Monday, 30 April 2012

Elections Blaeneau Gwent - Merthyr.

As we approach the Local Government elections I am going to look at the possible results per council.

*Please note because of some late changes in affiliations the actual allocation of numbers of councillors may differ by a few.seats.

*Blaenau Gwent  (42 councillors)

Current composition

Labour 16 Independent 24 Unaffiliated 2

Labour lost heavily here in 2008 largely due to Blaneau Gwent Peoples Voice and a general anti-Laboutr government consensus. But since then BGPV has dissolved and the two Liberal Democrats seem to have left the party. I expect Labour to comfortably take control of this council and gain about ten seats.

*Bridgend Council (54)

Current composition

Lab 27 Independents (various groups) 14 Con 6 LibDem 6

Labour went against the grain in 2008 and actually regained list ground lost to the Libdems and would expect to make further gains and there no real reason to expect them not do. Plaid may pick up a few seats on the further collapse of the LibDem vote but it looks like a Labour gain.

Current composition

Plaid Cymru 32 Labour 29 Independent 5 Independent Islwyn First 3 others 2

On paper Labour should take Caerphilly on a general swing but faced with an established Plaid group of councillors may not make the 6 or 7 seats they need to win control. Yes they look likely to achieve this but don't be surprised if Plaid hold on.

Current composition

LibDem 34 Con 17 Lab 14 Plaid 6 Independent 4

Labour would be hitting the headlines if they win here but it a long trek and although I expect them to be the largest party a hang council looks likely. The strange thing about the election here the big battle seem to be between Plaid and Labour . The former took six seats of the latter in the last election and threatened the strong hold of Ely. Labiur in theory  should be confident of regaining these lost seats but may fail and have to be content in gaining in LibDem and Independent  wards.

Current composition

Independents 30 Plaid 29 Lab 11 LLibDem 1Peoples First 2 Unaffiliated 1

Plaid gained heavily from Labour who would be expected to get some back this time. But they have been in coalition with the controversial Independent led council and may find it hard goining . Expect Plaid to compensate for any losses to Labour largely in Llanelli  by taking sets from the Independents elsewhere . They need a net gain of 9 to win overall control. They may well do it but it a tough task.

*Ceredigion (42)

Current composition

Plaid 20 Independents 11  LibDem 9 Lab 1 Unaffiliated 1.

Plaid have steadily risen to be the largest pary on this council t only to be denied power though a Independent -LibDem coalition . They need a overall gain of 2 seats for control. A large number of conservatives  candidates my influence the result even if they don't win any seats.

*Conwy (59)

Current composition

Con 20 Independents 15 Plaid 14 Labour 7 LibDem  5

The Conservatives  gained 8 seats in 2008 on top of 7 in 2004 and are now the largest party . But the council is led a Plaid led Coalition . Will Westminster politics affect the Tories  and see a Labour comeback?  Will the failure of the council to win lottery money for the refurbishment of Conwy Pier have any affect.? There will probably be no big winner here. The big question which one of the groups will provide the Council Leader?

Current composition

Con 18 independent 11 Plaid 8 Lab 5 Others 5

Don't expect major changes . Like Conwy the conservatives make big wins in 2004 and 2008 but expect this to reversed and the Independents to be the largest group.

Current composition

Independent 24 Lab 21  LibDem 13  Con 9 Plaid 1.

Another must win for Labour a 10 seat target is not impossible and I expect them to be that target on the night.

Current composition

Plaid 39 Independents 16 Liais Gwynedd 12 Libdem 4 Lab 4

The 2008 election was spoilt for Plaid as they lost overall control Of Gwynedd largely due to the intervention  Llais Gwynedd. Since then through defections and By-elections Plaid have regained control . I don't think LG will have the influence this time nd for Plaid to stay in control possibly with an increase in their numbers.

Current composition

Independents 13 Lab 10  LibDem 4 UKIP  2 unaffiliated 1

Labour are pushing hard here but Merthyr has develped a liking for Independents . So labour will be hoping to take the 4 LibDem seats from a party which ran them close in the last General Election. If labour gain a overall majority then it will probably be slim.

I hope to complete Monmouthshire - Wrexham tomorrow,

Friday, 27 April 2012

Norway unites us all against hate.

Tens of thousands of people have protested in Norway against the anti-immigration views of Anders Behring Breivik, as they sang a peace song derided by the mass killer.

A crowd of around 40,000 in the capital Oslo chose 'Children of the Rainbow' which celebrates the type of multi-cultural society Breivik has said he despised and one he dismissed during his trial as Marxist propaganda.

Thousands of Norwegians also held similar musical demonstrations in squares across the country.

In Oslo alone, an estimated 40,000 people flooded the Youngstorget square to sing. In the video above, Norwegian singer Lillebjørn Nilsen leads the crowd in singing "" a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," penned by American folk sing Pete Seeger.
The Associated Press translated its lyrics as follows:
A sky full of stars, blue sea as far as you can see

An earth where flowers grow, can you wish for more?

Together shall we live, every sister, brother, you and me

Young children of the rainbow, a fertile land and seashore

Watch the above andb wipe away the tears and remember that we musyt al stand up against bigotry and hatred wherever it appears.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

AM stays in 5-Star Hotel paid by us.

I t would be wrong to jump the Gun when commenting on the reports that Llanelli AM Keith Davies is to be investigated by the Welsh Assembly Commission and his own party amid claims he was ejected from a five-star hotel following an alleged late-night row.

The Labour politician was reportedly asked to leave the St David's Hotel & Spa in Cardiff Bay in the early hours of Tuesday morning after earlier attending a birthday bash for a consultancy boss. 

Even if the allegations that he was asked to leave are true Everyone behaves E a bit stupidly sometimes and We can nearly all look to ourselves and think I was a right idiot last night.

However when I first saw the report that Mr Davies was staying the night in the Spa Hotel and the Taxpayers expense . I thought why couldn't have taken a Taxi to where he stayed in Cardiff when on Assembly business?

However it is believed the venue is where Mr Davies stays while he works in Cardiff Bay, the bill of which is paid by the taxpayer.

The official rulea are.

The 25 AMs with seats in the Mid and West Wales region - which includes Llanelli - and the North Wales region can claim for the cost of accommodation in Cardiff.

They can claim for rent on a furnished flat or a hotel room worth up to £95 a night when working in the capital. The maximum they can claim is £8,400 a year.

They can also claim towards running a second home which they own, but not the cost of a mortgage.

Overnight stays in hotels must have the prior written approval of the AM's business support team.

The Assembly Commission says it gets a government rate at St David's Hotel. AMs are asked where they want to stay and it is booked for them.

I'm not saying that out AMs should stay in some small backstreet "Roach" Hotel but a 5-Star Bay hotel seems to be a bit much and a better deal could probably found 

The Assembly should even consider buying a empty l building and converting to accommodate our AMs who need such accommodation  Perhaps the Assembly Civil servants should take a look at BBC Homes under the Hammer?

Anyone looking at the news report and thinking the possibility of a by-election will be surely disappointed no matter the extent of the allegations..

Despite the slim 80 vote majority over Plaid Cymru a bitter fought by-election would scupper any overtures and talks of coalition between Labour's Carwyn Jones and Plaid's Leanne Wood.

And i can't see the La Pasionaria's (Kirst Williams) Liberal Democrats jumping up and down after the Mick Bates affair.

So the business over Mr Davie's behaviour will probably die down but the fact that he has ben living the high life on the back of the taxpayer will probably not.

I suspect that AM's will be more angry with Keith Davies for opening this can of worms than any alleged behaviour.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Leanne takes a stand against abuse of elderly women

Plaid Cymru’s new leader Leanne Wood has rejected an invitation to take part in this week’s Jubilee celebrations, saying she would not be able to attend “with honesty”.

Leanne  told the Western Mail 

 As a republican and a believer in principled politics, I would not be able to attend this jubilee celebration event with honesty.
“During my leadership campaign I said I would be prepared to carry out official duties, which includes attending state openings.This does not fall into that category.
“I know people have different feelings about the monarchy and about republicanism. I have no animosity towards the individuals involved and I wish them all well. I hope that people will understand and respect my position.
“During my leadership campaign I said I would be prepared to carry out official duties, which includes attending state openings.This does not fall into that category.
“I know people have different feelings about the monarchy and about republicanism. I have no animosity towards the individuals involved and I wish them all well. I hope that people will understand and respect my position.
Expect a response from the other parties accusing Leanne  of "Snubbing the Queen" and being irresponsible

Neil Welton, leader of Monarchy Wales,(whatever that is) said the latest opinion polls show only 12 to 15 per cent of people in Wales want a republic.

“It’s just pathetic. Her Majesty’s reign over these past 60 years has been remarkable, and yet silly and childish republican party poopers want to rain upon her parade in South Wales,” he said.

I don't know he got is information from However the latest from British Futures  This sceptered Isle poll where 57% of Welsh people asked were proud of comedian Rob Brydon more than said they were proud of the Queen (35%). 56% said that were totally not proud of the Queen
But even if this true . Why are 15% of the population always  being ignored  and thier views hardly ever shown on the mainstream media.
BBC Wales in his usual sychophantic role  has Siân Williams tracking down those who were filmed during the 1953 coronation celebration In a programme called UGH Elizabeth's Wales.
Would it be more interesting to also show those who were not filmed . Who were  not taking part in the ceremony because of Republican and/or Nationalist beliefs.
During the 1969 Investiture there was a great deal of dissent but this also was largely Ignored.

Leanne's  decision  is a refreshing move by a leading politician who is putting her beliefs in to action .

This is not case of Boycotting a state opening of the Assembly as Leanne had in the past but not taking part in these celebrations.

For my part I will be doing everything to avoid these celebrations and will not despite my Republicanism  taking part

I will not be joining the Republic  Wales demonstration  are planned  at the  Llandaff cathedral on Thursday morning.I really don't to wave banners at a 86 old Women and her 91 year old husband.

Indeed I really find it offensive that these elderly people are being made to take part in these so called "celebrations" in order to perpetuate the monarchy by those who interest lie within preserving the current state. One can't help feeling the Queen and her consort are as much Tools of State as the rest of us.

If it was done to other members of the public at that age it would lead to accusations of abuse.

One aspect may be that by June 5th  when there will be the official Bank Holiday. Like the over coverage of the  constant coverage of the Titanic remembrance people will be bored with the Jubilee with it being on our TV's Ad Nauseam and don't forget  next years will be the anniversary of the bloody coronation so expect more in 2013.

Like many people last year I did my best to avoid the Wedding of her Grandson  and will do the same on the June 5th Holiday. Rather than protest I really think its best to do something else.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bahrain-BBC Hypocrisy.

Is it just me or would the  coverage of the Bahrain Grand Prix and the political situation there been more critical  if they weren't hopping to show it on our TV screens?

Would there have been more reports from the viewpoint of the demonstrators as there were in the other countries which went through the so called Arab Spring?

Maybe not.Tthere has been more than a whiff of hypocrisy  in the reports of the downfall of the dictators in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt and their reporting from those Mid Eastern countries, that are led by hereditary monarchies.

This has been evident since before the Afghan Invasion where the plight of Women was highlighted as part of a moral impetus for Western Intervention. All those liberal voices condemning  the status of women being forced to wear the Hijab  and been excluded for maim stream life.

Whilst ignoring the position of women in Saudi Arabia where they have been fighting for the simple right to drive cars. 

But then the Hereditary Monarchies have ben largely friendly to the West and for that reason the fact that they may treat Women in a similar manner to the Iran Mullahs or have a similar appalling record on civil liberties and democracy.

Basically the Western attitude is:

If you are opposed to us . Then you are undemocratic despot and you must introduce Western democracy at once or we will back your opponents even if we have no idea what they real stand for or if they would intoduce western style democracy..

If you are friendly to us. Whilst we may disprove of the undemocratic nature if your regime. But  we have no right to interfere in the internal politics over a country who have a different culture.

And if you are prepared to host a major commercially successful sporting event that we will look the other way as campaigners for democratic rights are shot and beaten in the street. We might even give the impression that they are at fault.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Ed the Martyr.

Ed Milliband was in Methyr Tydfil yesterday, campaining for Labour in the 2012 Local Government elections.

Why Merhyr Tydfil?

After all it's Wale's smallest county council and you could be forgiven for expecting Miliband to be campaigning for Labour to win big Cardiff or Swansea or gain overall control in Caerphilly from Plaid.

But he (or rather his advisers) chose Methyr.

Some explanation could be from Milliband's statement that.....
We lost the general election badly across the UK in 2010," he said.
"We've understood some of the things that we got wrong. We are changing as a party.
"We are a party in touch with people on the ground and we are a party that wants to make a difference to people's lives.
"It's by being back as the people's party that I think we can make a difference to them."

If you were looking to see that Labour had lost touch then the 2010 general election in the safe Labour seat Merhyr Tydfil and Rhymney certainly  showed that.

General Election 2010: Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney [3][4]
LabourDai Havard14,00743.7-16.8
Liberal DemocratAmy Kitcher9,95131.0+17.0
ConservativeMaria Hill2,4127.5-1.4
IndependentClive Tovey1,8455.8N/A
Plaid CymruGlyndwr Jones1,6215.1-4.9
BNPRichard Barnes1,1733.7N/A
UKIPAdam Brown8722.7+0.4
Socialist LabourAlan Cowdell1950.6-0.3
Labour holdSwing-16.9

There was a massive 16.9 swing to the Liberal Democrats;But only a year later the same candidate Amy Kitcher only managed third place. in the Assembly elections.

Welsh Assembly Election 2011: Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
Labour Co-opHuw Lewis10,48354.3+17.2
IndependentTony Rogers3,43217.8+17.8
Liberal DemocratsAmy Kitcher2,48012.8-2.4
Plaid CymruNoel Turner1,7018.8-3.2
ConservativeChris O'Brien1,2246.3+0.9
Labour Co-op holdSwing

So Labour it appears to have already won back voters in Merthyr or rather the LibDems had lost it. So this doesn't really fully explain Millibands trip

However this was about the local Government Elections 

In 2008 despite raising its percentage vote Labour lost 9 seats from 17 (now on 10) whilst the Liberal Democrats  won 6 seats from zero and they percentage share went up from 1% to  21%. (since then have been  reduced to 4 seats ) and together with the 2010 it seemed possible that the once Labour stronghold was being to crumble

The rest of those elected of the 33 "strong" council" was made up of a mismatch of  19 Independents one of whom now represents UKIP

Looking at the nominations for the election in Merthyr labour are well ahead and the Libdem  and most of the Independent challenge has fizzled out. Not that Plaid seem to be putting up much of a challenge there seem more Welsh Communists standing that them and Plaid must really ask how it can rebuild in Merthyr.

However this still may well explain why Miliband chose (or had Chosen) Merthyr for his visit.

Could it be that Labour the word on the street is that they will win back control of Merthyr easily.Thus giving them the chance to claim a "Ed" effect.

However does this also mean Labour are slightly concerned that it is not going to make spectacular gains in the rest of the Welsh Councils?

Milliband visit may well have been about going back to Labour roots . But winning back control of a council with a population of only 55,700 with only 33 councillors whilst not making the gains in nearby Caerphilly which has a population more than 3 times larger than Merthyr  and 73 County councillors may not be a reason for opening the champagne bottles on te night of  May the 3rd.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Why one Labour Council Leader may not want victory elsewhere.

In 2010-11 Russell Roberts  the Labour Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council picked up £58,962, including £1,177 in travel and subsistence, from his work as leader of the council. He also received £23,544 as chairman of South Wales Police Authority and £13,344 from Cwm Taf Health Board. Earlier this month Plaid Cymru revealed that Russell Roberts as deputy leader of the Welsh Local Government Association received £4,000 a year.

Russell Roberts was also paid £2,593 a year as a member of the English-based Local Government Improvement and Development Board. That takes his annual earnings to a staggering £102,443 a year.

This from the Leader of a Council  which in  2010 threatened staff with a "lock-out" unless they accepted worse pay and conditions under new contracts.

Pauline Jarman, Plaid Cymru leader on RCT may well be playing to the political GalleryNut she has a point. when she said.
 "People in RCT are entitled to ask Councillor Roberts how he can justify having five jobs funded through the public sector. How on earth can he be spending the necessary time as council leader which the Independent Remuneration Board for Wales has made it clear that should be a full time role?
"The Welsh Local Government Minister should tell Councillor Roberts that these sorts of practices are unacceptable but because he is a Labour councillor he will probably sit on his hands and turn a blind eye. If anyone knows if Councillor Roberts has further public sector jobs I’d be pleased to hear from them.
"I challenge Councillor Roberts to justify his five paid jobs but I’m not holding my breath. He is clearly not able to defend the indefensible. He’s the head of a tired Labour Party in RCT that has ditched its principles and lost touch with reality.
"He recently put his hand up against giving staff a one off £200 ex-gratia payment which we proposed at the recently budget meeting following the national employers announcing a third year of pay freezes. At the same time he was coining it in from five places."

But we must also ask ourselves. Why has Russell Roberts secured these lucrative appointments?.

Could it be that after the council in 2008 R.C.T waonl one of the two councils under overal control from Labour . The other being Neath Port Talbot whose former leader Derrick Vaughan departed to the European Parliament in 2009.

Is Roberts position more to to with him being one of the few Labour council; group leader in a position of power?

We saw with the AWEMA scandal  which has bee so well documented by Jonathan Edwards here. That patronage stills seems to be the order of the day for the Labour Party in Wales and its time it came to an end.

Of course Russell Roberts may lose some of its positions after the May elections. But this would be more likely because there are more Labour led councils and the "Jobs" may have to spread out out. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

The Workers "Mites" will keep the Labour Party well off.

I am Agnostic but there is something I can learn from all religions and one that always sicks with me from the bible is the Lesson of the widow's mite presented in the Gospels (Mark 12:41-4, Luke 21:1-4.

In the story, a widow donates two small coins, while wealthy people donate much more.Jesus explains to his disciples that the small sacrifices of the poor mean more to God than the extravagant donations of the rich.

I was reminded of this (I sound like a preacher giving a Sunday sermon) . When I saw Ed Milliband on the Andrew Marr talking about party donations.

He started of well calling for a £5,000 cap on donations to political parties,  and when challenged included those Millions of pounds  from trade unions.
He told the BBC this would remove the influence of "big money" on politics.
But he then went on to say said he wanted to keep the system under which union members are asked whether they want to keep paying £3 a year to Labour and are given the option  (not always clearly spelled out) to opt out from this. Rather than to voluntary opt in.

Around three million currently do so. That's about a third of those who voted Labout in the last General Election and it is questionable whether 100% of those who failed to opt out of the "political fund", voted Labour,in that election.

What it means is that Milliband wants to cap donations to £5000 for individuals  whilst receiving a tidy £9 Million from the collected "Workers Mites".
Which would give Labour a huge financial advantage over other parties .
The origins of a political fund to back the Labour Party at a time when MP's weren't paid and the Labour Movement was being formed in the latter part of the 19th centenary had great merit.But it does not exist today especially when Labour represents "Middle England" and not the ordinary worker,.
The issue of Party funding has led to all the major parties to consider capping donations and it looks like a good idea.
However :
If there is to be a cap then it should voluntary take place well before the Bill is even discussed in Parliament.
What's to stop the big donors  making huge donations before the cap legally comes into affect and simply wiping out smaller Parties for decades as they cannot compete with expenditure?
Just imaging Big Business making say a total £20 Million donation to the Tories and the Unions and some Big Business a similar amount to Labour. Whilst the LibDems get £ 5 Million just before the cap becomes Law. Where would that leave the smaller Parties?
And if they introduced State funding of Parties based on their percentage  vote The big parties would have a built in advantage. Having a huge War Chest already.
They would then fight the next General Election and outspend smaller parties by Millions and then claim state money for further campaigns based on the vote they just bought.
Building a perpetual funding on the state which it would make it almost impossible to break
Can we trust Milliband and the other Party leaders to act in the interest of the democratic process when it comes to Part funding? I doubt it.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Labour try to play Language Card in Ely.

There appears to be a report on Wales on Line Labour has pulped 5,000 copies of a Cardiff council election leaflet because it contains a resident’s comment that they “can’t apply for most jobs in Wales because you need to speak Welsh”.

The four-page Labour leaflet, which has not been distributed by the party, was intended for the residents of Ely. It includes a column with pictures of a number of people explaining why they are voting Labour.

It features a local resident named only as “David” who is quoted as saying: “I’m a graduate looking for a job but thanks to Plaid I can’t apply for most jobs in Wales because you need to speak Welsh.”

A Welsh Labour spokesman said: 
“Following external production of a leaflet for the Ely ward in Cardiff, the local party identified a small paragraph which contained words from a local resident that clearly ran contrary to Welsh Labour’s policy position and core beliefs.“The obvious decision was immediately taken by Ely branch Labour Party and Welsh Labour to not distribute the leaflet, and to destroy the 5000 copies. To suggest that Welsh Labour would ever condone, enable or facilitate the distribution of the sentiments contained in the endorsement is as offensive as it is absurd.

They then appeared to give the impression that it was being found out  that concerned them as the spokesman added
“More worryingly, the leaflet in question – leaked to the South Wales Echo with the claim that it was being distributed – was stolen from a storage space in Transport House while awaiting removal for destruction".
 “This theft is extremely concerning. We are currently reviewing the CCTV footage that covers the area, and are confident of identifying the person responsible for this theft. We will be taking appropriate action in due course.”
This is an appalling behaviour on behalf of Labour. Who are clearly worried about Plaid building on their toehold in the Capital.
 Perhaps Plaid are going to do better than expected  in Cardiff and Labour have reduced to such tactics out of desperation.

Playing the Language Card is the same as playing the Race Card and as despicable.

Because lets face if "David" had complained that Jobs were going to ethnic minorities  for instance then not only would the leaflets be pulped but there would have been suspension of senior ward officials.

Labour can't go on claiming to be "Welsh Labour" and supporting the Welsh Language in only some  parts of Wales if they continue to express such views in our Capitol City .

I assume the cost of the pulped leaflets will be added to to the electoral expenses in Ely for Labour and since it was 4 page it will presumably cut down on any future expenditure. If they lose because of this then its fully deserved.

At the moment the response from "A spokesman" is clearly not  enough. Carwyn Jones as the face of Labour (if he's not the leader?) and Peter Hain (who may de Leader)   should immediately respond  by condemning such behaviour and try to impress on those who feel the only way to fight Plaid Cymru is to attack our Language which belongs al of us regardless of whether we speak ir or what Party we support   to shut up or get out.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Community Councils need their profile raised

The Western Mail reports that the lowest tier of local government in Wales is in crisis with hundreds of councillor vacancies looming because not enough candidates have come forward whilst failing to report that they and the rest of the media's lamentable coverage of our community councils plays some part.. They usually only report on a controversy or scandal , not usually seeing these councils as being of interest.

In Rhondda Cynon Taf There are 17 seats unfilled on the Community councils and there are many uncontested

In Gilfach Goch all 7 seats on the Council haven been won by Labour Unappeased whilst on the other side of the County in Ynysybwl Plaid have 8 candidates returned Unopposed out of 12 whilst the remaining 4 are unfilled.

And the pattern is repeated throughout Wales


80 of the seats in Carmarthenshire unfilled

20 in Bridgend

9 in Cardiff

10 in Blaneau Gwent

Community Council as I said are often seen as unglamourous but they can serve a very useful function n they s have powers to provide some facilities themselves, or they can contribute towards their provision by others.

There are large variations in the services provided by Communities, but they can include the following:

  • Allotments - Support and encouragement of arts and crafts - Provision of village halls
  • Recreation grounds, parks, - children's play areas, -playing fields and swimming baths
  • Cemeteries and crematoria - Maintenance of closed churchyards
  • Cleaning and drainage of ponds etc. - Control of litter
  • Public conveniences - Creation and maintenance of footpaths and bridleways
  • Provision of cycle and motorcycle parking - Acquisition and maintenance of rights of way
  • Public clocks - War memorials - Encouragement of tourism

They may also provide the following subject to the consent of the county Council.

  • Bus shelters - Signposting of footpaths - Lighting of footpaths
  • Off-street car parks - Provision, maintenance and protection of roadside verges
In some cases Community councils possess the following powers:

Withholding of consent to stop up unclassified highways and footpaths
Consultation on appointment of managers of primary school

They raise the money by a precept (tax) their residents to support their operations and to carry out local projects.

This comes as part of the Council tax set by the County Council Although there is no limit to the amount that can be precepted, the money can only be raised for a limited number of purposes

I have some memory of a Community Council in Caerphilly which had been won by Independents raising the wrath of the South Wales Echo for proposed a big rise in the precept to expand its projects and virtually led to the fall of that council.

So how can we increase participation. here are some Idea and I don't necessarily endorse all of these.

  • Hold the elections on a different date and issue polling cards (these are not even issued for by-elections) and its not advertised sufficiently when it run at the same time as the County Councils. 
  • Introductory STV and create bigger Wards or even elect the whole council by STV. 
  • Allow Community Councils to merge if they feel that this would improve their function 
  • Increase the powers of the Community Council by allowing them to call County Council Officials to explain actions which affect their area. 
  • Hold a referendum at each election on the precept giving the electorate 3 options candidates can the argue this as part of their campaign pointing out what they would proposed 
  • The Welsh Assembly should set aside about £1,000,000 annually to be a fund that Community Councils can apply for no more than £10,000 for projects outside their precept. 

We need to raise the profile of these councils . It is not helped by the fact that whereas It is often clear by Media reports that we approaching the Local Government Elections . The only report of the Community elections are when no one stands.

Before you comment on this I am fully aware of the nature of me bemoaning this whilst failing to put my name forward and I accept your criticism.