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.