Saturday, January 26, 2008

More on Criminal Justice.

My turn to make the supper tonight. Regular readers will know that this is not my strongest suit. After some hard thinking I had a brainwave - a Chinese take-away. So I arranged the meeting with our local Police Inspector at Welshpool Station for six-o clock, close to the Dragon's Lair, so that I could bring everything to the boil at the same time - metaphorically speaking.

My hour with Inspector Dickson was to follow up issues that Community Councils have been raising with me. (I have meetings with 14 Community Councils over the next few weeks). We discussed several issues, ranging from 'illegal parking' to ' public attitude towards the immigrant community' and the scale of the drugs problem locally. But the main issue was the spread of Community Support Officers in Montgomeryshire - which Councils are telling me are too thin on the ground. And it turns out that this is a fair observation.

As with all new initiatives, the Community Support Officer scheme had to start somewhere before it was 'rolled out'. Well, the Dyfed/Powys initiative started out in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire - but by the time it came to the 'rolling out' across Montgomeryshire, the money had 'rolled out'. So happens that the consequences of this cut back in spending on policing features on the front page of today's Telegraph. The Police have tried to move things on by inviting Community Councils in the area to match fund Community Support Officers, which they are not prepared to do - understandably because these officers exist elsewhere without this financial contribution. This is not the Police Authority's fault, but its an issue that will run in places like Carno, where the local Council already feels it is not getting a hearing or a fair deal on local services from Powys County Council.

I should add that my culinary skills pulled it off yet again tonight. The sweet and sour chicken turned out to be a triumph.


Anonymous said...

"My hour with Inspector Dickson was to follow up issues that Community Councils have been raising with me. (I have meetings with 14 Community Councils "

Why do the councils not just approach their elected representatives?
Why is the Inspector spending an hour with you on a busy Saturday evening?
You are I take it not even elected to anything of relevance.
It is all a bit mad.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - your questions are better directed to others. What Montgomeryshire Conservatives are trying to do is maintain as full-time office in Montgomeryshire which is accessible to anyone who wants to approach us. There is always an election of some sort in the imminent future - so it is crucial for us that we know what local concerns are. Because I'm the parliamentary candidate, I do try to meet local councils, and others responsible for providing services to Montgomeryshire. How else am I supposed to prepare a manifesto if I do not proactively seek out the issues of local concern. Anyway, its a free country and I do not have to act by the rules that are designed to support the incumbents! And it helps to keep the currently elected representatives on their toes - so I cannot see what you are complaining about.

Anonymous said...

Where have the local party been before the saviour arrived, and where will they be when the next election comes and goes, when presumably you go back to then trying to get back into the assembly?
Do you have the PPC and Prospective assembly member active or just you?
The only one with any clout is the sitting elected member, what ever party they might belong to.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Over the last few years, several Montgomeryshire locals have been inspired to join our team. Simon Baynes is an A list candidate and remains very committed to the Party, Dan Munford remains very active in several policy areas, Suzy Davies is now the PPC for Brecon and Radnor, Craig Williams slashed Rhodri Morgan's majority last May. And I'm very hopeful that we will win several Council seats for the first time next May. And we have retained our local membership at around the 400 mark its been for many years, when all associations of all parties have struggled.

'Clout' is rather more flexible than you suppose. People will go where they can find help. I find that many service deliverers are willing to respond to reasonable approach wherever it comes from. And in Montgomeryshire we do have direct access to Nick Bourne who is a regional AM for the area, and several MPs who are willing to help us.

And on the point about after the next election. I never go around claiming "I am going to win". But I might win if I work hard - and if I don't we will carry on as now. I suspect that there are not many politicians who lose their positions who carry on working for the party and the people as if nothing happened. Its just that the mechanisme through which to work change.