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  • in reply to: 55 New iPads For Councillors #122349


    IMHO how ironic my iPad, which has proven an invaluable tool, has in the last week decided to stop taking a charge properly. Assuming it behaves itself then I’m happy to carry on using it till I’m told otherwise.

    On a working day (ie non Councillor day) I have used my lunch hour and a few hours this evening to:

    Read and deal with over twenty incoming emails.
    Send nine emails.
    Chase officers for an update on the travellers encampment which arrived Friday on the Morrisons cycleway.
    Speak with the mangaer of the Aldi new build about noise nuisance, removal of the ambulance warning lights on Ruthin Rd and to gain clarification on when they propose to carry out road resurfacing work on Ruthin Rd, near the ambulance exit junction.
    Spoke with a fellow Councillor about the removal of double yellow lines in the Mold Rd locality so as to reduce the pressure for on-street parking created by postal workers. Our request has then been relayed by email to a Highway’s officer.
    Notify the manager of a local toddler group that they can continue to use a local Community Centre as the builders have agreed to instal a new kitchen in the Centre working around the Toddler Group’s needs.
    Spoke with a ward resident about a neighbourly dispute.
    Request a meeting with the Leader of the Council to walk Bellevue Park in relation to the Dog Control Order consultation.
    Acknowledge an officers update on two worthy building projects proposed within the ward.
    Set up a phone call with a Planning Officer for tomorrow to discuss a planning application which affects ten or so householders in the ward.
    Update a fellow Councillor on a meeting I have arranged with a Betsicadwalder officer in relation to the treatment delivery for alcoholics and drug users and the impact this is having for the residents of Wrexham town-centre wards.
    Chased an officer for an update on a proposed cycleway jointing Croesnewydd Rd and the Morrisons cycleway.
    Start to read up on CAIS a North Wales charity which provides treatment for alcoholics and drug addicts, as part of my research into how Wrexham deals with this issue.
    As the booking officer for the Maesgwyn Community Centre I have liaised with a traders an to replace the Centre’s faulty guttering, informed the caretaker of the timing of this work whilst passing on the details of a new booking. Spoke with a fellow committee member about opening the Centre for the tradesman.

    I hope I’ve provided a flavour of what a County Councillor can be called upon to deal with to ensure the best is done for the constituents they serve. Without an iPad and my personal mobile phone then my capacity to do the role would be somewhat deminished.

    Cllr Phil Wynn

    Ok. well done you for doing what you signed up for. What is the 13K for if it isn’t to compensate you for doing council work? Is it just to pay you to turn up for meetings? If so, it’s excessive IMO.
    You say your Ipad performed well in assisting you to carry out your council work even though you do say it now has a battery issue (can be repaired) so, can you tell us how a nice shiny new one would have done better? Or even, 50 odd of them.
    Cllr. Wynn, i am not one that is just having a go at councillors i just do not see how it can be judged as prudent in these harsh times to blow tens of thousands of much needed pounds on replacing what are probably good and serviceable items of equipment whether it be Ipads or computers.
    By the way, i do in a smaller but nevertheless still an important way, similar to you but, i do it voluntarily and using my own equipment;)

    in reply to: 55 New iPads For Councillors #122271


    Would anyone expect a bricklayer to lay a brick without the use of a trowel. Would anyone deny a teacher access to a white-board. I’m guessing because politicians have let themselves down over the years then it is inevitable that given any opportunity to give them a kicking then that is what the general public will dish out.

    Councillors vote for iPad replacements is one of those opportunities for giving County Councillors a kicking too.

    I for one agreed to using an iPad so as to save the Council £38k a year which was spent on the production and distribution of paper copies of reports.

    The Planning Committee report issued this week runs to 160 plus pages and the Executive Board to 120 pages so the iPads are doing the job they were intended for.

    I can understand the gravitas Plaid Cymru candidates are seeking to gain off the general public by committing to using their own laptops if elected in May 2017, rather than Council issued iPads or laptops.

    If they truly wish to have a meaningful discussion on the cost of democracy then they ought to put forward the case:

    For fewer elected WCBC elected members. I would argue that based on the size f some of the larger populated wards that you could go down to 42 County Councillors.

    Refuse to accept superannuation which typically costs the Council 20% of an employees gross pay.

    Argue for fewer elected members to serve on the Executive Board.

    Maybe they also ought to exact promises from their AM’s, MP’s and Police Commissioners to forgo their membership of superannuation.

    If they don’t then I would argue they are putting themselves up as being virtuous so as to win over the minds of those members of the general public who feel let down by the whole political system rather than being principled want to be elected County Councillors.

    Cllr Phil Wynn

    Ps for the avoidance of doubt these are my own views on how to drive down the cost of democracy.

    This is not a discussion about whether or not to supply councillors with Ipads it’s about replacing the ones they already have at a cost to the tax payer of thousands of pounds plus the replacement of other computers at a time when services are being cut to the bone. I have an ipad 3 which is about four years old and it still does exactly what it did when new and at the same speed and i suspect the three is what the councillors have. Admittedly Apple no longer issue Ios updates for it but as long as the Apps. will still run on the equipment there is no real reason to change it. Ipads along with other computers can slow down as they become filled with data but regular “housecleaning” can mitigate this. Are the councillors using the equipment for private use as well as council? If they are, that could help to slow it down.
    A word about the size of the reports. I would suggest, keep the reports briefer which would no doubt improve their quality.

    To close, I would like to have the latest piece of kit but as i have to pay for it and need to be prudent with money, i stick with my old one, a course of action i recommend to the council.

    in reply to: 55 New iPads For Councillors #122169


    It’s obvious to me that the posters here that are fine with the council spending thousands of pounds on replacing Ipads are in no way affected (or not yet aware they are) by the cuts in essential services as, if they were, they would have a different view i feel certain.
    For me, responsible caring councillors would be making a strong case for keeping the ones they have instead of trying to make up a case as to why should have the latest and greatest toy by talking rubbish like, “they are slowing down”, “they are unable to run the latest operating system, well, my Ipad 3 isn’t either but it’s still doing exactly what it has done for the last few years without a problem. Of course, we also have the imagined security issues as well. Should we feel sorry for the poor councillors who seem to be struggling under the weight of a (claimed) under performing Ipad? Well, should we?
    If you put this waste of money alongside all the other wastes of money, one example being the 100’s of thousands trying to keep a failing Welsh language going you have a very sizeable sum all of which could be going to supporting homes for the elderly, schools, fire service etc. etc.

    I despair at the cavalier fashion in which the council waste OUR money.

    I will be thinking very carefully about who i vote for come election time and advise others to do the same.

    in reply to: 55 New iPads For Councillors #122166


    Why should they use their own equipment for their work? Nice to see them coming into the 21st Century.

    Whereas the services seem to be heading back to the 19th. century through cut backs.

    in reply to: 55 New iPads For Councillors #122003


    The ipad 3 is not now getting Ios updates so i guess they have those but could be wrong of course. It doesn’t mean they are un-useable just wont be updated. I’m sure the council Apps. they run now will continue to run as good as they always have. It’s all rubbish. They seem to find plenty of money for schemes like this whilst unable to fund essential services properly. All those thousands could go to a much better use.

    in reply to: Wrexham Council spend £750k on consultants #121210


    I guess It’s easier for the councillors to vote for the allocation of the money for PWC to do what they themselves should do but can’t be bothered after all it’s not their money that is being squandered,
    (well, it is if they pay council tax to WCBC. but…)


    I was at an event recently where only Welsh was spoken. Just because Welsh, out of politeness, is not spoken in front of linguistically challenged Welsh people, doesn’t mean that it isn’t spoken elsewhere. Try telling people in other countries that they mustn’t speak in their own language. I disagree in bilingual everything though. People should have a choice as to which language they choose to receive their bills. A database is easy enough to set up in any business for regular recipients of literature. Place & street signs should only be in Welsh. Informational safety signs should be in Welsh & English.

    well said Zing.

    One thing people seem to ignore is the fact that it is not just Wrexham that you need to consider. I have worked throughout Wales and it is first language for a lot more people than you may think. If you think that your kids will just work solely in Wxm or as many people who knock the language think, that their kids will be working all over Europe, then fine. You may not need it ( even though many in Wxm do speak it ). If your kids will go on to work in other places in North or South Wales then they will find that they hear it a lot. For some jobs the ability to speak Welsh is esential to the post, because the public speak it as a first language. Why fight it? We are in Wales and it has two official languages. Welsh and English. Why can’t people accept that?

    Fine, if you can accept cuts to vital services when at the same time the council is spending 100’s of 1000’s of pounds on supporting a dying language a language might i add that can only be used in one country on earth and then only by a (relatively) small number of people. Why fight it? it’s dying.
    If kids are going to be taught a second language please make it a useful one.


    FACT: Welsh is in fourth place behind English, Polish and Portuguese in the languages spoken in Wrexham.

    That comment was made in a meeting by Cllr Hugh Jones and made headlines – but when checked it was not the case,

    Last week he distanced himself from those comments as well

    In the 2nd. article the words “prefer the carrot to the stick” describing how to increase Welsh speaker numbers leads me to think they have a “stick” available to them, I wonder what that is? Sounds sinister to me. Should a council member, let alone the lead member even be talking about a “stick” in this context?
    Another thing, “they” are “encouraging” the council staff to have (in an nonthreatening way!) lunch with Welsh speakers, nonthreatening eh? well good on them. Totalitarian type measures again.
    IMO.they are so far up themselves over the issue they can’t see where they are going wrong.


    No matter how much funding is thrown at trying to increase the number of Welsh speakers if there is not the will from individuals this will never happen and will be a waste of funding.
    It would appear that the only real way to make a difference would be through schools with Welsh being cumpulsory with through bilingual education.
    I believe one of the worst things that can happen is Welsh only schools — this level of segragation does nothing to encourage those from a non Welsh family background to engage. Segregation through the school system breeds a culture of seperation and not integration.

    It’s already compulsory.

    Teaching Welsh as a second language is about as useful to a pupil as an ash tray on a motorbike.
    Teach a second language yes but, Welsh? Try using that in a business meeting in Germany or France et al.
    and they will not stand a chance of being understood whereas using English or even French there would be.

    It’s all barmy, a waste of the pupil’s time and effort plus a waste of much needed money but the delusional politicians/Councillors amongst us continue to force the issue.

    If the Welsh want to keep their language alive they should, instead of compulsion, (a measure that any banana republic dictator would be proud of) try “encouraging” youngsters/adults to learn it through appeals to their Welsh nationalistic pride and if that fails then they don’t want it enough and it should be allowed to die out which, is actually, what is happening now.


    So NEN, by your comment, it would appear you are not affected by the cuts to services, lucky you, but, it shows a lamentable lack of care for those that are.
    One area of cut backs is going to be the fire service so hope you don’t have a fire as your house may be gone before the fire service arrives. On the plus side though they may apologise to you in Welsh so that’ll please you no doubt.

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