Poor day for democracy
11:29am Thursday 20th February 2014 in Letters
I WAS present in the public gallery on Friday for the extraordinary meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council and aghast at what I witnessed.
There have been two very concerning Estyn reports, two CSSIW reports and two Wales Audit office reports and a Public Interest report from WAO. There is a police investigation by the Gloucester Constabulary already announced and probably another in the pipeline.
On Friday the council considered the WAO report and then a series of notices of motion. A group of councillors who had previously expressed their views to the local press were considered to have predetermined the issues and were advised by the council’s barrister that they would be in breach of the councillors’ code of conduct if they voted. Of course those who may have predetermined the issue against the notice but not declared that predetermination were still eligible to vote.
We were informed that the barrister received the information regarding predetermination in an unattributed envelope addressed to him placed on the back seat of the council car, which collected him from Port Talbot Station.
So can we consider an ambush had been set for the predetermined and they were effectively stopped from casting their votes? A very poor day for democracy.
What is happening in our county; the once proud premiere county of Wales. I believe it is time for the people of our county to petition the Welsh Assembly.
I would suggest: ‘We the undersigned residents of Pembrokeshire request the Welsh Assembly Government to intervene in the local governance of Pembrokeshire.’ If enough people are willing to act as organisers, this can happen, but it is an extremely sad day for our county.