WrexhamUser

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  • in reply to: Litter Enforcement #147637

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    Councillor Bithell’s viewpoints lead me to have two extra thoughts on the issue of littering to those initially made when I started this thread

    (1) What has happened to democracy in Wrexham? The problems around Kingdom and littering policy evidence the viewpoint that the council is over-influenced and managed by a cabal of unrepresentative councillors in an executive. The transparency of becoming an executive member is lacking, and it seems that the majority of elected members can do little to either challenge the executive’s policies. They are unable or unwilling to remove an executive member with whom they seriously disagree. The full council of elected members could change this undemocratic model of local government but so far not had the will to do so.

    (2) Since the beginning of public policing in the early 19th century the principle of policing in England and Wales was policing by consent of the public. Failing to keep to this traditional principle undermines policing as it will cause conflicts between it and the public; additionally, the police will not receive the public’s support. As we move towards ‘private policing’ it is worth bearing in mind our traditional policing principles. We could head toward a different policing model, such as on continental Europe, where policing is imposed on the public by the power of the state. However, if we wish to change policing by consent, I argue that more significant discussion and thought is needed than accepting the current dictates of Cllr Bithell.

    in reply to: Litter Enforcement #146536

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    As reported on here previously regarding Kingdom , the Lead Member has been clear: ‘We are not following DEFRA guidance, we are following legislation’.

    While accepting that is the opinion of the lead member, they must comply with their obligations. An obligation is that the local authority shall have and publish an enforcement strategy. I am unsure if their viewpoint corresponds with that document.

    Contradictions exist between the lead members viewpoint and the document. The introduction mentions that any enforcement action is taken only after consideration of the enforcement strategy, which emphasises proportionate, sensible action, and a focus on prevention. While not wanting to reiterate the whole Wrexham County Borough enforcement strategy, as people will make their own subjective interpretation of it, two stark difference appears to exist between the policy and the lead members viewpoint. Section 2 ‘Our Approach’ clearly states they will adhere, ‘to the latest national guidelines and best practice’. The various parts of section 4 ‘Regulatory Enforcement Sanctions’, also states the council will when taking the step of ‘Formal Enforcement Action’, in which it includes fixed penalty notices, will be ‘in accordance with statutory guidelines, relevant codes of practice and any professional guidance’. I shall leave it to other’s to decide if the lead officer’s viewpoints comply with the enforcement strategy document.

    If anybody from the council happens to read this post, have a look at Section 4.2 (Step 3). When the updated 2017 policy document was introduced, anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) had already been abolished three years previously due to the introduction of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing act 2014!

    Just to be clear, I have not been caught littering, but the enforcement policy adopted by the council does seem fraught with problems.


    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    The Cabinet style is not mandatory and different Councils across Wales have different strictures to maintain democracy. You are correct that if the correct number of Councillors put a proposal forward then the Constitution could be changed at an Annual Meeting.

    The concern I have at present is the lack of engagement that a very large number of Council Members elected in May are undertaking. It is a disgrace that they were elected to represent their constituents yet they don’t even turn up to meetings. I would urge every elector in Wrexham to track down their local Council member and ask them about what they have been doing since being elected and drawing down their monthly allowance.

    If YOUR Councillor is not engaging then it does not matter whether there is a Cabinet style or open Council system it will remain democratically ineffective.

    It appears that changes are possible, but it depends on the will of our councillors. I was unaware that some councillors were failing in their duty to represent their constituents, that is unacceptable and agree that they need to be held to account for their absences at meetings. However, I do wonder if this lack of engagement might not result from the current executive model; Is the lack if engagement pure apathy, or are councillors becoming quickly disillusioned when they realise the amount of influence they have within the WCBC?

    in reply to: Council Daycare Centre losses £49k #134326

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    I know childcare is expensive, my child goes full-time to a different private nursery, but it is my choice!

    The council are willing to spend a fortune on their art centre that has cost a fortune, and they have put aside a greater sum to subsidise its predicted losses in the first few years, that they predict to be higher than the subsidy for the nursery. It is very likely that subsidy per head for visitors to the art centre will be higher than the per head subsidy at the nursery.

    This is not about money but how the council wants to spend it. What I think is perverse is that the council does not want to spend money on the children who will be disrupted, confused and upset as they leave a familiar setting, staff and friends. Instead, they want to protect their grandiose art centre scheme that gives certain councillors a ‘legacy’, and children do not vote!

    in reply to: Kingdom Services #131394

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    The council might need to take a closer look at the company and its contract with it. It might explain the overeagerness in the town centre, and neglect to adequately fulfil their duties in areas with a similar problem in the outskirts of town that are more difficult to resolve!

    in reply to: Old "news" #131163

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    It is a great shame that wrexham.com is being criticised. Although not wanting to appear sycophantic, the wrexham.com news updates during the day are often more up-to-date than other local news outlets. As for the BBC north-east wales news, their output about local issues is extremely poor.


    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    . On a side note this forum has also been rendered almost unreadable by the sheer number of council electioneering shill accounts, who are posting anonymously (again a lack of transparency) that seem to be dominating conversation and stifling most of the regulars or anyone who is not a political bozo. I can’t wait until it’s all over and they leave the general public to our misery again.

    Matt, I cannot agree with this comment, and reading the posts for some time, I am quite sure that this was a general comment and not directed at anyone. I can say that I am not a politician, I have never stood for any public office, neither is that likely to happen in the future. In relation to ‘posting anonymously’ is that not the case for all of the contributors? I am a disgruntled voter, both with local and national politicians, and see a need for many changes to the electoral system. Due to some people’s work, we have to stay apolitical or risk the consequences! I do hope that I am not considered a council electioneering account as that certainly is not the case.

    Surely, forums are meant to debate the ‘issues of the moment’, inclusive of all views, and should not limit themselves to a group of ‘regulars’?

    in reply to: What is this World, [no, country] coming too! #130709

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    I am no expert but killing the horse seems to be at least an offence of criminal damage. In addition to any firearms offences, you can still cause criminal damage if you are reckless,

    Criminal Damage Act 1971:-

    Definition of property:

    In this Act “property” means property of a tangible nature, whether real or personal, including money and—

    (a)including wild creatures which have been tamed or are ordinarily kept in captivity, and any other wild creatures or their carcasses if, but only if, they have been reduced into possession which has not been lost or abandoned or are in the course of being reduced into possession; but

    (b)not including mushrooms growing wild on any land or flowers, fruit or foliage of a plant growing wild on any land.

    For the purposes of this subsection “mushroom” includes any fungus and “plant” includes any shrub or tree.

    Section 1: Destroying or damaging property.

    (1)A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.

    (2)A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, whether belonging to himself or another—

    (a)intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property would be destroyed or damaged; and

    (b)intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless as to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered;

    shall be guilty of an offence.

    (3)An offence committed under this section by destroying or damaging property by fire shall be charged as arson.

    in reply to: Snap General Election #130173

    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    In answer to earlier question re cam a Local Councillor also be an MP — the answer is yes someone can hold two roles. When John Marrick was MP for Wrexham he was also an AM as well for a period of time together-

    It is a valid point though if someone stands and get elected to Local Government can they really carry out both roles successfully and the answer would be no.

    If the elections had been the other way around and Ian Lucas lost his seat I wonder if he would have stood as a Local Councillor– this would be similar to Aled Roberts who was defeated at last WG election and now standing as a local Councillor.

    To take this even further, if dual political roles are an issue, is it not also the case that local politicians should be dissuaded from serving both as both County Councillors and Parish Councillors, and in one instance, a police commissioner? Do such dual roles in local politics create conflicts in their duties and responsibilities? Are they able to devote adequate time to both roles? Does the acceptance of dual roles in local politics lead to ‘career politicians’ within local government? I do not know the answer but it would be interesting to read the opinion of others!


    WrexhamUser
    Participant

    99DylanJones – While accepting your position, a further question arises. Can we trust Wrexham Council to be truthful about the costs and if the funding is sufficient? I have not read any previous information about Wrexham Council being awarded this contract or the finances involved with it. In view of the council’s previous lack of transparency and hiding behind the curtain of ‘commercial interests’, barring the public and media from meetings discussing such matters, will we ever know if local resources are being used to subsidise the prison? Will the Council Officers be bringing other such relationships with the prison and any potential impact that it may have on local resources and local communities to the notice of the council tax payers?

    If I recall, recently the Police held concerns that they will not be awarded additional funds required for policing operations directly related to the prison. The political argument that the prison will not direct any local resources needs both further scrutiny and transparency. Failing to do so will continue to cause misunderstandings about the prison.

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