Monday, 14 March 2011

An Audit Report without recommendations, a Recovery Board which doesn't know what Recovery looks like.

The BBC are reporting that the recently completed (but still top secret) emergency Auditor's report into Anglesey County Council does not contain any recommendations. In which case what is the point of it?

We have had over a year and a half of WAG intervention, featuring the highest paid Civil Servant in Wales in addition to regular monitoring by a mini-Quango in the shape of the Recovery Board. Both report back to WAG Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant on a regular basis — why therefore was there a need to carry out an emergency audit too, especially if it does not contain any recommendations? Surely the problems at the council could have been adequately ascertained by simply asking the current well paid overseers?

An Audit without any recommendations reminds me of a snippet from a Recovery Board report from last April. After six (yes, six!) meetings, the Recovery Board basically admitted that they didn't know "what is a successful recovery". In retrospect the consequences of those tasked with solving the problem not knowing what the solution looks like explains pretty well why the problems at the council have got worse rather than better over the last year and a half of WAG intervention.

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On a personal note I am deeply saddened by the devastation and huge loss of life in Japan following the 8.9 richter scale earthquake and tsunami. I spent six happy years living and working in Tokyo and Osaka when younger and still regard Japan as my second home after Wales. I myself experienced many earth tremors (indeed, they happened every day) but they rarely last longer than a few seconds — the latest earthquake lasted much, much longer and must have been quite terrifying. It is a testament to Japanese construction techniques that the quake itself caused so little structural damage; it was the tsunami and the brute force of the ocean which has caused the majority of the devastation we have witnessed on our TVs — and put our own problems into stark contrast.

55 comments:

Prometheuswrites said...

Maybe they don't know what their statutory duties are?

(See my comment on Photon blog - 'Ferrets Fighting in a Sack' re: Lack of a single reference source for Welsh Laws made by the WAG since 1999 - from Law in Action -Radio 4 - this week)

The Recovery Board haven't published their last two reports, (firstly because 'the minister was attending the meeting' and then because of 'proximity to Xmas').

It's bad enough having the most expensive MD in Wales foisted upon us at our expense without having a Recovery Board that don't demonstrate the calibre they expect from the body they are meant to be aiding in 'recovery'.

Does anyone know whether this latest undisclosed Auditor General's report was paid for from our Anglesey budget?

Is Anglesey just another carriage on the Welsh Assembly gravy train for civil servants?

Anonymous said...

Recovery is easy.

Sack trouble making traitors to democracy Bowles and McGregor. Expose what a waste of time Carl Sargeant is and let the elected members get on with the job of bringing in the Police to those involved in dishonesty and start afresh doing what they were elected for. EASY. Preferably with Cllr Durkin as Leader.

Anonymous said...
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Richard Sletzer said...

I am afraid Paul's comments on the Anglesey Recovery Board are absolutely on target. What a shambles.

Surely the highly-paid chairman Professor Elan Closs-Stephens must surely now resign. We have seen her on ITV Wales struggling to put together coherent sentences when attempting to explain what her board was doing. Now we know why.

Mrs Closs-Stephens has, of course, now taken on yet another new job in the public-sector merry-go-round. She is now the BBC's National Trustee for Wales. No confict of interest there then.

Anonymous said...

What a Country we live in, what a mess of an Island our ancestors fought for. I have the distict honour of having written here since the Druid started, and my views and opinion are still unchanged. We have heard all sorts of excuses, from last chance saloon, to the recovery and the Professor, nothing has made anything better or clearer.

We are all guilty of allowing the Welsh Assembly a freehand to come along and play games with us, when the Welsh Assemly had no idea what the rules were, or what they were doing in the first place.

My remedy is simple, Albert Owen is the Labour MP for Anglesey, he should be asked to contact the Labour Leader in the Assembly, Carwyn Jones and ask him to dissolve the Council, they are unfit for purpose, but wait, have the Welsh Assembly got the power to do that? No, they haven't, the Welsh Assembly is a waste of time and money, that's why I voted No last week, so my predictionss from the very beginning are correct, the Welsh Assembly, and Carl Sargeant are just fools, who think they can do wonders for the people and for Anglesey, when in reality, they can do NOTHING.

Disgusted with a tinge of Betrayal rubbed on for measure, not pleasure.

Angry Voter.

Anonymous said...

The earthquake hit Japan, on Friday by Monday, the BBC are reporting millions have no food to eat, 4 days later, that is incredible.

Anonymous said...

17:48
What we are witnessing here now on Anglesey, is the realization, that from the first day of Bowles's arrival, a blame culture was devised to ensure that those involved in bringing the Council into disrepute were shielded and that those who wanted to clean the council up and bring those responsible to book were to be abused and treated like the trouble makers.

Following this, there is now an up-swell of public anger and growing support for the elected members who have, without due process been attacked and condemned publicly by Bowles and Clive McGregor for their own wicked ends, Which Clive McGregor has a lot to answer to himself.

This can only, if allowed to continue end in tears with some getting badly injured and not necessarily physically.

To stop the rot and to ensure calm. The Recovery Board and David Bowles should be got rid of immediately. Clive McGregor and the Authorities Legal Dept should resign on mass and the Elected Councillors should be allowed, without any further undemocratic interference, to get on with running the Council. Anything less could bring about the unspeakable.

UP YOURS said...

Ma'm.
The peasants are revolting. I know Clive, I can smell them from here.

Just do as David says and you will be spared the rod, and whatever you do, don't let the buggers get to know the truth or were all for the chop.

Anonymous said...

ELAN CLOSS STEPHENS = QUEEN OF THE QUANGO'S!!!

Anonymous said...

Elan.....£££££.....lovely!

An Insider said...

News from the Kremlin tonight.

It is understood that a mass leaflet drop across Anglesey exposing Bowles, McGregor and Lynn Balls legal Department as co-conspirator in attempting to bring down the Local Authority is to take place.

It is said to expose the real reasons why Bowles was sent in to the Council and the plans to create a situation where by it would make it so much easier for the Assemble to amalgamate Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd which has now backfired.

Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

Carl Sargeant to give his decision on the recent Auditors report on Wednesday.

We will give our verdict on Carl Sargeant's performance before then.

Anonymous said...

An Insider said... News from the Kremlin tonight.

It is understood that a mass leaflet drop across Anglesey exposing Bowles, McGregor and Lynn Balls legal Department as co-conspirator in attempting to bring down the Local Authority is to take place.


I find this difficult to believe. Mass leafleting requires established manpower-heavy organisations to do it - such as political parties, large active pressure groups, the Post Office, or inserts in a local paper.

Anonymous said...

08:06
I take it your not one of the many?

Them Who Know. said...

Todays message to David Bowles and Clive McGregor.

Its nice to be important but its more important to be nice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
08:06 I take it your not one of the many?


I am a member of a political party and leaflet for them. As far as I am aware we haven't been asked to do a leaflet drop but then again, being as councillors of all parties are tarnished by this I doubt any party will be asked to leaflet other than maybe UKIP but they don't have the 'legs' to leaflet drop the whole island.

So that leaves either trades unions activists (as far as I'm aware again not been asked but outside their 'remit' anyway) or the Post Office (checked with two posties I know and they know nothing).

So now we're down to inserts in local papers as the only other large-scale possibility or people stood in the entranceway to Tesco/Morrison/Asda (but I don't think they'll allow it). Anyone know anything?

Anonymous said...

Mr know-all at 10.I3 get a life, your way off the mark.

Its called the people getting out and doing things for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mr know-all at 10.I3 get a life, your way off the mark.

Its called the people getting out and doing things for themselves.


So where are the leaflets then? Have they been printed? Who is organising the leafleting teams? How do you get in touch with them to volunteer?

If it's going to happen it needs to happen over the next couple of days or it will have 'missed the boat' so to speak - there's only a very narrow window where the relevance is at peak.

The Whisperer said...

Sshhhh!-come closer-can't shout incase Clive's listening and them I'll be in trouble....Just heard a rumour doing the rounds of a Petition by the Electorate of Anglesey in support of the MAJORITY of Elected Members in light of the allegations by McGreggor-he's done his utmost to bring Anglesey down as Bowles' Puppet--Remember Clive-It happened on your Watch--all will be revealed before the end of the week--Goodbye Clive.....(don't tell him I told you)..Sshhhh

Portfolio for Finance said...
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Anonymous said...

To the two Anons arguing about leaflet drops.

I think 'The Whipserer'(12:24) probably provides the real activity that will occur with the 'petition' line. Presumably there will be an accompanying leaflet of some description that will be handed out at the time of approach/signing. It would also overcome the manpower & logistical issues of actually undertaking a leaflet drop across every household on the island in that it would no longer be a leaflet drop, it would be static canvassing.

I wonder what comment the island's political hierarchy will make?

Can't see AO & IWJ offering much public support - to close to home with regards some of the naughty people involved (allegedly).

Anonymous said...

I understand that there is a massive family connection between the MP, and AM and some of the naughty boys in the Offices, this is why we have this problem of abuse of power on the Island.

Brothers in law ( allegedly)

Anonymous said...

Well we're just about to enter the warm-up period for the elections.

Wonder who will try to make political capital out of it - somone's bound to.

Wonder who is not affiliated to a party and has a bit of an axe to grind with both the council and a party?

Perhaps Peter Rogers knows?

maes Llwyn said...

Under s85 Local Government Act 2000 the Minister has several options in calling local Council elections.......he should use the powers in Anglesey, why does he not ? !

One from Cardiff Bay said...

See Below-Hutton's Report-
Key recommendations: A New Settlement for Public Sector Leadership
In his Final Report, Will Hutton makes recommendations for a new settlement for public sector leadership. ""Under this deal, senior public servants’ pay will be directly linked to their performance and will be explained transparently to the public."" In return, public service leaders are entitled to expect improved public appreciation of the responsibilities of senior public service roles, and the ethos of public service that motivates them.
Does this mean that "pay directly linked to their performance"Bowles and McGreggor will have to pay back most ,or even ALL of their Salaries ???--Well..what do you think ???

The Whisperer said...

Hey..come closer..daren't shout..Clive may be listening..!!..Rumour has it that Clive has booked a Ferry over to France next week....making a getaway I wonder before the people of Anglesey who trusted and respected him read the Auditors Report !!..Is he named in it ??..Has he booked a one-way ticket ??..Bye Clive.....

An Avid Collector said...
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The Caped Crusader said...

Hope the due Auditor's Report wont be treated by the one of Sept 11th 2010 as below ??

September 11, 2010
IoACC - Draft District Auditor Report for 2007/8 - "never saw light"
In May 2008 the Original Independent Group came to power and by September 2008 the Leader Phil Fowlie was apparently "immersed" in a bitter battle with senior management within IoACC and particularly the Managing Director, Derrick Jones.

As readers will be aware, every local authority in the UK is audited by various UK accounting firms (the big six) and they provide a "District Auditors' report" on the Council in question. This is standard practice and in the case of IoACC, the District Auditor was Ian Howse Esq of Price Waterhouse Coopers' Cardiff Office.

We are informed that a draft "District Auditors' report" for 2007/8 was sent to IoACC however the report was never shown to the Council "Executive" that comprises the Council Leader and his cabinet members who have various portfolio responsbilities for such as Planning, Housing, Education etc......

Apparently the draft "District Auditors' Report" never got past the "Monitoring Officer" which would seem quite astonishing.

A question might be ......who was protecting who?


Makes you wonder why dosen't it-Make up your own minds !!!!

Inspector Maigret said...

Have a look at this one then on Ynysmon.com...Says it all !!!!

September 10, 2010
Anglesey Council - Clive McGregors' letter to Derrick Jones (former MD)
Herewith Clive McGregors' letter to Derrick Jones, former MD of Anglesey Council

Here McGregor says "as a Councillor and Executive Member I have been dismayed by the obvious distrust shown to us by Senior Officers...etc"-and further on in the same letter dated 22nd December 2008 written on his own Council Headed Paper he says-"it may be that we require a Police Investigation into an issue as offences of Malfeasence in Public Office would appear to have been made out.It is then and only then that confidence in the Isle of Anglesey County Council would be apparent""...There you are folks..it all started there by Clive McGregor...NOW THEN CLIVE-WILL YOU PLEASE LEAVE THE COUNTRY..!!!!!

See you in France..

The Whispering Stable Lad said...

Pppssstt..it's me..I'm back...Ssshhh...Just come back from some Horse Whispering ready for tomorrows big race....Clive was moaning that his back was a bit sore after Bowles had been riding him for too long..whip marks all over him....Ah well..seems Clive chose the wrong Stable Mate ???..Well what are the Odds now then for..Clive the Donkey,Tom the Stutter,Robert the Feet,Selwyn the uncabable and Dew the Undecided...??..will we see any of them jump the fences on the straight ??

Matilda said...

Ooohhh Mabel...are you coming to Town tomorrow..Public Flogging in the Square in Llangefni..outside the Clock...The Very Naughty Councillors and Officers with their Drawers down in full view for a good whipping...bring your knitting and picnic..we could be there for a while..Hope the weather's not too cold for their poor bottoms...handy having several Chemists shops nearby..they'll need plenty of Ointment...they're also looking for volunteers to carry out the whipping..understand that Durkin's No1 in the line..Ooohhh that's gonna hurt somebody...

In the Know. said...
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Matilda said...

Ooohh-I hope theyv'e cleaned themselves up before the whipping...Uccchhh

Anonymous said...
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The Caped Crusader said...

To Anonymous 20:26
Don't take my word for it..look at www.ynysmon.com Sept 11th 2010...Re Draft Auditor's Report !!..They tell me that Auditors never lie !!(except for Jeremy Coleman that is !!)

Curios said...

Dearest "Blog Administrator" is your name Clive by any chance ??

Anonymous said...

Comments Deleted.

Clear evidence of shit houses on the run.

A Councillor who was elected at the same time said...

I've seen an unedited copy of Cllr Durkin's letter to the People of Anglesey this afternoon. As he pulls no punches I don't suppose we will seeing it on the Blogs, but it will certainly give Carl Sargeant and those named something to think about and about time to.

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

Flotsam.
We are now at what could be the turning point of Local Government as we know it today. So don't lets degenerate our comments to the level we are trying to get rid of at the Council.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

21 25.
Your probably right, but some one has to try and shift this garbage from our Local Authority and Cllr Durkin seems to be the only one with the bottle to try and do it, which doesn't say much for the rest of the rabble. Doe's it?

Drain Buster said...

I've got a set of Drain Rods if of any use..with the screwed end they certainly shift the shit..Would you like to borrow them ???

Anonymous said...

All this boring shite - probably the result of getting pissed while watching the footie

Anonymous said...

Apparently the full report for the recent Audit will be made available to staff tomorrow (Wed) with a rumour the Minister may well make an announcement in the Senedd in the afternoon. Meetings with Interim MD arranged for staff on Thursday lunchtime. Perhaps the future of IoACC will be revealed!!

Rip Van said...

Pssst Anon 22:33...Shall I tell you the Report reccommends or shall we keep the whole of Anglesey waiting ??..I find it very difficult to keep Secrets SO as an insider who has been privvy to the Report here goes ......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

The council have had a draft copy since last week. The Assembly put an embargo on its release till tomorrow diner time, all will be revealed then.

But when we hear that Neither Carl Sargeant or his Recovery Board had anything to do with the way Anglesey County Council has been run.Don't you believe it.

Anonymous said...

The council have had a draft copy since last week. The Assembly put an embargo on its release till tomorrow diner time, all will be revealed then.

But when we hear that Neither Carl Sargeant or his Recovery Board had anything to do with the way Anglesey County Council has been run.Don't you believe it.

Doubting Thomas said...

Is this Draft Copy similar to the one of September 2010 as mentioned on www.ynysmon.com that one didn't get past the Monitoring Officer..will this one be a True un-doctered version ???...I wonder...

Insider said...

Doubting Thomas.
It better had be. Once bit, twice shy, if you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

The People of Anglesey and the Council sold down the river by an Ex copper and a loser from Lincolnshire. What a tragedy. what a way to run a tin pot council.

Send for the Boy Scouts,they can sort it out during their Bob a Job week.

Anonymous said...

The news this morning gives the perception Carl Sargeant will be announcing that Anglesey County Council is to be run by Commissioners?

If that happens it is understood a any decision of that nature could be challenged in court via a judicial review as been ultra virus and illegal.

Ironically, If such a decision is made, it will only go to show that David Bowles and his recovery board have not just been a waste of time but a complete waste of public money.

The Red Flag said...

Anonymous said...
21 25.
Your probably right, but some one has to try and shift this garbage from our Local Authority and Cllr Durkin seems to be the only one with the bottle to try and do it, which doesn't say much for the rest of the rabble. Doe's it?


Nothing much says anything for the rest of the rabble. A significant chunk are in this uo to their armpits and don't want 'outing' and a further layer know what's been going on but have turned a blind eye and they don't want 'outing' either.

I maintain my position of weeks ago - there's only one way out of this, have a full election and bar any candidtate who is or ever has been a councillor at any level. Some good Councillors will get caught up in that but the greater good is what counts.

Yet another slanging match with the possibility of a miniscule amount of Councillors and or Officers - if any at all, being held to account will achieve the square root of f-all.

Some of the 'bad guys' will not be voted out because they sit in wards that are blindly loyal. So the only way is burn it all and start again.

An Insider said...

How can the cost of a project of £30.000, which is the maximum limit before tenders are required, end up as a project costing some £5.000.000? Yes, FIVE MILLIONS POUNDS of public money, with one of the Director of the Company being a Councillor, who fails to mention it in his Register of Interests.