Sea of troubles

It seems that the author of that other website is so desperate for a scoop that he has taken to sitting up half the night.
His latest post concerns the county council’s difficulties with the Wales Audit Office (WAO) over its plan to allow senior officers to avoid tax by taking their pension contributions in the form of a pay rise.
The WAO’s critical report on the issue was sent out on Wednesday, but was embargoed until midnight.
When I logged onto his site this morning (on the off-chance that there might be something interesting to read) I found the young upstart’s piece with a timeline of 12.01 am.
Leaving aside the fact that a minute after midnight is 00.01 am – everything between 12 and 24 is pm – I have to admit that he has written a half-decent article so there’s no point in duplicating it here.
All I will say is that I was on this case more than two years ago, though I must admit the several complex legal issues that the auditor has explored did escape my notice.
I was more concerned about the ethical considerations of someone who is paid from the public purse being party to a scheme designed almost entirely to avoid paying their fair share into the pot.
It is surprising that neither of the two opposition members on the six-member committee appear to have raised any objection to this dubious transaction.
Then again, given that they were then Tory leader Stan Hudson and then Labour leader, now senior IPPG loyalist and Cabinet member Sue Perkins, surprising is perhaps not quite the right word.
And, if the IPPG didn’t have problems enough with this scathing audit report, Old Grumpy notices that the standards committee met recently in secret to discuss a case involving a member’s breach of the Code of Conduct.
It is all hush-hush at the moment, but my enquiries lead me to believe that it is not a member of the opposition.
And then there’s Cllr David Pugh’s little local difficulty with his lie-spiced speech at December’s full council.
You may recall that during his command performance he referred to my allegations that little seemed to have been done inside Paul Sartori’s shop despite £53,000 having been spent on it, allegedly.
“I don’t know when Cllr Stoddart did his inspection or whether he didn’t bother to walk to the back of the shop” he sneered, before telling members that most of the retail space was given over to a storage area at the rear. His story quickly unravelled when I proved that, on the planet occupied by Cllr Pugh, “most” amounted to an area less than 15% of the total.
A mole now tells me that when Cllrs Adams and Pugh visited No 29 (Paul Sartori) the shop was closed and they had to resort to peering through the shop window. So, while we listened to Pugh berating me for not bothering to walk to the back of the shop to inspect “most” of the space, little did we know that he and the Leader hadn’t made it past the front door.
And while Grumpette was pintling about on the Web the other day she came across an interesting piece of information about the Leader himself, because in his register of interests it records that he is under investigation by the Ombudsman.
One can only assume this is over his failure to declare an interest at the council meeting back in July, when Cllr Bob Kilmister attempted to have his late expense claims investigated by the standards committee.
During a recent seminar on changes to NHS provision, Health Board chairman Chris Martin let it drop that, while the good ship IPPG is sailing in this sea of troubles, the skipper, Cllr Jamie Adams, is sunning himself in South Africa.
However, I can assure readers that there is no truth in the rumour being put about by Plaid leader Cllr Michael Williams that the Leader has fled to South Africa to seek political asylum.