Presumably they do not want the general public to see the disgraceful way in which they behave; from that point of view they are quite happy to have the main HQ in Clydach Vale. Now don’t get me wrong, Clydach is my home, I think it is wonderful, but the industrial estate which houses the Council Chamber is not on a bus route and hardly the most accessible of places.
In a world which is increasingly reliant on social media as a means of communication the Labour party don’t seem to engage with that either. There is a County Council website of course, which is all too often overly party political, but that is run by one of the myriad of public relations staff. There is a Council Twitter feed which kindly kept us all up to date with the Wimbledon news through much of June.
There is a RCT Labour website – the last update was in March, one of four entries this year. There is a Pontypridd Labour constituency blog – the last entry is September 2012.
There is no sign of the local party on Twitter or Facebook – a few individual councillors have accounts, but they do not use them to engage with the general public. They don’t enter into discussion in any groups or in any local forums.
Of course it is not just online this attitude prevails. They shy away from debate in person too. Oh there is their ‘open government’ initiative where people can send in questions to be asked at full Council meetings. The questions need to be sent in a week in advance, and a response will then be written by a member of staff for the relevant Cabinet Member to read out. Any supplementary questions almost invariably get met with the words “I’ll respond in writing.”
At the referendum meeting last year whilst Welsh Lib Dem Cllr Mike Powell joined the panel and took questions from the floor not one of the 60 Labour Councillors could do the same and instead sent an Officer.
What is it they are afraid of?