- Abertillery Online Discussion Forum - - Abertillery Online Discussion Forum -
Croeso i fforwm Abertyleri ar y we

For the old board click here
 
FAQ :: Search :: Memberlist :: Usergroups :: Join! (free)
Profile :: Log in to check your private messages :: Log in

Community Council
Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    - Abertillery Online Discussion Forum - Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Please Register and Login to this forum to stop seeing this advertising.






Posted:     Post subject:

Back to top
T Bone



Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 52


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Community Council  Reply with quote

It’s nice to see the pictures of the Chairperson of Abertillery and Llanhilleth Community Council meeting Prince Edward last week on the Town Council webpage. It was also interesting that he informed us how little the Town Council costs a band A household each week (26 pence) and that 72 % of the houses in Abertillery and Llanhilleth are in fact band A properties.

What he fails to mention is how much it costs the other 28 % of the population of Abertillery and Llanhilleth. Or indeed how much this equates too. He mentions that reported figures ‘are way off the mark’ so why not say exactly what it costs to have a Community Council.

What also would be interesting to know, straight from the horses’ mouth, is the names of the Councillors that were co-opted onto the Community Council (I bet one of the Co-opted Councillors is his neighbour) and why was there a need to co-opt any Councillors?
If someone stood for election in one ward, but didn’t get elected why wasn’t they offered the opportunity to represent a different ward, which didn’t have its full quota of Community Councillors? They can’t argue that you must live in the ward, almost half the Councillors, live in one ward yet represent another.

Another interesting point is, I believe, Ebbw Vale doesn’t have a Community Council yet has the lions share of inward investment. If this were the case then surely the money, which is spent on the Community Council, would be better off being used to keep the public toilets in town or the local amenities site open.

Just my thoughts, but after all I am paying for something through my Council Tax that I don’t want and don’t need.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rocke



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3279


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good news is that I'm off out in a mo, so this won't be a comprehensive version  Very Happy

Co-option:

In general people aren't interested in being councillors, and have almost no interest when there's no money in it, as there is(n't) in being a Town or Parish Councillor.
However, some, similar to Club Committee men, like to have a bit of authority or power over their fellows, and a few perks while they're at it.

So - there's almost always not enough candidates for certain wards, especially since there's even more councillors per ward for the town council than there is for the Borough (Cwmtillery has 5 town councillors but only 3 Borough ones).

Llanhilleth was one such ward in the last elections, even despite a Cwmtillery resident (and bizarrely a then-Cwmtillery town councillor) deciding to 'contest' a seat down there.
(The reason of course is that he knew there wouldn't be a fight, so effectively walked onto the council).

Even despite this there still wasn't a full quota, so Bartlettshire had the option of having a by-election(s) in the relevant wards or co-option.
It elected for co-option, on the basis of cost (which isn't borne by the town council but by the Borough as it happens).
It advertised for anyone who was interested - and bizarrely appointed someone who hadn't applied in the prescribed manner.

Cllr Tidey (that's Borough Councillor Tidey, who did not fight for a Cwmtillery Ward seat on the Town Council at the elections and who didn't jump into a non-fight as town councillor Meek did) was appointed at a meeting which considered the applications of a candidate for the Cwmtillery Ward Borough elections who failed to get elected (not me, or Delwyn) and the then-fiancee of er.... town councillor Meek.
I'm given to understand that at the meeting in question it was mentioned that 'Chris has telephoned and offered her services'. (This info has been relayed to me by a member of the public who was present).

It's one of the pile of 'oddities' and peculiar (in fact highly qiuestionable) practices that I'm gathering related to the governance and management of our town council.

Anyway, enough of that for now.

Town councils have a significant amount of power - should they decide to keep or use it.
There's over 20 things that tc's can have direct control of - cemeteries is one, and lo and behold public toilets is another.
Street Lighting is also among them (as is bus shelters).

My manifesto for the town council elections detailed these and proposed that the unspent cash that the town council seems to be accumulating (at our expense) should be used to keep our lights on, provide bus shelters etc. (toilets were open in those days).

Finally (for now) the EV comparison.
EV has a Development Trust.
Trusts by their very nature exist for one purpose - to maximise the benefit to the people that they exist for.
In other words as much as possible of the money that was bestowed upon EV following the demise of EVUDC, and subsequently, is targetted at improving EV for its citizens.
The members of the trust and the board are dedicated towards that end, unlike councillors who are of course political animals.

The major difference between EVDT and A&LCC is that the former's controlling body ie the board controls the employees etc. whereas in Bartlettshire the employee controls council and the councillors.
_________________
If you can read this, thank your teachers.
If you can read it in English, thank our Armed Services.
If you can understand it, consider MENSA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Saeson



Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 293


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Community Council Reply with quote

T Bone wrote:

Just my thoughts, but after all I am paying for something through my Council Tax that I don’t want and don’t need.


Well I don`t think you would have paid much for the `flowers` that greeted HRH. I think Hedley must have been to Poundstretcher; bet it would have been an Interflora job for EV  Rolling Eyes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rocke



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3279


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Community Council Reply with quote

Saeson wrote:
T Bone wrote:

Just my thoughts, but after all I am paying for something through my Council Tax that I don’t want and don’t need.


Well I don`t think you would have paid much for the `flowers` that greeted HRH. I think Hedley must have been to Poundstretcher; bet it would have been an Interflora job for EV  Rolling Eyes


That'll be similar to the carrier bag presented to our - sorry, the town council's - twinning friends then.
_________________
If you can read this, thank your teachers.
If you can read it in English, thank our Armed Services.
If you can understand it, consider MENSA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
martyn142



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 2363


Location: six bells, abertillery

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cost of community councils per CC area in 2012-13 (the most recent I could find) was

http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/d...Documents_Resources/SOC201213.pdf

Blaenau Gwent accounts 20123-13 p 84

                                                               £000s
Abertillery & Llanhilleth Community Council  90
Brynmawr Town Council                             43
Nantyglo & Blaina Town Council                  68
Tredegar Town Council                              138
_________________
martyn142 is a registered trademark.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
martyn142



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 2363


Location: six bells, abertillery

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The figures per band for 2013-14 i.e. the current financial year.

     Aber & Llan  Brynmawr  Nant & Blaina  Tredegar   EV
A    13.42         18.05         17.86              20.94      0
B    15.66         21.06         20.84              24.43      0
C    17.89         24.07         23.81              27.92      0
D    20.13         27.08         26.79             31.41       0
E    24.60         33.10         32.74             38.39       0
F    29.08         39.12         38.70             45.37       0
_________________
martyn142 is a registered trademark.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rocke



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3279


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They look decent enough compared to others.

However, it's the benefit to citizens, and hence what the money is spent on, that counts.

I'll try to dig out the post I did a year or so back.

Basically I think our Town Council spent something like less than half from the 'Environmental Fund' or whatever ie. the main pot for spending in the community.

And let's not forget, the first £30,000+ goes in wages and salaries.
Er.... for part time employees.
_________________
If you can read this, thank your teachers.
If you can read it in English, thank our Armed Services.
If you can understand it, consider MENSA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
martyn142



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 2363


Location: six bells, abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They look decent enough compared to others.

However, it's the benefit to citizens, and hence what the money is spent on, that counts.


In your opinion.

In my opinion it is a waste of my money however much it costs. I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what my money should be spent on. I don't need yet another layer of government to do it for me.
_________________
martyn142 is a registered trademark.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
T Bone



Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 52


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the insight into the Community Council Rocke, once again you have proven yourself to be very informative and knowledgeable. But I must agree with Martyn on this one. I still think the money can be spent better elsewhere. If there is no need for a Community Council then do away with it.

What is also disappointing, in my opinion, is the lack information coming from the Community Council. I know the Chairperson, Jimbo Roles put a statement on to the Community Council website praising their work, (but only after the last posting of ‘Deep in the bowels of the Civic Centre’ trilogy) but it wasn’t what was said in the statement that was interesting, it was the information he didn’t tell us which was the real point of contention.

Also why isn’t any member of the Community Council on this forum providing local information, community news or issues? Why isn’t a Community Councillor on here defending the Community Council or giving us the information that was asked? I've been reliably informed that certain Councillors enjoy writing the odd letter of unsubstantiated complaints about certain local groups, groups which they were once heavily involved with, so why not defend yourselves out in the open?


Last edited by T Bone on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stoob



Joined: 29 Mar 2012
Posts: 1021


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Community Council Reply with quote

The minutes of their meetings are available to read on the web site.
For instance in the December 2013 minutes it states the Clerk asked Greg England to keep some apartments back for the benefit of visitors to the Circuit of Wales at the refurbished Bon Marche House.
In the December 2014 minutes, Paul Shackson of the Circuit of Wales stated that the track hoped to stage Super Bikes and Touring Car events 9/10 weekends annually.
_________________
I use to be a schizophrenic but we're OK now.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rocke



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3279


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

martyn142 wrote:
Quote:
They look decent enough compared to others.

However, it's the benefit to citizens, and hence what the money is spent on, that counts.


In your opinion.

In my opinion it is a waste of my money however much it costs. I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what my money should be spent on. I don't need yet another layer of government to do it for me.


Er... that was my point.
The figures say that it costs less than the poor old inhabitants of surrounding fiefdoms, but I bet far less of it gets spent on things we need.

Does anyone actually know where the money goes (apart from Wages etc. ).

I can tell you that an awful lot of local organisations received cheques and certificates of recommendation in the few months leading up to the 2012 elections.

Anyway, here's a more comprehensive view.
The manifesto of Steve Prosser and me:

"It’s not often that you get a campaign leaflet through your door apologising for something is it? We apologise for giving you yet another leaflet to read, and we apologise for causing an election for ‘Town’ Councillors this time.
Hang on, why should we apologise ?!
If the ‘Town Council’ was actually doing something for our communities we wouldn’t have been asked to stand. You wouldn’t be asked if you wanted a change and we could all have bus shelters, public benches and the like. We would have more control over how to deal with dog fouling, fly-posting, litter and a whole host of other anti-social behaviour. We could market The Lakes and Cwmtillery’s surrounding natural beauty, bringing jobs here.
Now, you’re probably thinking ‘that’s what I pay my Council Tax to Blaenau Gwent for’. Well, believe it or not Town Councils have the power to do all these things, and lets be honest it would be easier if it was within our control rather than ‘the Council’.
Yes, it takes money, but tell us – what are we getting for the £100,000 the town council receives every year, most of which we pay ?
Well, we have a top-rate Clerk and administrative support (they must be, the payroll costs are over £38,000 and they are part-time employees).
We have 19 ( yes, 19 ) councillors while the same area has only 11 Borough councillors. (They aren’t paid but catering for 19 costs more).    
We are twinned with a French town and in the spirit of friendship a visit was made last year. No doubt they were good ambassadors. I’m sure we all look forward to the economic benefits it brings to our area as a result.  
We have Aberfest, Winterfest, Christmas Lights.  All now mostly funded and arranged by Communities First of course. The  Town Council saved £6,500 on the Christmas Lights last year. Borough  Councillors made a sizeable contribution.
We have allotments (not enough to go around of course) to benefit a few.  

What aren’t we getting ? - Value for money !
Over half of the money the town council extracts from you and others is spent on administration and ‘Civic Affairs’, £55,000 according to the last accounts. Over £11 of the £20 you pay goes in wages, overheads and ‘jollies’
It only spends 24% of its money on ‘Environment and Leisure’ to benefit us citizens - less than a quarter of its income !  
Here’s what we intend to do about it:
If you vote us in we will join with other like-minded councillors from the other wards and if we get into power we will see if the council can be disbanded, and if so we will set about getting your views on a referendum to decide if you want to get rid of it altogether.
In the meantime we will:
Set about ensuring that at least 70% of all money raised actually goes into things that benefit our neighbourhoods, such a bus shelters, additional salt bins, grants and support etc*. and we’ll reduce admin. costs in order to do it.
Set up a process that means you will have a say in how much money the town council levies from you. Your councillors will arrange a meeting every year where you can make suggestions, including what you want done and/or a limit on how much you want to pay.    
Things have gone on long enough. ‘Town’ councillors and their Council have become a cosy little (Labour) Club. The Plaid Councillor has decided to stand in Llanhilleth for a safe, non-contested seat, leaving Cwmtillery to 5 Labour candidates. It isn’t good enough !!
"

* You can now add public conveniences and street lighting to this if you wish, and a few other things.
_________________
If you can read this, thank your teachers.
If you can read it in English, thank our Armed Services.
If you can understand it, consider MENSA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
martyn142



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 2363


Location: six bells, abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocke wrote:
martyn142 wrote:
Quote:
They look decent enough compared to others.

However, it's the benefit to citizens, and hence what the money is spent on, that counts.


In your opinion.

In my opinion it is a waste of my money however much it costs. I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what my money should be spent on. I don't need yet another layer of government to do it for me.


Er... that was my point.
The figures say that it costs less than the poor old inhabitants of surrounding fiefdoms, but I bet far less of it gets spent on things we need.

My point though is that I don't need a Community Council to decide what I need, even if their priorities coincide with mine. Get rid of it. It serves no useful purpose.
_________________
martyn142 is a registered trademark.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rocke



Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 3279


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see where you're coming from Martyn, but just suppose the Town Council did the job (to a far smaller degree I accept) that Communities First has done?

One of the original intentions behind CF was to directly inject resources into local communities, and to give those communities the opportunity to say what they wanted.

It's why local authorities - and BG was most certainly one of them - didn't like the idea of CF. It gave a little bit of control back to people.

The TC could be like that under proper and effective control.
It could take over toilets, and re-open them.
It could provide bus shelters at every stop.
It could take on a lot of powers.

Although it would be small scale steady progress over 5 or 10 years would make a huge difference to the state of things in Abertillery.
Ask a town councillor what powers they have - they won't have a clue. They think it's the allotments and nothing else.

On the basis that this can't be achieved then I do agree, get rid of it.

Perhaps someone will get the WAO to sort it out Martyn.  Wink
_________________
If you can read this, thank your teachers.
If you can read it in English, thank our Armed Services.
If you can understand it, consider MENSA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Saeson



Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 293


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Community Council Reply with quote

Rocke wrote:
Saeson wrote:
T Bone wrote:

Just my thoughts, but after all I am paying for something through my Council Tax that I don’t want and don’t need.


Well I don`t think you would have paid much for the `flowers` that greeted HRH. I think Hedley must have been to Poundstretcher; bet it would have been an Interflora job for EV  Rolling Eyes


That'll be similar to the carrier bag presented to our - sorry, the town council's - twinning friends then.


Ha, ha, yes, I was there. One of life`s toe curling moments and an insight into the bumpkin mentality that pervades so much of local politics.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
T Bone



Joined: 26 May 2011
Posts: 52


Location: Abertillery

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a surprise, no reply from Jimbo Roles or any of his fellow Community Councillors to explain to this forum their actual worth to the community they represent.

I would still like to know, straight from Jimbo the actual cost to the Council Tax payer to run his merry little circus and who are the co-opted Councillors.

So come on boys and girls of the Community Council, its all well and good ‘wearing the badge’ but you should be able to explain yourselves and your existence to the very people who you are suppose to be representing

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    - Abertillery Online Discussion Forum - Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Page 1 of 8

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
smartBlue Style © 2002 Smartor
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
 
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum