Things of which I approve are happening at Powys County Council. The cosy consensus which has stultified debate and ostracised the voice of the people for 20 years has been smashed. A ruling coalition has been formed (currently Powys Independents and Lib Dems) something which I always approved of, though preferring the Conservatives to be involved. Next year perhaps. As a consequence of this, an 'opposition' has also emerged - to 'oppose'. Initially, it seemed to me that the new governing coalition successfully smothered any potential for genuine opposition by taking control of the 'scrutiny' committees - a dastardly plan. But the Chief executive has stepped in. It seems that we are now to have 'committees' established to conduct reviews of issues, taking evidence, making recommendations - in effect holding the ruling coalition to account. Well done, Mr Paterson. Democracy is not dead in Powys after all.
Now to the interesting first issue under discussion, the new traffic gyratory system at Welshpool - otherwise known as the one-way system. A committee, under the Chairmanship of Cllr. David Jones has been established to look at how it's working, or not! Perhaps they might even ask why it was introduced in the first place. I can see this putting one or two noses out of joint. Good. Great stuff. At long last we will have Councillors asking the questions that the people they represent want asked.
Personally, I hate one way systems. They usually cause more problems than they solve. They work fine when traffic is light, but cannot cope with heavy traffic - especially when delivery vehicles are allowed to completely stuff up the system by parking on Berriew St. and Severn St. during the daytime. Dozens of people have approached me with their concerns. Firstly by town centre businesses suffering a loss of trade, and secondly by people concerned about the greater danger in crossing Broad St., especially for the elderly and less mobile. Only thing positive you can say is that it's nothing like as bad as Newtown. So don't hold back Councillor Jones. Lets have a hard-hitting report. And when you've done with this issue, I've a few other ideas for your committee to look into.