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Labour Should Get Their Priorities Right

February 27, 2010 7:40 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused the Labour administration in RCT having "no sense of priority" and of putting their desire for collecting brownie points above front line services.

Parliamentary candidate Councillor Mike Powell commented following the Cabinet's decision to press ahead with an application to apply for an advanced level of the 'Member's Charter'

"This comes at a time when every Council in Wales is struggling with a low budget settlement and having to make cut backs in spending.

The Council this week will be presented with a revenue budget which puts up fees, cuts opening times at leisure centres, and raises the Council Tax level.

On the very same agenda there is a proposal with regard to a 'Members Charter' which outlines a raft of 'training and development' and various other support services for Councillors. This proposal will take up an enormous amount of Officer time and money."

Plans include renovations at Council HQ in Clydach Vale to provide private meeting rooms for each Council group.

Councillor Powell added

"Whilst we fully appreciate the need for Members to be adequately trained and receive appropriate support to enable them to fulfil their roles, we do not see any benefit in the proposed Charter other than as a badge gathering exercise.

There is talk of mentoring, and of the Council 'ensuring that all candidates and prospective candidates have and are able to use the national guidance and support materials available'

This is something that should be done in the main by the political parties or groups involved. The elections office in RCT already provide excellent advice and the Electoral Commission offers support services.

Just how are they going to do this? How will they know who the prospective candidates are? (Perhaps they could tell the Labour Party in Pontypridd if they do!) And how will they assess whether or not they can use it? This should not be the business of this or any other Local Authority.

This whole exercise is a sham and when we are having to make cuts in services it is also a complete waste of taxpayers' money."