RCT despite the Labour administration’s insistence that it is open and transparent is in fact about as transparent as a brick wall. Whilst Cardiff put their meetings on the web, RCT ban anyone making recordings or taking photos or the like.
The minutes such as they are tell nothing of what goes on in the Chamber. So, as a public service, I thought I’d provide the alternative minutes. What they said, and what they meant!
Item 1 - DECLARATION OF INTEREST
Item 2 - ANNOUNCEMENTS – the Mayor is having another charity bash.
Item 3 – minutes of the last meeting. All happy. (Most cannot remember that far back.)
Item 4 - OPEN GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS in accordance with Open Government
Procedure Rule 2
To receive any statements from the Leader of the Council and/or statements from Cabinet Portfolio Holders
Um, no , seems they have nothing to say. Don’t want to prolong matters – the cocoa is waiting.
Item 5 - PUBLIC PRESENTATION in accordance with Open Government Procedure Rule 4 (I love that – open Government? In RCT? The other one has bells on.)
To receive a presentation from Mr.D.Rowland of Clydach Vale in respect of `Roads surrounding the Cwm Clydach Primary School and the safety of the parents, children and road users’.
Answer from Cllr Andrew Morgan Cabinet Member Highways. “No, you can’t have any safety measures we haven’t got any money.”
Mr Rowland – but they have then in Tonyrefail and Beddau and Pentre.
Cllr Morgan – we have a long waiting list (and at least two of those wards are held by Cabinet members)
Item 6 – Presentation - WELFARE REFORM – THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON
RHONDDA CYNON TAF
A power point presentation from Mr.N.Elliott, Service Director, Commissioning, Business and Housing Systems and Mr.N.Jones, Service Director,Operational Finance.
The officers outline the potential effects of the Welfare Reform Bill in RCT. There are lots of ifs and maybes and talks of possible impact. Then comes the debate.
Russell Roberts kicks off as usual – the measures are ‘draconian….getting people back into jobs, what jobs?
(that’s right Russell – what jobs? Thanks to the failures of the Labour party at all levels of Government there is nothing in RCT - your recently announced economic development strategy is a disgrace, you do nothing to help local businesses. What jobs indeed?)
Pauline Jarman – "would like to see David Cameron manage on the income levels imposed on many in the South Wales Valleys". (indeed, but many of those are working families who do not get anywhere near £26,000 take home a year.)
Paul Baccara – ‘obviously agree with the leader’ (got to love the Independent group in RCT not an independent thought in sight)
Mark Adams (who lives in Trallwn) ‘it will affect my ward of Tylorstown where there is a high degree of unemployment. Our town centre could end up desolate because of businesses closing’
(Maybe Labour should have done something about it before now. Still when they build their planned new town in Talbot Green it will wipe out lots of existing town centres very effectively so Cllr Adams needn’t worry about the effect of benefit changes.)
Em Jenkins, getting to the nitty gritty of what bothers them “they refer to Local Authorities acting as agencies, it is RCT Council who will carry the can. They will blame us for what ‘those people in Clydach Vale have done’.”
Then the voice of the person they have directed all their remarks to – Welsh Lib Dem Cllr Mike Powell.
“no one here has come up with any alternatives. Russell is right we need to look at this more closely in scrutiny. I’d like to know some more precise figures though, not a string of guesses and estimates.
“As others have already said there are many in RCT who left school and have spent years unable to find work. And the Labour party have done nothing at all about it.”
And some classic lines from Aurfron Roberts summing up the Labour attitude maybe?
“that is a bit rich coming from someone in a ward which is nowhere near as deprived as many. You should be ashamed of yourself Mike Powell.”
But of course, as Kevin Brennan MP said recently ‘poor people vote Labour’ so they would want to keep them dependent. So do residents in Mike’s ward, or in Tonteg or Miskin have fewer rights than those in Gilfach or Tylorstown or Penrhwceiber? Unbelievable.
By the time the inevitable comments about condemning the condem government started, along with talk of children running naked through the streets I needed a sick bucket.