Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Kicking and Screaming

It has been an ongoing bone of contention in Carmarthenshire that the ruling Labour and Independent parties have systematically excluded the Plaid Cymru councillors from any position of influence in the authority. This is despite clear guidance from the Welsh government that committee chairs should be allocated on the basis of political balance; something which the ruling parties have made it quite clear that they are not prepared to countenance.

Partly because of the recalcitrance of councils such as Carmarthenshire, which wish to concentrate as much power as possible in the hands of the council's leader, the Assembly government is pushing through a new Measure which will compel councils to take account of political balance.

At last week's meeting of the council, the Plaid group in Carmarthenshire invited the ruling parties to implement the change now rather than wait for the legislation. The final question was direct and to the point, "or do you really want to wait until you have to be dragged kicking and screaming into making the change?"

The answer, from the leaders of both ruling parties, was that they will consider any changes in the rules after the Assembly makes a decision, and not before. I'll take that as a 'yes' then.

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