Friday, 18 March 2011

Challenging the Commissioners

Mark Isherwood AM speaking in the Senedd on Wednesday in response to Carl Sargeant's statement regarding Anglesey County Council:

"This is not the first council in north Wales to have failed in recent years. There was no intervention in the other council, even though serious failings were upheld in a series of PricewaterhouseCoopers reports into a housing function and an independent investigation that found further major failings and concerns in that area. There was also a legally binding 40-page industrial tribunal document, which named and shamed a number of people on a number of serious matters. Why has the person who led the council during the period to which those validated failings apply been appointed as a commissioner to Anglesey to drive forward improvement on a failed authority?"

He was referring to a series of events which culminated with this.


SHIT ON AGAIN. said...

Sold down the river once more.

Carl Sargeant clearly has no concept of what is really going on at Anglesey County Council, or what many of the People have had to put up with. If he had, he would not be sending in someone like Aldridge as a clown Commissioner.

kp said...

My conclusion is that a full and immediate merger would be in the best interests of all Anglesonians.

But NOT a merger with another failing council such as Gwynedd. No, a full merger with a council such as Wandsworth.

This is the only way we will be able to guarantee that our service levels increase and our council taxes decrease, year on year on year!

Groundhog Day said...

In the case of Alex Aldridge former leader of the failed Flint council perhaps it is putting the lunatics in charge of the asylum. As for Byron Davies, well according to Photon he is connected with Solace the organisation which placed the failed MD David Bowles amongst us. Smacks of nepotism all around to me. And as for Giannasi, well what does he bring to the party? As a Chjief Constable I cannot for the life of me see how he can contribute.

A Worried Anglesonian said...

See some of Aldridge's credentials here-


And all this happened in Carl Sargeants back yard ???

Worrying-Jobs for the Boys ??

A Worried Anglesonian said...

Very interesting reading on dated March 15th !!!

The Red Flag said...

You could almost believe that the actual desired outcome is a merger with Gwynedd, but that in order to justify it they have to go through the motions of pretending to try other alternatives first safe in the knowledge that they will fail, in the main because they have made sure they will.

PS - That Isherwood is a sound geezer. I wrote to him about my sister in Llandudno a few years back and he was all over Conwy council like a rash. And it worked.

Anonymous said...

Mark Isherwood is indeed a very sound Geezer.

I wish he was the AM for Ynys Mon instead of that band wagon jumper IWJ.

Mayor of Anglesey said...

when does my job start then?

Photon said...

"according to Photon he is connected with Solace the organisation which placed the failed MD David Bowles amongst us."

As always, precision is everything. David Bowles comes to us via Solace Enterprises - a company that is directly indeed linked to Solace the professional body. But in law, Solace Enterprises is a separate entity to Solace, so you have to be very careful who you link to whom.

My article is clear that Mr. Davies was recently a president of Solace, but has no apparent links with Solace Enterprises.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Mr Mark Isherwood AM has intervened in the selection of this deputation from the Assembly, his opinion and concerns have reassured us in a very important standard. The basic standard, that was missing in Anglesey.

The standard of behaviour in Public Office.

I hope that the delegation, find the occassion of their visit as welcoming to the people as a new dawn, we have lived in dark times for years, and it seems today, as if we are all awakening to a new start.

We must have faith in these commissioners, we must encourage them to succeed in the roles and responsibilities that they have been given by Carl Sargeant.

Our destiny is in our own hands, we suffered for years at the hands of devious, narrow minded politicians, whose personal gains and nepotism, divided this Island into a near state of anarchy.

Most of us all still aware, of the damage ill-informed and malicious politics has done to the Island.

Today, some of us are laying down our arms in peace, awaiting our turn to bring representations to the Commssioners, to discuss malicious indifference of the Council against certain individuals. Until then, we wait and we monitor the events, and we wait for Mr Mark Isherwood AM, to decide if he is happy with the delegation.

Groundhog Day said...

Photon @ 1152.

If is waddles and quacks, it's a duck. Split hairs if you must but I for one find it hard to believe that Solace and Solace Enterprises are, if not one and the same, then at least closely associated.

Photon said...


Try telling that to the lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Mayor of Anglesey 11:23
Welcome back Bob - been a long time coming.

Anonymous said...

"Try telling that to the lawyers!"

Don't the lawyers call it "shadow directorships" or something?

Interesting to see the Lapland Christmas folks got sentenced to over a year locked up, today. What offence were they charged with? The BBC refers to "misleading the public". Not that there's been any of that anywhere round here, obviously, and nobody in the frame round here could possibly deserve locking up, right?

Anonymous said...

Challenging the Commissioners is not an easy task, it's similar to the survivors of a shipwreck, drifting along, helpless, when out of the blue a lifeboat turns up, what do you suggest we do?

1 Jump in and thank God your alive.

2 Tell the lifeboat to go away, your quite happy floating along.

Anyone with a degree of common sense would opt for choice 1, unfortuntaley if your one of the monkeys that ran the zoo, it would be choice 3. I didn't mention choice 3, but it's here.

3 Where's my allowance then I'll give you my answer.

So, there we have it, the lifeboat is the Delegation of Commissioners who are trying to rescue, US, not them, US.

Anonymous said...

18th March 11.52
So Barry Durkin as he previously said DOES THINK THAT US ANGLESONIANS WANT HIM AS MAYOR. NOT a chance.

Prometheuswrites said...

Part 1

Having watched the debate in the Senned ( and because this matter is of fundamental importance to us I offer a summary of the main points of the debate and some observations.

Because of the length I’ve split this into three postings. (Apologies for the length).

In order of speakers:

Carl Sergeant (Lab) made a statement (the same as the text reproduced on Druid and Photon blogs) explaining that he was appointing Commissioners to take over the executive functions of the council.

Jonathon Morgan (Cons) asked a) how the Commissioners were being appointed b) how soon the electoral boundary reviews would be conducted and c) whether Mr Sergeant was in favour of the election of a major.

CS replied a) because of time pressures he had appointed two commissioners (using normal procedures) and would be appointing more soon at which point he would be able to give a written answer, b) CS wanted the boundary review to matching in with the current electoral cycle, c) CS indicated that he wasn’t inclined towards a mayoral system but would leave that decision to the council.

Ieuan Wyn Jones (Plaid) generally endorsed CS’s decision and drew attention to the fact that councillors were still working on the scrutiny committee, which would give councillors the opportunity to demonstrate authority in a constructive manner. He also paid tribute to the “small number” of councillors who wanted to bring stability; and to staff at the council for service delivery standards. He asked CS if he would tie new elections into the issuing of the report from the boundary commission, instead of bringing it forward or delaying elections.

CS replied that he hoped the report and the electoral changes would be in place by the end of next year in order to keep within the current electoral cycle (PW – comment – I think he meant by the end of this year 2011, otherwise it will 6 months after the next cycle of local elections for Wales). He also indicated that the matter of having an elected mayor would be put to the Anglesey electorate in a local referendum.

Prometheuswrites said...

Part 2

Veronica German (LibDem) pointed out that the auditor had criticised some aspects of service delivery. (See the auditor’s report and CS’s earlier response saying the political instability was effecting standards of service delivery) and that attaining democratic accountability would be difficult in light of the long history of infighting at the council, making the very good point of why would anyone want to stand for election when they would likely be “beaten down and tarred with the same brush”. She asked about scrutiny and further about the contract stipulations for the commissioners, given the criticism in the auditor’s report about the “remit of the current managing director” and whether CS would be making clear the remit of the commissioners and the relationship between the commissioners and councillors.

CS replied that the commissioners could remove the scrutiny function if conflicts continued.

Mark Isherwood (cons) raised two issues a) that some of the “bickering” between councillors may relate to planning matters and concerns about TIG and HG grants, which were still being examined by the auditor general and that part of the problems may be between those councillors who want these issues swept under the carpet and those who wish to see more transparency and accountability in these matters and b) Why has the former leader of Flintshire council been appointed commissioner given his history when leader of that ‘failed’ council.
CS’s response to these questions was less forthcoming and direct than his earlier responses. On the matter of grants CS said it was a matter for the individuals concerned, though it wasn’t clear whether he was referring to the auditor general or the people who had received grants. On the matter of the appropriateness of the appointment of the ex-leader of Flintshire CC he expressed his disappointment that MI did not support him but gave no direct response to MI’s question.

(I would observe that that IF CS’s reply regarding the grants meant that it was a matter for the individuals involved to take action against the council for the failure of grant delivery standards, (with their limited resources against the resources of the legal department of the council and the taxpayer funding the council can draw on), then it doesn’t seem to me to be (in the current jargon) to be ‘proportionate’, and is more like a 240 pound adult fighting with a ten year old child).

Prometheuswrites said...

Part 3.

Wylfa B was another issue that was mentioned several times and it would appear that there is cross party (Lab, Plaid & Cons) support for the construction of Wylfa B, though with the current situation in Japan I suspect that any current site plans and reactor design will be under review.

I would hope that our councillors ask the Minister (Mr Sergeant) for comprehensive clarity regarding the remit and scope of the Commissioners terms of contract, so that they (our councillors) do not get overridden in their scrutiny function if their decisions are not in accord with the commissioners’ desires. I don’t want to see legitimate concerns brushed aside by what is essentially an unelected administrative arm of the Welsh Assembly Government.

Mark Isherwood’s observation about the former leader of Flintshire is pertinent. It would be similar to appointing our current leader as a Commissioner, (for say Flintshire, with their own current problems), to oversee a failing council.

While there was much talk of the problems of electing fresh blood there hasn’t been any definitive ‘naming of names’ as to who the problem councillors are considered to be by the minister. How are we the electorate meant to know? The current naming and shaming of each other by our current councillors is hardly objective. Does Parliamentary Privilege extend to Senned? Could they tell us who are considered to be the trouble makers?

Anonymous said...

Would the moon man at 16:12 like to tell us what he's talking about, or doesn't he know himself? HIC.

Anonymous said...

The more I look the deeper this pit of snakes gets, With Carl Cobra Sargeant, at the top looking down and all the other slimy critters looking up waiting to strike him down.
What away to run a railway.

Puck said...

Could the future Mrs Windsor stand as a councillor for Aberfraw?

It would bring in new blood and help balance the gender gap.

Anonymous said...

The flint guy is just big C's lap dog.

Anonymous said...

We need a mayor who locals could be happy with, good "lleol"(ish) name; William Wales?

Anonymous said...

We had a referendum for a mayor on Anglesey not so long ago.
Does anyone know how made people turned out to vote?
114, YES one hundred and fourteen.
With a unanimous no vote!

Not a chance Carl. So go bull shit some where else.

Anonymous said...

Well, I confess, I am a wee bit flumoxed.
We, the People, don't want to be governed by the present Council.
We don't want to be governed by the Recovery Board.
We don't want to be governed by WAG.
We don't want to be governed by the Commissioners.
So, who DO we want to be governed by, that exists, and is available, and realistic.
And as for Mayor....those Members who harbour the ambition (and we know who you are)...forget it chaps !

The Red Flag said...

Anon 19:03. The only way you will break this council is to vote it out. That requires candidates who the people will actually vote for in bigger numbers than certain incumbents.

Other than that, if the same people keep winning then that is the will of the people and it's what the people want (those that can be bothered to vote that is, the ones who can't be bothered to vote have opted-out of having their opinion count).

If there were an election tomorrow most of those who are currently councilors would win again - and some of the known bad ones would actually win easily. That's why I keep saying that the only way this can be dealt with is to bar all current and past councillors from seeking election ever again. To keep this island having it's own council that is the only workable solution that I can think of - can anyone come up with another?

Or be run by Commissioners for 50 years till this lot are shovelled-in 6ft under.

Anonymous said...

TRF 19.12 I agree.
I for one would not mind being governed by Commissioners for 5 years, which should see the "natural" end of the culprits.
Lets go with that !
Meanwhile, whats the betting --- the culprits will do all they can to undermine and ridicule and discredit the Commissioners...such is their basic instinct !

Anonymous said...

Is that legal, Druid? 19:43 suggests a look into things that seem private, or is it only private when they don't want the public to know?

Anonymous said...

The only way we will get decent leadership on the island is by having some decent councillors on board - SO WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO MAKE UP THE DREAM TEAM.

Anonymous said...

Transparency and Accountability.

Anonymous said...


Any decent company manager ! at least they know how to run a team

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

20:43 standards in public office seem to be strangers in this part of the world.

Wasn't a house demolished in Benllech for a " similar" offence?
In the mid or late 70's?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and there's another one due as well.

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

looks like the new Commissioners will have their work cut out dealing with past wrongdoings, no matter what Carl Sargeant say's or does and we all know who to congratulate, thankfully for that.

Gadaffi said...

Mayor is very good idea, so long as it is NOT any one of the current councillors! Just look at others: Livingstone (London), Ray Mallon (Middlesborough), Guliani (New York), Drummond (Hartlepool)- so you need a higher calibre person.

Anonymous said...

All terribly boring - I hope you have all donated something to Comic Relief of the Japan
Appeal fund - move on, you are living in the past!