Picture's a bit fuzzy, but it gives you some idea of the audience at Llanidloes Community Centre tonight. Russ counted 410. That's the biggest audience that I've ever attracted. Not that it was anything to do with my pulling power. It was the issue we were discussing.
A 'document for consultation' about the re-organisation (modernisation in officialese) of secondary education in Powys. Two of the 4 options involve the closure of Llanidloes High School, and one involves the closure of its sixth form. This High School is one of the best in Wales. I'd been involved in making the document public, and I'd arranged tonight's meeting.
It was an amazing meeting - a novel exercise in local democracy. A Council Steering Group prepare a 'document for discussion' which will have a massive impact on the social and economic infrastructure of an area, and the people discuss it before the Councillors, and tell them exactly what the People's Voice is saying - before the Councillors discuss it and tell the people what they should think. Exhilarating stuff. I really wouldn't like to be in the shoes of a County Councillor who stands up in public and advocates the closure of Llanidloes High School.
And Mr Bruce Lawson stood up in the middle of the meeting and announced that he's standing as an Independent in May's General Election. Bruce used to be the Montgomeryshire UKIP candidate for several elections, before switching to Robin Page's political party (Britain First I think). Anyway Bruce is back. Not sure whether any of the audience noticed though. Minds on other things. It all happens in Llanidloes.