Disgusted of Llandrindod Wells

A council’s failure
14/08/2009, 9:40 am
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Anglesey Council’s bickering boys and girls have had their heads knocked together by WAG for failing to play nicely.

As the BBC reports today, members of the council’s audit committee are being asked to sign a pledge to stopthe rather naughty practice of using the committee to further personal interests and to pursue constituency matters and narrow party goals.

Meanwhile, as the council slowly extracts itself from its own posterior the announcement has come that Anglesey Aluminium has closed, with the loss of some 250 skilled jobs. The council added nothing of value and it was left to Peter Hain to try to salvage something from the situation.

Disgusted remains puzzled that there are 22 unitary authorities in Wales. Why does Anglesey even have a council – cannot it be subsumed into Gwynedd’s?


Plastic wind bags

The British press [sic] has belatedly noticed the Welsh debate about charging for plastic bags, as Disgusted noted yesterday. There’s further mining of the topic today:

The language, again

Guerilla Welsh Fare points out that there hasn’t been much debate about the quietly announced plan to water down Welsh translation of Assembly proceedings.

Neglect of Yr Iaith featured in WAG’s Single Equality Scheme, launched on March 31st. With usual strategic guffspeak WAG claimed the scheme set out measures to make sure public policy making goes further than “legal responsibilities to promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination in respect of disability, gender and race”. WAG promises to “apply the same broad principles to the new areas of equality – age, religion and belief or non-belief, sexual orientation and transgender”. Welsh does not come under the scheme.

London’s sudden interest in Welsh news

Like an unused plastic bag flapping in the wind the story about the Assembly Government’s dalliance with charging up to 15p a pop for plastic bags just keeps coming back. Suddenly there are stories in the Times and the Telegraph about it

The source for these stories appears to be Jane Davidson – the Welsh environment minister – talking to the Times about the plans. If Welsh ministers are smart enough they will bend the ear of the London-based journalists more often, with soothing tales about how great WAG’s policies are.

New minister appointed at WAG
07/08/2009, 8:43 am
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Appointed, that is, unilaterally by the Western Mail. And then moved back to her old job by the byline.

BBC Wales pays £142k to firm owned by controller’s sister
06/08/2009, 1:57 pm
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The angry middle class newspapers have turned their ‘expenses fire’ on the BBC. The latest fuss in today’s Daily Mail centres around senior executives and the contracts awarded to their families. Jana Bennett, who is BBC Vision director (no, I’m not sure what that means either) is married to a man who has a stake in a company paid more than £2m for making programmes for the BBC.

There’s no evidence of wrongdoing at the moment but in these straitened times it is something of a PR own goal to keep business in the family.

Meanwhile, BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards is reported to have authorised payments of some £142,000 to Torpedo, a production company owned by her younger sister Ceri. This probably reflects the somewhat interconnected nature of the media scene, especially in Wales, as well as perhaps the need for more transparency to ensure public confidence in publicly-funded organisations.

The smell of death
06/08/2009, 9:33 am
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There’s an awfully grim set of news stories on WalesOnline today: