August 2 2012

 

 

Free press

I notice the other website has an update on Cllr John Davies' bid to secure the nomination as Tory candidate for the post of Dyfed Powys police commissioner.
You will recall that Cllr Davies told the Western Telegraph that he "had been considering joining the Tories and campaigning for selection as its representative to face a vote in November etc." (Master-class)
Well, according to the other website, before being considered for selection at the party meeting in Narberth, Cllr Davies had first to attend party HQ in London to be interviewed and vetted to make sure he was suitable for the shortlist.
So much for Cllr Davies' story about "had been considering".
The author of the other website, Cllr Jacob Williams did try to bring these matters to the attention of the public by writing a letter to the WT, but, it seems, they didn't think it was suitable for publication.
Thank goodness the Internet has destroyed local papers' control over what the public is allowed to know.
I was encouraged when the Western Telegraph reporter rang me last Friday in a follow up to what I posted on Tuesday 10 July (Latest) about the election campaign conducted by the Independent Political Group (IPG) - as it was then known - in April this year.
The most surprising aspect of this was that campaign material for one of the candidates, Byron Frayling, appears to have been produced by IPG godfather Cllr David Wildman.
Even more surprising is that Byron Frayling's opponent in the election was long-time IPG stalwart David Bryan.
So, why would the IPG be running a campaign against one of its own members?
My own theory is that Cllr Bryan was showing disturbing signs of um, er, independence, and the IPG had decided it might be better if he could be replaced by someone more compliant.
In the event, Cllr Bryan easily won the election and soon after resigned from the IPG.
I should point out that his resignation predated my revelations about the election campaign by some weeks.
Although I provided documentary evidence to back up my claims, there is no sign of anything in this week's WT.
As the issues are rather more complex than the man-has-head-shaved-for-charity stuff that is the WT's staple fare, I will give it another week before publishing the full story.

Question time

Since last summer's damning reports on education and child safeguarding, there has been an outbreak of democracy in the Kremlin on Cleddau.
As I reported back in March, a proposal to allow members to address Cabinet when Notices of Motion they had submitted were considered by that august body was waved through unanimously, though on three previous occasions it had been rejected by the IPG block vote (About turn).
Another recent example concerns the rights of ordinary members to ask supplementary questions at council meetings.
Prior to 2010, the member who submitted the original question could ask one supplementary question and then, at the discretion of the chairman, others could have their two pennyworth.
Some chairmen were very liberal in the application of the discretion, and others were not.
Cllr Bob Kilmister put down a notice of motion calling for a protocol to be established to regularise the situation so that it no longer depended on the length of the chairman's foot.
What he had in mind was a more liberal regime - after all questions are one of the few occasions that ordinary members can hold the executive to account.
What he got was something entirely different because the, then, Leader Cllr John Davies seized the opportunity put down a proposal which outlawed supplementary questions by members other than the original questioner and, just to show who was boss, he also proposed that the time for questions; previously unlimited, should be restricted to 60 minutes.
The IPG block vote was rolled out and despite a comparatively large rebellion (4) the Leader's proposal was approved by 29 votes to 22

The result of the recorded vote can be seen below.

For 

J L Adams
J S Allen-Mirehouse
E J Codd
J L Davies
J T Davies
M L Evans
R R Evans
D Fellows
L L Frayling
D J H George
H M George
B J Hall
Umelda Havard
D G M James
Mrs S E James
M J John
R M Lewis
Mrs R V Lilwall
P J Morgan
E A Morse
D J Neale
D J Pugh
W L Raymond
D W M Rees
T J Richards
K Rowlands
D Simpson
D Wildman
W J A Williams

 Against

P R Baker
Kate Becton
R G Bowen
A A Brinn
J A Brinsden
Mrs C P Cavill
W E Evans*
R N Hancock
D K Howlett
S T Hudson
Mrs A Hughes*
O W James
B Kilmister
Moira Lewis
Maureen Molyneux*
M Pepper*
Susan Perkins
D R Sinnett
R M Stoddart
Mrs V M Stoddart
T B Tudor
M Williams

*IPG member

(Councillor S L Hancock asked that it be noted that he had abstained from voting because he had been unable to be present during the preceding debate on this matter).
Fast forward to July 2012 when an opposition motion to revert to the previous arrangements came before the council.
Bob Kilmister described the 2010 decision as "an affront to democracy" and none of those who voted in favour were brave enough to disagree.
And when the matter was put to the vote it was waved through unanimously on a show of hands.
It would be encouraging to believe that IPG members have seen the democratic light, but a more likely explanation is that they are trying to create a good impression with the Pembrokeshire Ministerial Board which is taking a keen interest in the council's democratic culture, or lack of it.
IPG members are keen to stress that nobody tells them how to vote, so there must be some explanation involving telepathy for their complete volte-face on this issue.

Non-political organisation

My super-mole has been a bit quiet of late - gone to ground, as they say
Still, even moles are entitled to a break at this time of year.
Before they went into purdah they sent me some interesting information about the IPG's 2008 election plans.
A document entitled "election_strategy doc" authored by someone called Bethan Picton Davies and last saved by Clybiau Plant on 4 April 2008 sets out the group/party's plan to target 47 of the 60 seats.
With this in mind, the six Cabinet members who had been returned unopposed were detailed off to help other members of the party who were thought to be at risk,

as follows:

Cabinet 6 Election Responsibility

Islwyn Huw

Sian David Simp All 6 of Cabinet
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

St Dogmaels

Goodwick John Davies
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Anne Hughes

Eric Harries

Danny Fellows David Wildman
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
David Neal

Manorbier

Sue Lane Rob Lewis
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Solva

St Davids Peter Stock (Huw G)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wiston

Jeff Evans Jamie Adams
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arwyn

Rosalie

Pearl

Brian Hall John Allen - Mirehouse
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rob Lewis to co-ordinate the election for the group.

Update Meetings for the 6 non-contested Cabinet Members

Thursday 17th April at 9.30am
Monday 28th April at 9.30am

Hard to swallow the story that this isn't a political party.
I must admit, I don't recall seeing David Wildman tramping the streets of Hakin on Eric Harries' behalf.
But the surprise to me is the electoral appeal of Johnny Allen Mirehouse who brought all four of his charges home in first place, while the Jamie Adams duo both failed to come up to the mark.
Good job JAM didn't turn up in Hakin!

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