Shine a light!

Things took an interesting turn at the recent meeting of full council when Cllrs David Bryan (Tory) and Jamie Adams (IPG) raised loud objections to the process by which Stackpole Community Councillor David Edwards had been recommended by the council’s appointments panel to fill a community councillor vacancy on  the authority’s standards committee. Cllr Bryan,... Read More »

Power games

As Alfred Lord Tennyson famously said: “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” However, here in Pembrokeshire at this time of year, middle-aged men’s fancy turns to thoughts of how they can wrest control of the county council (and all those juicy Special Responsibility Allowances) from Cllr David Simpson... Read More »

Voice of experience

As councillors we are encouraged to avoid doing anything to threaten the bond of trust and confidence between members and officers. Obviously, a bond of trust is of great importance to the smooth running of any organisation, whether it be a local authority or a business. But trust is not a right, it has to be... Read More »

Major errors

It seems my doubts about Major Fabian Faversham-Pullen the promoter of Camp Valour – the proposal to convert Hubberston Fort into a facility for ex-service persons – were well founded. The Major, whose photo can be seen here, had aroused the interest of several veterans’ organisations that are in the business investigating people who make dubious claims about... Read More »

Suspending belief

One of the most difficult judgements to make is what to believe in the absence of proof one way or the other. The Scottish philosopher David Hume suggested that the way out of this dilemma is to fall back on experience to decide what is likely to be true. For instance, if you were locked... Read More »

Awkward questions

Questions from councillors have proved to be one of the most effective ways of extracting information from PCC’s ruling elite. So effective indeed, that when they were in power, the IPPG were constantly on the lookout for ways of curtailing members’ rights to ask questions. I recall IPPG ex-councillor and deputy leader Rob Lewis once... Read More »

Dead letter

What follows is the story of how elected members of Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) were denied the opportunity to appeal Dyfed-Powys Police’s decision to reject their complaint about the delays in concluding the investigation into the Pembroke Dock grants affair. It is now four and a half years since Pembrokeshire County Council handed a thick... Read More »

Avoiding the truth

A couple of weeks ago I described how the chairman of the schools and learning (S and L) scrutiny committee, Cllr John Davies, had scuppered my attempt to question officers about the deeply flawed calculations behind the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PCC and Pembrokeshire College on future ‘A’ level provision. This was a pity because we... Read More »

Under the carpet

Over the past few months, I have been taking an interest in the figures used to determine the size of a viable ‘A’ level class in our schools. This is important to those of us who favour the retention of sixth forms because the higher the viability number the more difficult it becomes for schools... Read More »

Que SRA, SRA

The county council’s annual meeting is almost upon us and with lucrative Special Responsibilty Allowance-bearing committee chairmanships up for grabs the conspiracy theorists are waking from their year-long sleep. Ever since PCC’s inception in 1996, these SRAs have played a bigger part in the political direction of the authority than any ideological considerations. The vice-chairmanship of... Read More »

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