Council Watcher

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  • in reply to: Webcasting All Scrutiny Meetings – Transparency #140157

    Council Watcher

    It is understandable that there is a need for Part 2 on some occasions such as commercial sensitivity during negotiations but if these have been procured appropriately the awarding details of contracts should then appear on the Sell2Wales website. The occasion if it is to do with identifiable staff but generally this should never really occur apart from senior management wages – but this should not remain private as it is now good practice for businesses to disclose Sentir management remuneration -LA management should not be exempt.

    I wonder if they should get to a stage of ALL meetings and functions in the Guildhall being webcast – I wonder how many Council Members and Officers attended the farewell party for the Chief Executive — were there more Councilors at this event than normally attend the Executive meetings!!

    Cllr Peirchard is playing a two faced game here- even if as recimended bu the Chuief Legal Offucer Coiuncil Members should put there own recimndations forward and this changes a report going befire the Executuve — all that will happen is that the Executuve (who are the only ones who vote) will vite against the new Scruitiny recimendations and put their own amendments whuch would undotuably be those that the Lead Member wanted- a vite would take place then it will be 10/0 every occasion. No Executive will ever be seen to be accepting recommendations from those lesser Councillors who make up the largest number bit is totally ineffective in making change occur.

    in reply to: Savings rather than Cuts Ty Pawb #139853

    Council Watcher

    JimBow your thinking is very sound but would undoubtedly fall on deaf ears in the Council- the problem they have is that they have expanded so much Arts Council and WG funding that a retreat is probably not practical or contractually viable.

    When there are people who are driving vanity projects the economic reality does not come into their thinking — there is no risk of being sacked for a project failure, no personal liabilities so no blame to be attributed if it all goes pear shaped

    in reply to: Executive Members lack of knowledge #139511

    Council Watcher

    Having now just read the full thread of Tweets and responses from Wrexham.Com you have to ask what level of credibility does Cllr Terry Evans now actually have to hold a position on the Executive — he should acknowledge that he is not up to date with issues or up to the role and take the gentlemanly view and resign.

    in reply to: Plaids budget #139438

    Council Watcher

    We need to ensure that the budget does not become embittered un party political or personality politics which distracts from the core issue of cuts and would allow the Council Executive to get THEIR budget through as everyone else has been arguing.

    People need to be open when looking at the proposed budget cuts and not be so narrow to just look at our own lives as they are today- look for the future.

    Council Watcher

    If the Strategic Director can step up to Chief Executive for 6 months — will anyone backfill her role – if it is vacant it really shows an over staffing at that level.

    in reply to: Council Budget #139091

    Council Watcher

    Opposite of the cuts are the expenditure lines that reflect an imbalance- look at what is being spent ion Leisure Service improvement that Freedom Lesure run yet not a penny to Splash for running Plas Madoc. Is this really far why are the ratepayers who use that facility not benefitting.

    Improvements Leisure Facilities:
    Waterworld 1,157,358 1,157,358
    Chirk Leisure Centre 426,703 426,703
    Queensway Sports Centre 205,164 205,164
    Gwyn Evans Leisure Centre 78,378 78,378
    Darland Sports Centre 20,000 20,000
    Morgan Llwyd Sports Centre 153,061 153,061
    Rhosnesni Sports Centre 20,000 20,000
    Ruabon Sports Centre 20,000 20,000

    in reply to: Health Board Fiasco #138685

    Council Watcher

    The issue over some drugs costing pennies such as Paracetamol and Aspirin is not the issue the big excessive cost is that a Pharmacist will get the same payment fee per prescription from WG regardless of the value of the products being dispensed.
    There is a unit cost per prescription and then a fee depending on number of items dispensed

    in reply to: Health Board Fiasco #138682

    Council Watcher

    The vast oversubscribing of prescription drugs rather than getting to the root causes can also reduce costs long term — treatments for depression because someone has financial problems is not the solution. Prescribing medication for someone in a chaotic lifestyle of drugs, roofless etc is a waste as they cant cope with taking tablets when they should, have no control mechanisms and generally the medication is likely to be sold on the streets.
    Tablets such as Valium (Vallies – street name) are being sold for £1 a time, unwanted Methadone is £5 for 250ml- how can people get prescriptions and then sell medication on for cash.
    There are so few checks and balances in prescribing that the streets are awash with prescription drugs being sold on.

    in reply to: Councillors Allowances #138543

    Council Watcher

    I think what Cllr Pritchard has eluded to in saying it predates his administration is partly correct — the first instance to be investigated was before Cllr Pritchard’s time but because the recommendations/enforcement notice was not implemented incidents then occurred during Cllr Pritchards leadership- Council Members – have been found guilty as charged and also the Chief Executive.

    Interesting in this case why have the Unions not made a statement about protecting their members – were they not even involved– remember that we (rate payers) are paying for Union Facilities etc. When have yu ever seen anything from any of the Council Unions in Wrexham publicly criticise the Council for all the cuts and redundancies- If they are not effective for their members then why should they have a ratepayer subsidy!!

    in reply to: Fixed Penalty Notices issued by a Private Company #138435

    Council Watcher

    Litter is anything dropped in a public place, from sweet wrappers to bin liners or household rubbish. It also includes smoking-related litter. An estimated 122 tonnes of cigarette butts, matchsticks and cigarette-related litter is dropped every day across the UK.

    The presence of litter degrades the environment and affects people’s quality of life.

    Litter in England and Wales

    The law on litter

    To throw down, drop or otherwise deposit and leave litter in any place open to the air, including private land, is a criminal offence under section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), (as amended by the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005). This offence includes dropping litter in water such as rivers, streams and lakes.

    The police or local authority can prosecute the offender; it is also possible for private individuals to prosecute. The offence is dealt with by the magistrates’ court, with a maximum fine of £2,500.

    Prosecution for dropping litter is time consuming and expensive, making it very difficult to prosecute large numbers of litter offenders. As an alternative to prosecution, section 88 of the EPA gives the power to issue a fixed penalty notice for the offence of leaving litter. Local authorities have the power to specify the level of fine that will apply in their area, with a standard default amount of £75 if they choose not to do so. The offender has 14 days to pay. Failure to pay can result in a prosecution. Where appropriate, penalty notices may be issued to children aged 10 or over, as well as to adults.

    Local authorities are entitled to keep any of the money they get out of fixed penalty notices.

    Penalty notices

    Penalty notices can be issued by

    Litter authority authorised officers, including persons not employed by the local authority (includes parish councils, National Park authorities and the Broads Authority)
    Accredited persons – litter wardens
    Police community support officers (PCSOs)
    Power to photograph persons given a penalty notice

    Police officers, PCSOs (where designated) and accredited persons, have the power to photograph persons, away from the police station, who have been issued with a penalty notice. By taking photographs of those who have been issued with a penalty notice, their ability to claim that they were not present when the incident happened is greatly reduced.

    Notices and Orders to prevent and clean up litter

    On public property
    The local authority has a legal duty to clear refuse and litter from land for which it has responsibility, such as streets, parks, playgrounds, tourist beaches and pedestrian areas.

    Members of the public can apply to the magistrates’ court for a Litter Abatement Order to ensure that an area under the control of a duty body is cleared of litter and refuse. The notice requires the responsible body to clean the area within a specified timescale. Non-compliance is punishable by a maximum fine of £2,500.

    Local authorities can also place controls on the distribution of free literature, to prevent flyers, handouts and pamphlets from becoming litter. It is an offence for anyone to distribute, or cause someone else to distribute, free literature, without consent, in an area designated in terms of the EPA by a principal litter authority. The offence incurs a fixed penalty notice of £75 (default level) or between £50 and £80 if set at a local level. Non-payment can result in prosecution in the magistrates’ court.

    In England and Wales, under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, the local authority can make a Public Spaces Protection Order for a particular area and use that order to prohibit the dropping of litter that is persistent or continuing, unreasonable and has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality. They can also issue Penalty Notices. See Solutions (England & Wales).

    On private land
    If a piece of private land is littered, the owner is responsible for clearing the litter. Litter causing a nuisance to the public or which is prejudicial to public health (e.g. if causing infestation by rats and mice) could amount to a statutory nuisance under s 79 of the Environment Protection Act. Local authorities have the power to take legal action. They can apply for an abatement order and an order to recover any expenses the authority has incurred to remedy the situation.

    The local authority and police also have power to issue a Community Protection Notice to the property owner or occupier under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act if their conduct is unreasonable and having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature, on the quality of life of those in the locality. This notice must specify the action required by the owner or occupier but can only require them to do what is reasonable to stop the detrimental effect.

    If the owner or occupier fails to carry out the action required in the notice, they commit an offence and are liable to a fine of up to £2,500. Alternatively, they can also be given a fixed penalty notice of up to £100. The local authority may carry out the work required if the premises is open to the air. If the premises is not open to the air, they must have the consent of the owner/occupier to go onto the premises to carry out any work. The local authority can recover their expenses in doing the work from the owner/occupier.

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