Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Powys going for a Low Turn-out

I've just had a copy of a letter sent by Presiding Officer, Dafydd Elis-Thomas and Glyn Mathias, Electoral Commissioner for Wales to the Leader of Powys County Council. It reads

Dear Councillor,
You may be aware that we wrote to all returning officers in Wales recently requesting their support and co-operation in the distribution of a leaflet jointly produced by the National Assembly for Wales and the Electoral Commission, copy attached. Our intention is that the leaflet informing the electorate about the new
powers of the Assembly and the importance of registering and voting in the May 2007 Assembly election, should be distributed to all households on Wales.

I am pleased to report that we have received a positive response from 21 of the 22 local authorities. In the case of Powys however, council officials have taken the view that they are unable to allocate any resources to this work.

Clearly, this is very disappointing and may mean that Powys constituents will be disadvantaged. We therefore hope that, in your position as Chair of the Powys Board, you will give the matter your consideration with a view to your providing us with a more positive response.

We are copying this letter to all Powys Assembly Members, knowing that they will have an interest.

What on earth is going on at Powys? I want to be as supportive as I can, but the Council seems to be losing its way on an increasing number of issues. The National Assembly elections are crucial to Mid Wales. I have been arguing for all I am worth to raise the profile of Mid Wales issues in the National Assembly - but it seems that the Council don't really care a lot. I hope that the Leader of the Council will reverse this short-sighted decision by the Council officers.


Anonymous said...

Good for Powys. Why should they waste tax payers money on a leaflet which should be the responsibility of the assembly and the elctoral commission. In any case like most junk mail it will end up in the bin. People will not be voting in May for more important reasons than they failed to receive a leaflet through the post.

lads said...

What's going on Glyn is what so often goes on in Powys. The County Council thinks the priority when it finds out that CRB checks haven't been carried out on teachers is to pursue the whistleblower, not find out why its systems for checking are so weak. It isn't interested in the public out there so naturally it doesn't think that elections are important!

Glyn Davies AM said...

Democracy costs money. I want our National Assembly to be an effective and respected instution. A very low turn-out would undermine the integrity of the Assembly - and 21 outr of the 22 local authorities agree.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - you are probably one of the many in the UK who whinge like hell about the politicians because they are not doing what you consider they should but can't be bothered to get off your a**e and vote. So don't moan about something you are not prepared to change by casting your vote.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree with the first anonymous comment, why waste tax payers money in Powys when jobs are being cut.

Please remember that Powys voted "No" to the Welsh Assembly, is this tier of Government really needed. I do beleive that there was not a low turn out in the last Welsh Assembly elections in Powys, in fact I think that Powys was possibly the highest or second highest in the turn-out. As you are presumably going to be a candidate in the future election I would suggest it is up to you(the Candidates) to canvass their electorate and perhaps you will then see what the electors want the money spent on, I would suggest it would not be on these leaflets but rather on education or health.

Glyn Davies AM said...

The argument for abolishing the Assembly is sound - while it does not have sraightforward law-making powers. It is reasonablew to ask whether it is worthwhile. Powys did indeed vote against and so did I. But the reality is that it is not going to be abolished. So we had best make it an effective well-regarded institution.

This takes money - money that could be spent on other things. I believe that the Powys councillors will have more respect for democracy that her officers, and will agree to distribute the leaflets