Fantastic news. Edna Mopbucket has been back on the phone - and up to her old tricks, listening at keyholes. Reckons she was cleaning at Powys County Hall last week when she overheard heated words and oaths emanating from a 'Cabinet' meeting. I had to explain to Edna what this 'Cabinet' is - and that it came about because the Powys Independents and the Liberal Democrats took over all the power for themselves, and kicked out the Montgomeryshire Independents, the Conservatives, Labour and Plaid. "Oh" she said "So that's why they looked so terribly 'puffed up' with importance and exuding the same sort of 'airs' that only come with new found wealth and massively increased salaries. I told her to stop exaggerating. It wasn't that bad.
Anyway, she reported much 'sound and fury' and gnashing of teeth through the keyhole. It seems things are not turning out quite as expected. She reckons one very self-important voice started complaining about these Montgomeryshire Independents getting all the limelight over the wind farms debate at Welshpool. Edna said the PIGS (I've warned her they don't being called PIGS) were furious that some ruse trying to claim all the publicity by issuing a press release to pretend it was all their idea had backfired, and that Councillors David Jones and Graham Brown emerged as stars of the day. Michael Jones, the new Cabinet Leader had to remind one very agitated chap in the back that he leads on the issue now, and he'd better fall into line if he wanted to keep his new salary. Edna reckons there was much tittering around the room at this. Told her she must be making this up.
And then another voice started complaining about formal questions that "these bl***y MIGS and Tories are tabling" - asking embarrassing questions about dismal performance in dealing with planning applications, and the comparative collapse in recycling performance. Edna reckons that there was outrage that all this stuff is public - and not being dealt with quietly, as happened under the old 'Executive Management Board'. She reckons that Mr Patterson, who seemed to be in control, told them "You voted to grab all the power for yourselves, and up your pay so its no good complaining. You took the gain; now take the pain".
I take all this with a pinch of salt because Edna's hearing is probably failing her a bit. And anyway, I approve of this new 'Cabinet' system. Always did. Great to see at Welshpool last Wednesday the 'political groups' competing to support the public, 1500 of whom had turned up to listen. 53 Councillors sticking 106 fingers (coincidentally, the same number as turbines at Llandinam) up to higher authorities. And great to see the planning and recycling performance (or non) being debated in public. As Edna said rather indelicately "Looks like they've stopped all p***ing in the same pot". As usual, I'm not sure whether to believe a word the old girl tells me, but it was nice to be in touch again.