Monday, October 03, 2011

Coming of age of Cabinet Government in Powys.

Really interesting session in the Council Chamber of Powys County Council today. Question under debate was who takes the decisions about reorganisation of secondary education in Powys, which includes the six secondary schools in Montgomeryshire, and the Newtown base of Coleg Powys. The proposition was that this decision was of such importance that it should be taken by all of the councillors, rather than just the Cabinet. It was proposed by the Conservatives, and supported by others, principally the Montgomeryshire Independents and Labour - plus a few others. The proposal lost 31-28. Several councillors did not attend - there being 73 of them.

From my constituency's perspective this is very interesting - in that the great majority of Montgomeryshire-based councillors voted for the proposal, while the great majority of Brecon and Radnorshire based councillors (with honourable exceptions) voted against - a real split in the county. This is going to cause much resentment if there is a public backlash against the decisions, (expected in November) which will now be taken by just the Cabinet members. I anticipate that the names of those who voted which way will be well featured in the media. Already I have heard two people tell me that they are so angry about what has happened that they are going to stand against cllrs who voted with the Cabinet in elections next May. It will be particularly difficult for cllrs with threatened schools in or adjacent to their wards who effectively voted to extinguish their right to involvement in the decision-making process.

Today's debate will have brought home to many cllrs what a Cabinet system means. They are realising that the power to decide now lies with the few who make up the Cabinet, and that the role of those who are not signed up to the 'administration' is to 'oppose' and 'scrutinise'. Since the Cabinet system was forced through by the Liberal Democrats and Powys Independents last year, I've not thought the 'opposition' to be remotely aggressive enough. Its only opposition councillors who are in a position to challenge the Cabinet, and if that's ineffective, we would have a dictatorship. Today was an important day - the coming of age of Cabinet government in Powys. Some will not like what they voted for last year.


Anonymous said...

Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for:
((IN/(steve AND jobs) AND AN/apple) AND IC/(palo AND alto)): 244 patents.
Hits 1 through 50 out of 244


Anonymous said...

God, Jobs died at 56 - what more could this man have done?


quote from BBC's American Question Time special.


Anonymous said...


The CT quotes Aled Davies as saying the decision on Primary Schools was vindictive.

Stephen Hayes is quoted elsewhere in the same paper as saying that 73 councillors leads to 73 view, 73 ammendments, etc. So what! Give the decision to a caucus of only 6 cabinet members virtually all from the south and look at the result and the way it was formulated.

It is impossible not to draw the same conclusion as Aled. I fear for the secondary schools result because it will almost certainly reflect the same partisan interests. North powys schools generally more eficient will be put to the sword and the problems in the south fudged.

In the face of this kind of vindictiveness would you please excuse me for not giving my name on this occasion.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Comments from anons which make interesting or fair points are allowed. There does seem to be an entirely different approach to local Government in South Powys (except the Conservatives, and Labour surprisingly) from Montgomeryshire - always with exceptions of course. There are council elections next May. The voters can make their judgement.

Anonymous said...


Please understand that my concerns were about the implications to the institutions to which I might be linked.

Incidentally I notice every time that controversial issues crop up there is an outbreak of il-health amongst our councillors. Only 60 (1 abstention) voted at the general meeting and even more disgracefully just 6 out of 10 at the cabinet meeting. Perhaps their pay could be docked for absenteeism!!!