Monday, 28 March 2011

David Bowles' first interview since the sending in of the Commissioners

Anglesey Interim MD David Bowles has given a rare interview to this week's edition of the Local Government Chronicle (subscription required) in which he squarely apportions blame for the Council's downfall on Independent councillors, takes a indirect swipe at Clive McGregor, and dismisses calls for an elected mayor.

On the cause of the problems:
 "The problem when you have a large number of independents is that they either have a charismatic leader who pulls them together or it becomes very divisive, which is what has happened in Anglesey."
This is of course a sideways way of saying that Leader Clive McGregor hasn't been strong enough to hold the Independents together. 

On his recommendations to Carl Sargeant:
Mr Bowles said he had advised Wales' local government minister Carl Sargeant in January to send in commissioners after infighting among independent councillors led to the possibility of leader Clive McGregor being overthrown.
"I recommended commissioners should be appointed until elections in 2012, together with investment in democratic renewal."
A bit of revisionism going on here. The plot to overthrow Clive McGregor in January was not due to "infighting among independent councillors" but actually led by both the Labour and Plaid Cymru groups within the Council with the support of the Original Independents.

On an elected mayor:
...Mr Bowles said this option might not rescue Anglesey, saying "just look at Doncaster".
This a reference to the disaster which ensued at Doncaster after residents there elected an English Democrat mayor in 2009. Read more here.

On boundary changes:
"There are very few multi-member wards, and if you could break those single-member wards you'd then break down some of the parochial attitudes"
An odd thing to say: currently there are no multi-member wards on Ynys Môn, just 40 single member wards. I would have thought David Bowles would know this – unless his comment has been taken out of context by the reporter.

On a merger with Gwynedd:
"If [the commissioners] succeed I hope it'll attract new people to stand as councillors." He added that Anglesey was "a unique place and a merger with Gwynedd would be a last resort".
On the future of Anglesey County Council:
"The long-term survival of the council depends on very substantial changes to its running," Mr Bowles told LGC.

Exactly what those "substantial changes" are we don't know yet. Frankly I doubt if even the Commissioners themselves are sure.

47 comments:

stuart drummond said...

on elected mayor: there is no reason why this should fail, after all it works in Hartlepool.

it's clear that it comes down to who is elected, and not the office itself.

from what I hear, none of your current councillors would suit the post.

so go for someone with more knowledge of the world. could be someone outside politics or maybe an MP from the region ...etc.

Anonymous said...

This 'multi-member' ward thing is a red herring. In other parts of the country where there are multi-member wards then each of the parties fields candidates for each 'berth' so that if there are three seats they field three candidates.

When I was living in Englandshire for a period we had 20 wards of three seats each. Each voter had three votes and as a result you got three Labour or three Tory or whatever. The only thing that was rare was an independent.

The Red Flag said...

on elected mayor: there is no reason why this should fail, after all it works in Hartlepool.

Yes. H'Angus The Monkey. A man in a monkey suit who campaigned on a manifestio of free bananas.

And won twice as I recall.

The Red Flag said...

In fact I just checked. He won three times. He was first elected in 2002 and was re-elected in 2005 and 2009. He was the first elected mayor in Britain to win a third term.

Anonymous said...

You could argue that a man in a monkey suit (or even a real monkey) would be right at home at the Llangefni Chimps Tea Party we have for a council.

Half Serious ! said...

I can think of two ideal candidates for Mayor -
The Druid ?
or
A certain enterprising and noisy go-getting local developer with a posh address ?

Anonymous said...

A Mayor for Anglesey would have to be squeaky clean, because if he is not, then someone, somewhere will find out some dirt and then we will be back to normal. I woulsn't be surprised id there is an undercurrent in the political swamp called Anglesey and the toads are already jockeying for position, this is how it works in the swamp. And incase you think I'm talking utter drivel, these are the people who have made this mess, but are blaming us for electing the bad apples. As long as we don't get told who we are having, similar to the decision Gibbons and Sargeant made when they sent Bowles here, then we will be ok.

Anonymous said...

Bowles, knew what he was doing when he came here, he treated us all like fools, the same as the Council have done for years, it's only by the embarassement the Council have brought on themselves since January that Carl Sargeant bought the Commissioners in. I hope he gets the car he wanted, for approving Wylfa B behind our backs.

Anonymous said...

Fysa hi yn ddiwrnod da i pawb os fysa Bowles yn mynd oma ac yn cario y Saeson i gyd allan o'r Cyngor hefo fo!!

Anonymous said...

David Bowles has gone but will be paid up to the ends of April.
Good riddance to very bad rubbish.

Photon said...

18:00 - a faint o ddaioni a wnaeth yr holl Gymry pur i'r ynys, dwedwch? Dim, dyna faint. Yr agwedd wirion o 'dim estron yma' sydd yn rhannol esbonio pam ein bod yn y sefyllfa annerbyniol hon.

Anonymous said...

Faint o fobol sy'n gweithio yn y Cyngor sy'n methu siarad Cymraeg?
Fedar McGregor a Bowles?

A True Anglesonian said...

It was a very dark day in the History of Ynys Mon Council when the Commissioners came here--but suddenly the outlook is much brighter....Yes..Bowles is going...Hip Hip...!!!!

Glyn Pritchard-Jones said...

ERW

Thanks for the endorsement of Mayor!

GPJ

Anonymous said...

17.53 We are fools. If we were not fools Mr David Bowles whould never have been sent to Anglesey.

We are still fools because by the time the Famous Three have finished their job we will be a minority in the county of Gwynedd (again)

Anglesey Islander

Macbeth said...
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Anonymous said...

Mac-duffer.
Says it all.

Anonymous said...
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Groundhog Day said...

I find it appalling that Bowles sees fit to grant interviews to in-house publications which, without someone like Paul to reveal it, would never have seen the light of day as far as the lay public are concerned. He has drawn his exhorbitant salary for all the time he has been here yet has refused to be interviewed by the media on numerous occasions or to interact with the Anglesey tax-payers who have provided him with such a comfortable berth for his stay here. This is even more galling when you consider that he has failed in his task and sickening to hear the toadies in the Senedd praising him for his efforts.

Groundhog Day said...

"Faint o fobol sy'n gweithio yn y Cyngor sy'n methu siarad Cymraeg?
Fedar McGregor a Bowles?"

I reply in English for the wider audience in order that we can all understand what this xenophobe is on about. Anon, if you had bothered to research your subject properly then you would be aware the McGregor, whatever else he may be, is fluent in Welsh and has been seen to handle himself very well in Welsh on Taro Naw recently. As to your main point, I would argue that the main protagonists who have brought this council down are Welsh speakers as are the majority of council staff. Now I suggest you get that head of yours back in the sand where it belongs before your brain cell starts hurting.

voice on the street said...

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2011/03/29/anglesey-councillor-to-face-court-over-benefit-claim-55578-28418428/

Groundhog Day said...

Voice on the street....

I believe in the saying, innocent until proven guilty but I am sure that we shall all be watching this case closely - and if this cllr is found guilty then it is to be hoped that our Monitoring Officer will redeem her tarnished reputation by dealing with the miscreant without mercy and make sure he is dumped off the council. He has sailed very close to the wind on a number of occasions and has been heavily criticised by the Ombudsman in the past. In the meantime it is best to reserve judgement and see how the teflon coating is working these days.

Anonymous said...

Good, he who laughs last, laughs the longest.........

Anonymous said...

I guess David Bowles has outfoxed us all, he has left with his reputation complete, and the reputation of this Council in tatters, well done David Bowles, you did the right thing in the end, you named and shamed all of them, well done.

Anonymous said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/7292002.stm

It seems that the fraud is everywhere..........

Anonymous said...

http://www.rhondda-cynon-taf.gov.uk/en/news/archive/2010/09/benefitfraudsterjailed.aspx

Painful for the fraudsters.......

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is nothing more than a scam created Labour, to take control when Anglesey is merged with Gwynedd.

Brian Gibbons, Labour.
Carl Sargeant, Labour.
David Bowles, anti Councillors, Labour.
Alex Aldridge, Labour.
Byron Davis, Labour.
John Chorlton, Elected Mayor in waiting. Labour.

Just wait and see.

Groundhog Day said...
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Anonymous said...

Doubtless the lady wasn't educated here on the island either.

Oh no, disaster!

Anonymous said...

I like the spin on the BBC News website:

"The interim managing director brought in to run crisis-hit Anglesey council is to leave his £270,000-a-year job.

David Bowles has decided to end his involvement with the authority."

So he decided, did he?

Anonymous said...

David Bowles can spin as much as he likes. He came. He went. He was a total failure. END OF.

Paul Williams said...

Sorry, couple of deletions for naming names unnecessarily.

spondooly said...

09:12

"John Chorlton, Elected Mayor in waiting. Labour."

ha, it's not yet 1st April!!!

but seriously, if there is to be an elected mayor, then it can't include existing councillors, for the many reasons discused previously.

The Red Flag said...

but seriously, if there is to be an elected mayor, then it can't include existing councillors

I don't think you would be able to stop them - I'm sure it would be illegal to even try. Apart from which, who each party selects as their official candidate is purely the business of that party and it's local membership and no-one else.

Anonymous said...

You have to admit, whichever candidate any of the "Political Parties" bring forward as Mayor for Anglesey, will be laughed at all the way from Holyhead to Menai Bridge.

Our task is simple, to enhance their efforts at creating a candidate for Mayor, then destroy him or her, as they have destroyed us all.

The carrot, these" Political Parties" will use will be the promise of jobs and investment, (what a laugh) homes ( ha ha) education( hee hee) and honesty. At this point we have to admit they have an impossible task. The best thing to do is similar to what they are doing at the moment in Libya. One side is corrupt and cruel, the other wants freedom and democracy. Similar to the way we have lived in Anglesey for years. So, I am against any mayor, because it will be a total waste of money and time, our time should be spent in creating energy, to make good the mess the Council has made of our Island.

We, the people are the rebels on this Island, we got the commissioners in, and we will decide when and if we want a mayor, and not any of the monkeys.

Anonymous said...

1718 ref flag

said; "I don't think you would be able to stop them - I'm sure it would be illegal to even try"

you misunderstand sir. it not question of us stoping them, their party would i guess if they didnt want to be made to look stupid by choice canidate; you think Labour are gonna choose for mayor Mr Charlton?? come on.

maybe Mayor Albert Owen. just read about him in The Mail paper, called |Mr Anglesey:) he looks the man,

Y Gwirionedd said...

"we got the commissioners in", did you really?

It was a very small handful of councillors that brought them in. The ones that tried to remove the current leader for no reason other than they wanted power for powers' sake.

Who are the rebels? The people that vote in these idiots, I don't think so. If you're a rebel stand against them, it's all about democratic renewal.

Curious said...
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Anonymous said...

1910: blimey, if that's the choice, then it has to be Albert Owen.

A True Anglesonian said...
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Anonymous said...

A small hand of councillors that got the commissioners in, that was the funniest thing I have read here all year, the Councillors NEVER got the commissioners in, they were too scared to, in case their scams were found out, now they think that they have got away with their deeds, retrospective planning, ( build first, get permission later) and dodgy allowances, the people rule this Island, Gwirionedd, not the Councillors! Get real, get your nose back in the trough and try and get your planning through for your mates and family before it's too late, it's hard to do that when your out on the streets.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know who got the Commissioners in ask Sion Tecwyn, BBC CYMRU, you would be surprised at the response you would get.

Anonymous said...

....it not question of us stoping them, their party would i guess if they didnt want to be made to look stupid by choice canidate; you think Labour are gonna choose for mayor Mr Charlton?? come on......

This is an island at political level of schemes, plots and back-stabbing (and worse. Allegedly).

A little scenario for you. We have a mayoral contest. The relevant main parties stand their candidates. A certain Labour councilor and a certain Plaid councillor slog it out to take the post. Behind the scenes the deal is done that whosoever prevails then the winning party's councilors will be whipped into supporting the runner-up and his councillors in installing their man as head of the council as consolation.

So you get a Labour Mayor and Plaid-led council or a Plaid Mayor and Labour-led council. Now then, who were Labour and Plaid's chosen ones during the attempted Putsch the other month?

Done deal.

Watch as it plays out over the next couple of years. Only thing that will throw a spanner in the works is if there is no appetite to have a Mayor or the council ends up amalgamated with Gwynedd.

My money is on the amalgamation taking place in 2 years time along with all boundaries in the Principality re-drawn so that local authority, Assembly regions and Parliamentary constituncies mirror each other as much as possible.

The Red Flag said...

@anon 13:34.

A highly plausible scenario. At first you think to yourself 'ridiculous' but when you think of what has gone on it's certainly not only not ridiculous but very believable.

Agree with your last comment by the way. Personally I reckon the Commissioners have been constructed in such a way as to definately fail in order that it then justifies an amalgamation on the gorunds that everything has been tried.