Friday, 30 December 2016

Rhodri Glyn Thomas enters the fray - Updated

Update 4 January

In an interview with Golwg360, Rhodri Glyn Thomas says that it is a lack of political discipline which brought about the undemocratic culture in Carmarthenshire County Council, adding that decades of coalitions with the Independents in permanent control has meant that officers have developed more and more power over policy.

His aim is to secure a clear Plaid majority on the council as a first step towards restoring political control by elected members.

Rhodri argues that Emlyn Dole has made some progress, but that reliance on the Independents means that there is still a long way to go.

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Rhodri Glyn Thomas, who stood down as AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr at the election in May, has announced his intention of standing as Plaid candidate for St Clears in the May 2017 county council elections. The seat is currently held by Independent Philip Hughes.

It's fair to say that Cllr Hughes has not made much of an impression during his long period in office. He served as a member of Meryl Gravell's cabinet, and made one of his very rare contributions in defence of the indefensible during the EGM which debated the chief executive's unlawful pension and libel indemnity schemes.

At the time hacks who had been exiled to the public gallery were sent into a panic. "Who the hell is that?" several of them asked in audible whispers.

In an interview with the BBC, Rhodri said he wants to protect the local leisure centre from cuts and challenge the "democratic deficit" where "officials run the council".

"We need to ensure elected members run the council", he added.

If you listen carefully, you can probably hear the sound of pencils being snapped in the Executive Suite on Jail Hill.

It is unlikely that Rhodri is on Mark James's Christmas card list. Earlier this year, after almost a year of asking and several very curt rebuffs, a constituent, Mrs Trisha Breckman, finally succeeded in being granted an audience with the council chief executive to discuss the appalling treatment she had received from the council over the last 15 years.

As is common in such cases, Mrs Breckman let Mr James know that she intended to bring along a representative to support her in what was likely to be a very difficult meeting. The representative she chose was her AM, Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

James immediately replied with an angry e-mail cancelling the appointment. He would consent to Mrs Breckman bringing along a friend, but "Rhodri is not her ‘friend’ he is the AM, at least for now. In my view, that is extending the meeting to include third parties", he wrote sniffily, before adding that he was no longer prepared to meet her.

So now we know. You may have been elected by a large majority to serve the people of a large chunk of Carmarthenshire, but to Mr James you are just an interfering third party.

After more behind the scenes shuttle diplomacy, the meeting was eventually rescheduled. Minus the democratically elected Assembly Member.

More on this extraordinary and deeply disturbing story in due course.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a positive move and if elected he will be an effective thorn in the side going forward.

Do you not think though that his criticism of the officer led regime is an implicit criticism of the Plaid group itself. It is after all they who are in charge and continue to allow the situation to continue.

Anonymous said...

The petition currently on facebook is worth mentioning.Set up by Neil Burman.It is what should have happened some time ago but it is absolutely the right time now.It is worth remembering the damning words of the previous police commissioner Christopher Salmon who described CCC as a 'Cartel.'
If the welsh Assembly can ignore that there is something seriously amiss there as well.

Anonymous said...

Rhodri Glyn Thomas's decision to stand as councillor next year could not be more welcome at least by those who wish to see an attempt made in returning democracy to this' Wild west' part of South Wales.That is Carmarthenshire anyway.

Cneifiwr said...

Anon@17.31 No, I don't. What Rhodri is trying to do is break the mold which has meant permanent rule by the Independents, which in reality means permanent rule by you know who.

When the WLGA governance review reported, one of its criticisms was that there was too close a relationship between senior officers and some Exec Board members. They did not need to name names.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope that Rhodri succeeds as he will be another strong Cll. who won't be silenced with threats and who should ultimately replace Emlyn Dole. Cll. Dole is very bad news for Plaid and has shown himself to be weak, easily influenced and clearly in bed with Mark James.

Anonymous said...

No warm welcome from brother Emlyn – just bland statement, emanating from above, defending the status quo.
Here’s hoping that brother Rhodri doesn’t have any old barns that require planning permission and allows his good intentions to succumb to the temptations of St Mark.

Anonymous said...

We are not thinking that RGT needs £13500 on top of his job with the National Library and occasional amounts of WG pension . Or it a bid for leadership of Carmarthen Plaid ?

Anonymous said...

Philip Hughes is of course the man who, as a former exec board member, commissioned the specialist gravy train consultants to give a report on how to maximise senior officer pay. THis lead to the famous"unlawful " pension payment to Mark James. He does'nt deserve to carry on as a management lackey. How did he decide that CCC senior officers need secret pay rises?

Jennifer Brown said...

Anon 18:32 the link to petition which hopes to persuade WAG to act and sort out Carmarthenshire County Council is https://www.change.org/p/welsh-government-bring-mark-james-c-c-c-to-justice?utm_medium=email&utm_source=notification&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&share_context=signature_receipt&recruiter=163453714 Maybe it can be copied and pasted into search engine. If AMs sit on their hands in situations like this there will be no change. Depressing beyond belief. Still best wishes for 2017; keep commenting and supporting our Public interest bloggers without whom we'd know nothing and have no voice.

Anonymous said...

The 13K plus for Rhodri G Thomas would be well worth it to begin the process of bringing back democracy to CCC.At present there is none. It should be welcomed by all.There is no trust left in the majority of councillors who take their money and follow the CEO regardless of the consequences.
Please sign the petition linked by Jennifer Brown,

Anonymous said...

anon 7.02 Rubbish Emlyn Dole is best leader Plaid has had for some time Rhodri Glyn became a fat cat AM - enjoying luxury cigars etc and only wants more money into his greedy paw

Anonymous said...

As Jennifer Brown says if there were no bloggers we would not have been aware of the cases of serious misconduct within Carms Council.I hope this coming year will see more activity with comments denouncing all that is completely wrong with the kind of democracy CEO has introduced and holds the elected members to ransome.

Jac o' the North, said...

I detect a cunning plan!

Plaid was heading for a disappointing election in May due to its failure to put Mark James in his place.

But now, breasting the hill, bugle blowing, cigar smoking, comes the rescuing cavalry in the form of Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

But will he save the circled wagons? Or will He-Who-Cannot-Be-Touched return triumphant to his squaws, Emlyn Dole's scalp dangling from his war belt?

Come back next Saturday morning children to see the next thrilling episode!

Anonymous said...

Why? He wasn't interested in people's problems when AzM

Anonymous said...

Remember Emlyn with his two barns - his outspoken views against MJs unlawful indemnity? His now amnesia with regard to the same? He is shameful. How on earth can anyone say this individual is the best leader we have had since Madge. Are you deaf and blind? Cll. Dole most certainly is when it now comes to defending Mark James!

Anonymous said...

How does anyone know they were luxury cigars? I really fail to see how anyone could say E Dole is the best leader Plaid have ever had.That is'nt saying much for the others.I would like to know their reasons for holding him in such regard.

towy71 said...

That petition is here: petition to Welsh Government although the Welsh government seem to sit on their hands in this matter!

Anonymous said...

Anon 03:21. Does one presume that RGT was unable to deal with your problems? I am sorry to hear that but I take as I find.

Anonymous said...

Emlyn Dole is the CEO's protector.That is clear to see.I personally am unaware of any stand he has made against the lack of democracy that is totally attributed to Mark James.Shame on you Councillor Dole.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis by RGT. We need strong control by members with professional officers implementing policies.

Anonymous said...

Surely RGT will stand in the Llanboidy ward in which Llangynin is actually situated and if he wants a shoe in without having to compete too hard . The existing long standing Plaid Councillior Roy Llewellyn is standing down in May . Surely RGT a shrewd long term operator will not take the risk of losing the St Clears ward where there is a strong Independent ? Liberal Vote .
Also the £65k pay off from WG has gone then

Anonymous said...

Just checking into this blog after some time away from local politics - glad you're back on the scene too, Cneifiwr!
To address a point raised above about Rhodri Glyn Thomas and the National Library - a friend of mine works there - the position of President is unpaid. Thought it was worth mentioning that for the person having a whinge.
I for one would love to see Rhodri Glyn in the council. We need a few more Rhodri Glyn's in county hall.

Anonymous said...

What voters need to realise they are the ones respinsible for voting the same cllrs in . Change your votes . Look at the person not the bloody party instead . Look at Llanelli labour continually voted in in tyshia dafen etc . These are the worse ones . Am and mp labour and what exactly have they done for the electorate ? Clkrs claiming work and bragging on leaflets yet they get officers to do it all for them and take the credit . Some claiming to be experienced clkrs its laughable they go around schools community events taking/having photos "all fur coat" yet where are they to go out at unsavoyry hours to see the anti social behaviour in their wards . The drug use and dumped needles , abuse and threats to tenants . Assaults etc . "Turn your off or put on answer mode from 9pm" was advice given by labour cllrs . Then residents leave messages and surprise surprise no call back or response to complaint/queries . Atleast i can say a couple of independents HAVE sorted problems out and a couple of plaid yet experience of labour is forget it dont bloody bother asking or ringing llanellis lot ! Oh wait elections are due so they are out in force claiming work on doorsteps and giving bullets out for innocents to shoot for them . Thats all they are good for .

Cneifiwr said...

Thanks Anon@23.37. Several of the contributors on here were clearly desperate to portray RGT as a gold digger. Would he take the £13k annual councillor's salary? What about his non existent salary at the National Library? And, OMG, he has been known to smoke the occasional cigar, shock horror.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone with even half a brain say that Two-Barns-Dole is the best leader Plaid has ever had? His planning shenanigans were the very reason that people lost faith in the party and since then he appears to have rolled over to play follow-my-leader with the CEO instead of standing up to him and making sure that it is the councillors rather than an officer who make decisions and decide policy in Carmarthenshire.

Anonymous said...

Councillors and AM's cannot cure all ills but it is important to know they tried,what they actually did while doing so and what they advise you to do next.

Anonymous said...

Like him or loathe him, RGT speaks his mind and does not suffer fools gladly and only for taht reason I for one would be happy to see RGT entering (hopefully ) stage right! We need some tough talking , Mark James and his cronies need some Cllrs with a backbone there to shake the foundations of Rhiw Jal. and the lot we got now on that Executive Board are a feeble lot including the Plaid crew and tat comes from a Plaid supporter, so lets hope we gets some younger, tougher, non bullshitters in for the sake of democracy in Sir Gar

Anonymous said...

If the rumours are correct, MJ will be long gone by the time RGT makes it into the council chamber. Hopefully it will be suspension rather than retirement. Wishful thinking.

Martin Milan said...

W2z

Ken Haylock said...

Where did the petition go? I fear it has been nobbled...