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Letter to the press – Russell getting election fever?

December 30, 2011 11:29 PM

(This is in response to his monthly columns which you can download a copy of here)

Russell Roberts must be getting election fever already. The signs are all there, evidenced in another of his rants under the heading of "Russell's Report' on 29th December. It reads like the script to a party political broadcast, although I'd suggest he gets a better scriptwriter.

I must agree with him on one thing, the 250 new jobs coming to Treforest is indeed good news, and congratulations to anyone - of whatever political persuasion - who was involved in bringing them here. Although this seems to have come about despite the Labour Business Minister's decision to create Enterprise Zones in Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Ebbw Vale, in fact anywhere but RCT.

After that I am afraid Russell's meanderings into the world of fantasy in which he seems to live lose me. He makes his usual predictable attack on the Westminster Government, blaming them for the fact that unemployment in Wales is at such a high level. Yet again I feel the need to remind him of the process of DEVOLUTION which means that the economic development in Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh Government which has been Labour led since 1999. Indeed if the Westminster Government are - according to him -responsible for the high unemployment figures then how come the Labour Minister at the Bay gets the credit for the new jobs?

You really should show more of s a degree of consistency Russell.

Take the issue of the 'difficult decisions' he says he has been forced to make to protect jobs. What ones would these be then? Not the terms and conditions review? I am sure I recall him stating that was delegated to the Chief Executive. Or was it? It is so difficult to keep up on times with who is responsible for what in RCT as it varies depending on whether the news is good or bad.

There has been absolutely no mention by any Labour representative - nor indeed any Council press officer - of the budget deal made between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Labour at the Assembly to bring an extra £3m into RCT schools. Nor does Russell mention the extra £39m being invested in an economic stimulus package to help tackle unemployment and build our skills base here in Wales as a result of those negotiations.

But then that wouldn't fit in with his contention that all we do is criticise and do not come forward with any ideas, would it?

Here in RCT the Welsh Liberal Democrats have come forward with plenty of ideas, but Labour invariably vote against them simply because they have not brought them forward. For example, in June 2008 our Council group put forward a motion to ban the drinking of alcohol on the streets of Pontypridd. Labour voted against it, but now would like voters to think it is all their idea. They blame Cllr Powell for trying to stop it, but that is a blatant lie, all he asked was to see the evidence they have now that they claimed wasn't there previously.

I would suggest that Russell stops trying to detract attention away from his own failings and that of his party right here in RCT. It smacks of desperation to continually try and pass the buck, Maybe the thought of losing his £100,000 a year salary has put him in a bit of a spin.

Karen Roberts

Campaign Manager RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats