to be in writing."

It doesn't. I've put requests in over the phone in the past. The information officer then confirms by email.

Photon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious said...

Its interesting that the Druid often deletes some comments of the Photon....I thought they were as ONE !
Its noticeable that Photon on his own blog is very nervous of some people's comments, yet he makes inappropriate ?? comments on the Druid's blog.
What is Photon's agenda, that The Druid does not like, I wonder ?

Anonymous said...

They are both after the TRUTH, a commodity in very short supply, I would say.

Curious said...

17.37........it does not answer the question ?

Anonymous said...

I wonder this evening, like a little owl flying around the fields looking for a mouse for supper, and I was thinking, I wonder if someone else is feeling the same way, thinking of the power they have had in this referendum, the power to make or break people, the power to clamp down on moaners and groaners, who always criticise the Assembly and IoACC.

Is this new found wealth of power, enough to kick start a mad surge to clamp down on bloggers who are undermining the authority of the elected, or is it still our right to show them where they are going wrong.

The referendum was to give the Welsh Assembly the power to pass their own laws, let's hope they do it wisely, let's hope that this new found power doesn't go to their heads and they make rash and stupid decisions, only time will tell, but I can imagine the Nationalists are there with a list as long as my arm, demanding this, demanding that, when at the end of the day, they have to remember that we all have to live together, as one Nation.

Choose wisely Welsh Assembly, we wouldn't like you to have egg on your faces, talk to the people, don't talk over them. And for those in Cardiff, in Carwyn's Office, don't start a war with the people with your new found power, it can be taken from you just as easily as it was given to you.

kp said...

This is an interesting day for the non-Welsh amongst us.

Do we make a mad dash for friendlier shores elsewhere or do we tough it out and see what incentives are offered to encourage us to stay?

I'd say the latter .... as with all emerging states it is the non-indigenous that are considered essential for future prosperity.

voice on the street said...

more bullshit from more bullshitters

voice on the street said...

is Gerard Elias behind this scam or what?

staff... said...
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Maes Llwyn said...

Staff 23.40......your list of CULPRITS is incomplete !

Anonymous said...

Full Council Meeting this coming Tuesday. Could be very interesting.

Anonymous said...

"Full Council Meeting this coming Tuesday."

Indeed. And yet the minutes of the February EGM are afaict still not published, and the report of the Recovery Steering Group (overdue since December) still is invisible. How many basic consitutional rules does this break, who is accountable, and if basic stuff like this can't be done right, what hope is there for more complicated stuff which involves money changing hands?

You want a secret society, with unaccountable off the record discussions, no public record of who said what to who (and who voted which way), what new information was divulged, what commitments were made, you don't need the Masons, just try IoACC. [Unfair comparison I know, but only slightly; apologies to the good and decent folks on the Council but your actions are devalued by the actions of the others].

Insider said...

12:21.
Couldn't put it better myself.
They have so much to hide, it would take an army of HONEST auditors twelve months to unravel.

staff... said...

Maes Llwyn, who would you add?

Maes Llwyn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Nothing short of a criminal investigation will right IoACC.

The Recovery Board reside in academia where everything is financed by the Taxpayer and money is no object because it's not their money they are wasting.

Solace should be fully investigated for price-fixing and for creating a monopoly. This would never happen in the Private Sector simply because paying excessively for goods or services reduces profit.

Hughes71

Anonymous said...

"This would never happen in the Private Sector simply because paying excessively for goods or services reduces profit."

Hilarious. No one in the UK private sector ever tried to get themselves a monopoly, or aimed at getting themselves a cartel, or massively ripped off customers over an extended period? Or paid their senior staff far more than they deserve based on profits and losses in recent years (hi Barclays), while trying their best to pay the folks in the front line as little as is legally possible?

It's not about private vs public; that's a silly game, a (convenient for some) distraction from the real issues. Leave that silly game to the millionaire Cleggerons of the world (and to kp of this parish).

It's actually about competent vs incompetent, responsible vs irresponsible, honest vs dishonest. And ultimately, accountable vs unaccountable.

staff... said...

Maes Llwyn - I agree. You seem to be psychic!

Anonymous said...

There should be a police investigation in to ACC for using public money to finance complaints by its employees to the Ombudsman

Anonymous said...

Why does KP always sound like a condescending racist?