Monday, December 12, 2005

Cardiff Central Watch reports back

Some time ago I got the Lib Dem 'Delivering our promises to the people of Cardiff' leaflet - 'Liberal Democrats on Cardiff Council report back'. And now we report back.

It hasn't been scanned in yet because it's of a very inconvenient format. It begins with a nice group portrait of the Lib Dem Council group following the 2004 elections, including the Cathays councillor who later defected to Plaid Cymru. On the back is the obligatory 'Only the Liberal Democrats can beat Labour in Cardiff' graph.

But it's the stuff in between that's the most interesting. We're just going to take a quick whizz through.
Allowances have been cut back to a more reasonable level
Without making judgements on councillors allowance, what the leaflet fails to mention is that total allowances for 2004/5 are £1,079,902.44. Berman takes home £43,202.04 while another section of the leaflet crows about Russell Goodway's £72,000 from 2000. Allowances payments PDF from Cardiff council.
After years of inaction under Labour we've started construction of a new £4 million recycling plant to enable us to provide free kerbside recycling for every street in Cardiff by September 2007
Don't have to go far to peak under the bonnet of this one... City's push to recycle waste, icWales, 3rd Nov 2005. 80% of houses covered by summer 2007, £4 million on the recycling plant plus over £3 million for the recycling scheme itself, in order to meet Assembly targets of a 40% reduction in wate by 2010, a target introduced by the Assembly in 1999, see Plan for Wales targets from Assembly.
Consulted through surveys and focus groups
Council tax consultation surveys are still up on the website, see the survey itself and the background information. In the grand tradition of public consultation its fairly obscure, would you like to see natural and built environment services increased, decreased or kept the same? All the consultation earns admiration in a News Wales article, Cardiff residents to have say on council tax.
the Lib Dem Council's crackdown on stray horses
I read this scrutiny report (PDF) a while ago but didn't think it was that important. Obviously it is to the residents of Pengam Green, Pentwyn, Llanedeyrn, Rumney and St Mellons.
action to de-silt Roath Park Lake at long last!
As far as I can tell from bits and bobs of news the lake was last worked on in 2003 (BBC, Green lake blamed on duck feed) and the current work began in the summer, a press release from Capital Times, The Jewel in Cardiff's Crown, covers the recent work carried out by Land and Water.
Drawn up plans to emply dedicated community support officers
The promise was for 'council-employed community support officers' but the only information on community support officers is on a national scale, as part of government initiatives. Indeed there is an episode on Hansard where a Leeds MP reveals that his local Lib Dem - Con council tried to claim responsibilty for these new officers (second section down) and more on community support officers in Wales specifically (second section down, again). More on that TOGETHER conference from the Government News Network. This part needs a little more digging.
Started taking steps to stop £3 million a year being wasted on empty classroom places
There is a Schools for the Future report (PDF) from July of this year which - as well as being fascinating in its own right - sheds light on these education themed pledges. It puts the surplus as £2.75 million which would double within seven years as class sizes continue to decline. £400 million needs to be spent on repairing run down buildings, plus £60 million for a backlog of repairs: 'investment at this level is accepted as unaffordable over the next five years, so priorities will need to be assessed and choices made' (page 10).

Referenced several times is the Report of the Joint Review of Social Services in Cardiff (PDF). Also useful would be the 2004 Lib Dem manifesto, from Cllr Montemaggi's Grangetown page.


At 5:05 pm, Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

And it's in English only :-(

At 6:33 pm, Blogger Frances said...

I didn't come across any of the Welsh stuff, though I'm sure that's more to do with Google than the council. As it's not technically a council publication but a Lib Dem one do they not have to be bilingual?

At 11:12 am, Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

No, I don't think anything any party produces has to be in Welsh, just not very good PR in my opinion.

At 2:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that Cardiff Central Watch was completely impartial. Lets face it, this section sounds like an anti Lib Dem - Pro-Labour rant.
Come on, don't ruin a good site.
I am happy that the full time council leader earns £42 000,its a massive job, and much much better than under Goodway.

By all means scrutinise, but keep it impartial. And I thought your comments on the community support officers were factless and outrageous.

At 8:15 pm, Blogger Frances said...

I'm coming to my own defence because I work hard on this beast.

I prefaced the section on allowances with "Without making judgements..." I stated a fact about allowances and offered no opinion.

Please don't let's start falling in to party politicising all this. I'm not anti Lib Dem or pro Labour. The blog is intended to be impartial and I work hard to make sure it is.

As for the community support officers all I did present were facts. I provided all the linkage I could find on the subject and emailed Mr Berman who confirmed that there were no minutes etc available from the council.


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