Forum Replies Created
Conde thank you for actually taking the time to respond to my scrutiny. It is interesting that other councils have been able to set-up commercial ventures with many others in the process of doing so. The Wirral has dubbed their plan Wirral Council PLC and interestingly Salford Council has a team of 10 specialist software engineers to roll out commercial IT services for profit.
The articles I read lead in with the fact that they were competing directly with the private sector and in the Liverpool / Manchester regions where these councils are situated I think competition is very strong and this is fair game.
However, I think private enterprise in Wrexham needs a leg up to get things going. I would rather see the council working hard to support local start-ups to get things off the ground. Glyndwr Uni has their business incubator set-up but there would be no reason why the council couldn’t go about helping to set-up other incubation or accelerator type initiatives with support from the Welsh Government or other public or private funding sources. I think more could be done to try and attract other high tech firms either in manufacturing (we have huge industrial estates and excellent transport links) or services such as fintech. This type of commercial activity support would boost inward investment and skilled job creation in the area and in turn boost the whole regional economy. I appreciate this sort of undertaking is difficult due to getting financial and assembly backing. But it’s what I would like to see more of.
What I will say is that I believe an option for the council to engage legislation and create a publicly owned trading company utilising some of the skills held within the council. Quite potentially opening up a revenue stream as well as potentially engaging employment opportunities.
But there will be things being released by myself in good time.
Several questions about this idea:
1) Is this not just an attempt to privatise some of the council’s already existing offerings? Surely all of the council’s skills and services should be offered to the local community for free (we pay council tax) or on a not-for-profit basis where additional costs justify a nominal charge.
2) Where is the manpower coming from to spend time on private enterprise and commercial activities? When cuts to frontline services already mean it is difficult to get access to existing public services from the council meaning that existing council workers spending time trying to earn revenues away from the council’s core purpose will cause greater strain on the whole system. This hardly seems fair when local council tax payers are paying the wages of these council workers in the first place to do something not necessarily in our direct best interests.
3) If these are in fact viable commercial services then surely the council will be directly competing with and creating unfair competition against local small businesses who offer the same services? Albeit being able to undercut these SMEs as they will be taxpayer subsidised. This will then ironically threaten local jobs and wipe out any gains made by the proposed job creation benefit mentioned.
4) How will generated profits be transparently protected from being either awarded to councillors in the form of numerative and non-numerative benefits (they already awarded themselves iPads) or stopped from being wasted on the likes of expensive consultancy fees elsewhere in less efficient areas of operation that would likely wipe out said profits?
I think we can safely say that the level of Plaid bashing going on that hasn’t existed before, means that they have ruffled a few feathers and are potentially a credible threat. No-one is going after the Tories or LD etc…
A major problem in Wales is that Labour have not satisfied voters in North Wales that they are going to help us out any time soon. We aren’t interesting enough for His Corbs in Chief to give us time of day and the Welsh Assembly are too busy with South Wales as usual. I am a lifelong Labour supporter yet am completely unconvinced that they could form a credible leading council in Wrexham. They haven’t even bothered to field a local candidate in my ward which further alienates me.
Personally, I don’t think a Plaid led council would be strong enough either but I do believe that the fact that they have actually opposed bad decisions last time round and generated debate means it is essential that a few of them get elected this time. Couldn’t even tell you what Labour were up to after the great defection last time round or what they stood for.
I do think there is an issue with all these independents, as someone said in another thread. Some are genuinely independent and vote for what they believe in issue by issue, but others are just closeted Tories and Labour who are too scared to run on the party ticket because trust in the country’s 2 major parties is at an all time low.
Now it’s an interesting situation in the Penycae ward from what I’ve observed. The independent incumbent John Phillips is playing nepotism king by trying to plant as many flags, sorry signs on wooden stakes into as many of his mates gardens as possible around his little kingdom.
However, there has been very little information available about what he actually stands for in terms of his policies for the local area or Wrexham as a whole. In fact he relies solely on his tribe of people on social media who say John Phillips is the only person they will vote for because he has lived in the village for years and apparently has walked up and down every street single handedly cleaning up the village. There have yet to be any leaflets through doors or statements made by him anywhere.
His only competitor Aled Powell of Plaid is very much the underdog in this election, despite the fact that he has been leafleting, doorstepping and attempting to engage people online. I’ve read his leaflet and a lot of what he says and Plaid’s aims make a lot of sense. However, what I’ve noticed on social media is that despite the fact that he has tried to engage with local people is that they have come across rude and dismissive as John Phillips is the only man for them. One person even bizarrely stated that they wouldn’t visit Penycae again if it fell to Plaid, so I’m not sure what they think happens during local elections that would make Penycae become like occupied France if 1 councillor got in from a particular party.
There is also the fact that many local voters completely fail to see the big picture of what is going on beyond the vision of their own front doors. With 1 person expecting the next 5 years of councillor tenure to be spent ensuring that people are not parking too near the bus stop. This small thinking mentality and rampant nepotism probably applies across several wards in Wrexham where primarily older voters are handing a council seat to their buddies year after year and it’s become tired and ineffective.
The likes of challengers like Aled Powell really need to galvanize people who otherwise wouldn’t bother to vote, especially who are unhappy with the state of town affairs. As the main hurdles to overcome are apparent young voter apathy and the block vote by rote older generation who keep handing power to the Tories on a national level, shoved us into Brexit and allow the same old councillors to warm their cosy seats in Wrexham.
As I typically vote Labour, I am a floating voter in Penycae between an independent who needs to tell me more and a party I’ve never voted for before.
al. It could be deemed to be so, if you vote an Independent into office. They can be anything from a Raving Looney Party to a Galvanised Methodist. You really do not know what you are getting.
But at the same time does anyone really know what they are getting when they vote for any political party anymore at any level? Did anyone who voted Tories in the last General Election hope that we had Theresa May, BoJo and David Davis getting us to cavalry charge off a cliff riding blind donkeys with 3 years to go before anyone can legitimately get a vote to sort out the mess.
I think you need to vote for someone you believe can actually make a difference to your own area and then hopefully as a collective mess those in do a better job at town and county level than the current Executive Shower.
The only people really hoping for a low voter turnout is incumbents who have proven very unpopular this time, hoping that voter apathy will keep them in power.
Makes me chuckle that even the original Leader article was written under the anonymity mask of Staff Reporter.
I think that people looking to represent others as an elected official should expect a higher level of scrutiny and debate thrown their way than Average Joe. This entire country is hardwired to give politicians and other public officials or party members a roasting. You only need to look at how the MSM down to people in the pub discussing politics after a few or in the workplace openly air their views. Discussing it online anonymously or publicly is just another modern day facet of it. Would you expect someone on a break in an office to be called out for being critical of the PM? Just because they haven’t then marched up to Downing Street & demanded an audience at number 10 to air the same views.
Name calling and trolling is one thing but there have been many classic examples recently of the current Exec board & even the local MPs having thinner skins than a Richmond sausage just because people have publicly disagreed with their actions.
If you don’t like the public eye then stay out of it as you can’t please all the people all of the time and in most cases in Wrexham any of the people any of the time.
I think that the Councillor Q&A and profile section on this site will be an interesting one once it’s up and running as it will offer a fair exchange between candidates and their prospective voters.
Yes, I think it does look bad. As always political types throwing toys out of prams and being completely incapable of dealing with criticism from the voting public.
I’m actually quite surprised it was removed as this forum is usually very relaxed on moderation, which is why I like posting here.
Unless Mr Apsley has the cojones to actually respond to your comments directly on here then he is distinctly lacking in my books and not worthy of representing anyone.
The other head scratcher I’ve got is that the other 2 UKIP candidates standing for the local elections are supposed to be 2 different people, despite having the same address and very similar names.
Jeanette Stefani Bassford Barton – Moorlands, Hen Ffordd, Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham standing in Gresford East and West.
Then Jeannie Barton – Moorlands, Old Road (spelt English this time), Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham standing in Llangollen Rural.
A mother and daughter perhaps?
Most amusing standing for Llay is the self proposed UKIP Candidate Nathan Hughes who has built up a bit of a cult status amongst some around Wrexham on Twitter and other social media.
He first surfaced a few years ago as an avid Young Conservative before strangely switching to Labour and then being thrown out of the party within about a week due to all the previous slagging off of local Labour representatives and then he switched back to the Tories as if nothing had happened. He then bizarrely changed his efforts to becoming the biggest Nelson Mandela fanboy on the planet promising a written Biography on the life and times of Madeba, which we are all still waiting to be published. He then decided he wanted to become a devout Christian minister and featured on his website his own religious poetry and prayers. Then controversy struck as he alienated his fellow countrymen by saying he was ashamed to live in Wales and wished that he was English and then had to close his Twitter account after making some very disrespectful remarks about Gary Speed.
Now he’s resurfaced as a local UKIP candidate and the saga continues, you couldn’t make this guy up. He is like Wrexham’s very own Mr Benn. I expect to see his Green Party manifesto by next week.
I read over it and over it and not being on the ball today suffered from irony fail.
You are right about the local authorities lacking ambition & you could argue both local AMs who hold influential Assembly positions.
The so called master plans in Wrexham are always met with derision from the local people as local benefits are never clear cut. Over the years we’ve had the Super schools debacle, the leisure centre lies, a failure to deal with the Groves building, a prison no-one wanted (although I do recognise its economic benefits), an Arts Centre coming that everyone is sceptical about, a bus station with a bad reputation, Eagles Meadow that potentially ripped the heart out of the town centre, a new emergency centre that led to threat of the removal of a fire engine and firefighter job losses, the betrayal over the Racecourse, Queens Park being renamed to Caia Park to try and divert from the negative reputation of the estate to then ironically become infamous for its riots and a fleeting fantasy that a credible city status bid could be made. You look at the long list of things which I’m sure could be added to.
There have been positives of course, but these things that have happened are the things that stick in people’s minds.
So good on Swansea for coming up with something credible to better their city I say. I wonder if their councillors bicker and squabble over listed buildings and iPad budgets? Probably not.
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