Cllr Williams found a little local fame recently when it was reported that he had parted company with his former employer, Labour AM for Pontypridd Mick Antoniw following disagreement over time off for Council meetings. To be fair to him he is one of the very, very few Labour Councillors in RCT who have an online presence to let his electorate know what he is up to, although his last blog post was in July, and his last newsletter on there from April, so he obviously does not have a great deal to say to them.
His blog piece sticks firmly to the accepted Labour party line followed by all the Labour sheep, er sorry, Councillors. In fact he states “However, the Cabinet and other Labour councillors are essentially being forced into doing so by a lack of finance, traceable back to the UK Tory and Lib Dem government. RCT’s Labour councillors are adamant on this point.”
Well they can be as adamant as they like but that doesn’t make it fact – people were once adamant that the world was flat. Yes it is true that the block grant from Westminster to the Welsh Government has been trimmed back. After 13 years of Labour Government the note from Liam Byrne said it all – there was no money left. This country cannot spend what it hasn’t got.
However, it is then up to the Welsh LABOUR Government to decide how to distribute that money. Councillor Williams bemoans the ‘fact’ that “the Welsh Government has been forced into reducing the finance it can give to Wales' 22 local authorities.”
Now that may be true to some extent, they may have had to reduce spending, but then just like RCT Council some of their spending is frivolous and in my opinion a total waste of public money that could be better spent.
Take for instance their purchase of Cardiff airport. A snip at £52million, but it was bought with no business plan in place and with no idea what they were going to do with it. They have ludicrously expensive foreign offices that fail to bring in expected benefits, and civil servants were revealed by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to be sending thousands on first class travel.
They handed out money to pay for the Porth relief road a road which has done nothing at all to bribing investment into the Valleys. The estimated cost was £37 million, it ended up at £98 million. They then allowed RCT Council to appoint the same contractors to build the Church Village by pass which saw a similar trebling in costs.
So Cllr Williams don’t bring the hard done by stories here they don’t wash.
He of course has a few little digs along the way, but can’t quite bring himself to say outright just what he means. Must be a Labour trait.
He claims “there is a great deal of misinformation being put about on those websites, and it is clear that certain individuals with particular political agendas have been using these well-meaning online groups as a means to peddle their lies, and cloud over the truth of the situation.”
Now just who is he referring to I wonder? And what ‘misinformation’ and ‘lies’ have been put out there? In fact if he is so concerned then why doesn’t he join in the debate and give the public the benefit of his wisdom? I am sure the thousands of people on the ‘parents against the cuts to education in rct’ site would love to have him on board. Or has the group whip forbidden it?
The uncertainty amongst the Labour camp obviously continues as he states “Rhondda Cynon Taff will lose out substantially. Figures of £56million to £70million over 4 years have been mentioned: it is likely the actual figure will be to the higher end of this scale.” This does not engender confidence amongst the general public. Surely they have a better idea of how much they need to save? How can they balance the books if they don’t know how much is needed to be trimmed?
He has another little dig at un-named individuals “I believe it is fair to say that none of RCT’s councillors (perhaps with the exception of one or two unfortunate individuals) want to make any cuts to any front line services. However, the Cabinet and other Labour councillors are essentially being forced into doing so by a lack of finance.” Just who are these unfortunate individuals in the Labour camp who want to do this, because certainly nobody on the opposition benches seems to?
They are not being forced into anything they are simply being lazy and accepting the officer’s recommendation of easy targets. That is not what they are elected for.
The public are waking up Chris to you and your cronies and the attitude of disdain you exhibit towards the electorate. At least be man enough to have debate in public and name names if you are determined to have a pop.