Sargeant seems to be in the same camp as Eric Pickles in that he feels that his remit is not to work with Local Government but to run it.
In the last Assembly Commissioners were sent in to run the troubled Anglesey council after years of political infighting, at the time Carl Sargeant said councillors had "betrayed those who elected them" and indulged in "politics of the playground".
I'm sure some would agree with this at times it seems that Anglesey council consisted of the legendary Kilkenny Cats
There once were two cats of Kilkenny
Each thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
'Til (excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails)
Instead of two cats there weren't any!
But you can't help thinking that the nature of democracy meant that it should have been up to the people of Ynys Mon to change the situation through the ballot box.
Of course one of Carl's idea at the time was force the council to merge with Gwynedd and It has been suggested that Sargeant's real preference would be to merge other councils throughout Wales but he has rejected this because of the cost..
Though he also recently sacked three boundary commissioners who had suggested the cutting of number of councilors . . As iIve only seen the Welsh Government's spin on this I can't really comment on whether this the right decision and it seems the sacked commissioners will not be able to defend themselves. but it is a worry that the Boundary Commission for Wales might feel that they must come up with the result the Welsh Government (i.e The Labour Part) wants rather than what the people of Wales need.
Some will look at the idea of making joint appointments. But I can see some major problems.
- Can a Chief Executive or thier counterpart rly effectively work with two councils that have totally different make ups. Can He or She flit between policies on School Numbers, welsh Language Education, or even Bin Collection?
- If one of the councils loses faith in a joint appointee can the sack him or her without the approval of the other council ?
- Taking into to account the size in area of Gwynedd Council for instance or the nature of communications in the valleys of Rhondda Cynon Taf can these really share appointments with other councils Gwynedd-Anglesey R.C.T-Methyr say even with the use of Information Technology effectively, If democracy is to be devolved downward should this not include civil servants?
But I although I don't t agree the decision making should be taken from councilors . Making the Chief Executive a public servant seems to be a reasonable option.