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 »

Misconceptions

While wandering round Milford Haven Marina one day last month, I bumped into a former member of Haverfordwest Town Council. After an exchange of pleasantries, he began telling me how much he disagreed with what I had written about Haverfordwest museum. Noticing my puzzled look, he added: “In your Badger column in the Herald!” Not... Read More »

Paying over the odds

There was an interesting development in the Pembroke Dock grants saga at last week’s full council when cabinet member Bob Kilmister answered Cllr Jacob Williams’ question on the repayments received from property developer Cathal McCosker and companies under his control. To fully understand all this you have to go back to April 2014 when PCC... Read More »

Playing for time

Last week’s audit committee agreed to support my Notice of Motion calling for PCC to lodge a complaint against the police regarding the delay in concluding the investigation into irregular payments on the Pembroke Dock Commercial Property Grants Scheme (CPGS). It is approaching five years since I first wrote about the (CPGS) in Pembroke Dock and... Read More »

On the crest of a wave

About the only good thing with growing old is the occasional reminder that there is nothing new under the sun. So when I toddled along to county hall last Friday for the presentation on the Swansea Bay City Deal (SBCD) I wasn’t expecting any surprises. The Leader of Swansea City Council, who chairs the group... Read More »

High living

Prior to his retirement, Cllr Peter Stock and I used to have good-natured arguments about which was the largest town in Pembrokeshire – Milford Haven or Haverfordwest. Peter was keen to bandy figures around to support the county town’s claim, but they included the population of Merlins Bridge. And, as it has its own community... Read More »

Tax facts

Tax factsJust when you thought you’d seen the last of him, up pops Jamie Adams on the front page of the Herald attacking the proposed 12.5% council tax hike which he claims “will put the squeeze on hard-working Pembrokeshire families.” Inside the paper the former leader blames the proposed increase on the current cabinet’s failure to... Read More »

Unknown quantities

The Wales Audit Office is surveying all elected councillors on PCC’s use of data. The first item reads: “The data the council collects is of a high quality” to which members are offered a choice ranging from “Strongly agree” to “Strongly disagree”. Unfortunately, with the county council’s data it is a case of never mind... Read More »

Paradise lost

At the risk of being accused of name-dropping, Grumpy and Grumpette are pleased to find themselves in the company of The Queen, Lewis Hamilton, and someone called Bono who is, I believe, a pop star. What connects us to this list of illustrious figures is our shared fondness (allegedly) for the shady world of offshore... Read More »

Flexifacts

Last weekend, the Labour Party turned up the heat by organising a rally designed to unseat Tory MP Steven Crabb. This sort of serious political activity is rather alien to the county’s culture where  rallies usually involve vintage motor cars or tractors. It’s not that Pembrokeshire people can’t be stirred into action – witness the big... Read More »

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