We didn't set out to put more profit in BT's bank account, but that seems to be what we've done. Since the Conservative Party dropped its bombshell on Powys County Council last Thursday by winning 9 seats from nowhere, the telephones haven't stopped ringing. Not our telephones you understand. But the telephones of the new 'Independent' members, as the leading lights in the two 'Independent' groups try to pressurise them into joining either the MIGs or the PIGs. (Montgomeryshire Independent Group or the Powys Independent Group). Strangely enough I'm told that the leading pressuriser on behalf of the PIGs is Councillor Wynn Jones, who until last Thursday, was a leading light in the MIGs. I fancy he's been struck off some people's Xmas card list. I might speculate why in a post sometime. Apropos nothing, I'll mention that the Board Chairman is drawn from the largest group, which at present happens to be the PIGs.
Its a bit of a job trying to work out what this is all about. It doesn't seem to be anything about policy as far as I can see. Personally, I don't think its anything about snouts in better plenished troughs either, although Board Members are paid a few thousand more. (My own view is that 'backbench' councillors are well paid, but Board Members earn every penny). Its seems to be about power, or at least the right to appoint members to the Board and to various Committees. I'll try to explain it.
Powys County Council is run by a Board of 15 councillors, who are chosen is proportion to the number of seats won by the groups. So the new Board will probably comprise 1 Labour, 2 Lib Dems, 2 Conservatives, 3 MIGs and 7 PIGs. Now if the PIGs can peel off one or two of the MIGs, the latter's total might drop to 2. The only one who has jumped ship so far in Wynn Jones, Councillor for Abermule, but I'm hearing rumours about one or two others as well. I'm told the Stephen Hayes, Councillor for Montgomery is also ringing around lobbying. Again personally, because of my life long commitment to Montgomeryshire, I would join the MIGs if I were an 'Independent'. I understand that there have been letters circulating as well, concerning this threat from the Conservatives. I'll publish a copy if Edna Mopbucket can find one when she's cleaning the Council Offices next week.
None of this jockeying will have the slightest effect on us of course. All we intend to do is get our heads down, work as hard as we can for our constituents, and prove our commitment to public service. The Montgomeryshire electorate have given us a huge vote of confidence, and we're not going to let them down. The power games - that's for the 'Independents' to play.
NOTE - Russ has corrected me. The Lib Dems have 15 seats, and will qualify for 3 Board members - so I suppose there will be one less PIG.