False prospectus

Exciting times at the Kremlin on Cleddau as Jamie Adams’ failed administration is rejected by the voters and a new chapter opens under the leadership of David Simpson.

Not that Jamie sees it quite like that because in a self-serving interview with the Western Telegraph he blames his downfall on “keyboard warriors” and “…some sections of the press and members with blogs…” who had made a meal of the IPPG’s decision to send Bryn Parry-Jones on his way with a £300,000 pay-off.

“I’m not bitter, I was never precious about retaining the role of leader; in putting my name forward I felt I had more to offer than the other candidate.” he tells the newspaper.
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Seeing “offer” and “the other candidate” in the same sentence reminded me that Cllr Adams was so desperate to hang on to the top job that he offered Cllr Simpson a precious cabinet post if he withdrew from the race.

I flatter myself that I am one of these “keyboard warriors” who brought Adams’ undemocratic reign to an end but I would remind the former leader that it was not me who submitted claims for four-years’ worth of travel expenses in one go.

All I did was tell the public about it (see Perfect timing).

And it was Jamie Adams who told full council on December 12 2013 that he had climbed up into the attic at Coronation School and seen for himself that, contrary to claims on my website, the whole roof had been re-covered with new felt and battens.

All I did was carry out some careful research that showed that this claim by Adams, repeated by his sidekick David Pugh, just couldn’t be true.

This was an especially sweet victory for this keyboard warrior because the two of them had concocted this story as part of a plan to discredit me in order to sustain the long-running cover-up of irregular grant payments in Pembroke Dock.

But Old Grumpy notices that it is not just Cllr Adams who wishes to rewrite history.

This week all members of council received an email from former IPPG cabinet member Myles Pepper who is seeking support for his bid to become chairman of planning (SRA £9,000) at Thursday’s annual meeting.

I should say that, with the loss of power, IPPG members find themselves in straitened circumstances.

Gone are the cabinet SRAs (£170,000 approx) and where they previously held seven of the twelve seats on the National Park (three grand apiece) they now have a measly three.

And, whereas in its glory days the party was able to use its majority to ensure its members’ elevation to committee chairs (£9,000 a time), now reduced to pathetic fourteen-member rump it has to resort to holding out the begging bowl.

In his email Cllr Pepper points out that, prior to his promotion to the cabinet, he was chairman of planning. So nobody can doubt his experience.

However my doublethink detector almost went off the dial when I read:

“I believe my neutral engagement with Members and arms length relationship with officers allows me to say that I have a proven record of fairness and objectivity.”

Old Grumpy recalls when the, then, chairman of planning was censured by the standards committee after the Ombudsman found that he had breached the Code of Conduct by failing to inform a council officer of his interest in a proposed traffic order.

The Western Telegraph’s report on the matter can be found here.

The proceedings of the standards committee can be found here.
And my take on this and other shady IPPG dealings can be found here.

So this “proven record of fairness and objectivity” is a myth.

If he was selling goods on this sort of false prospectus the council’s trading standards people would be knocking at his door.

Of course, in any properly functioning democratic system, a planning committee chairman censured for breaching the Code would immediately resign, but not in Pembrokeshire under IPPG rule.

Ditto, when deputy leader Rob Lewis was suspended by the standards committee for the wholesale unlawful use of the council’s computer system for electoral purposes, though, happily, the electors of Martletwy recently took the opportunity to rectify that particular injustice.

And the irony is that, when Cllr Tom Tudor strayed off the straight and narrow during a meeting about schools’ reorganisation, it was none other than those two shining beacons of probity, Cllrs Myles Pepper and Jamie Adams, who took it upon themselves to report him to the Ombudsman.