Friday, 2 September 2011

Vote Labour to Stop Labour?

I apologise  if you have had problems with previous drafts of this post but Blogger is not working well through Opera (My preferred system)and I've had to use Google Chrome.

Hat Tip to Gareth Hughes and Plaid Wrecsam for their analysis of Labours plans for Local Government in Wales and a special mention to Cibwr for a well thought out case on reform ,especially on Community councils.

 As Gareth states. 
One can understand the impatience of Welsh Government with the current local government structure. But to reorganise by stealth is not the way forward. A coherent set of proposals need to be produced and the public need to be involved in deciding how services should be delivered in the future.
In some ways Labour's proposals is a Mirrors  opposite that of David Cameron's Big Soceity in that the intention is to hand areas like Education to unelected bodies in Cameron's case voluntary but in the two case s there is no room for directly elected representation.  but both proposal,s which in the beginning may have some popular support will soon run into trouble when people realise that they will have no direct access to voice their concerns via their local Councilor . I f your Councilor fails you in their representation. You have the option of voting for someone else. Both the Con/Libdem and Labour  proposals means that direct democratic access (via your representative)is curtailed.

 The frightening  thing in the Welsh context is how it is evident that the Labour Assembly Government sending in of Commissioners to councils which their have decided as failing (Blaneau Gwent,Pembrokeshire,and Isle of Anglesey) is clearly linked to Labours Assembly Government plans to obtain merger of councils through the back door and increase the Assembly Governments influence.

It is also  clear to me that the singling of out of these councils is largely  linked to next years local government elections as Labour try to link Non-Labour councils to poor performance.

At the moment Labour only have overall  control of RCT and Neat h Port Talbot but next may they must have high hopes of regaining their local dominance..

They must expect to

Gain a Absolute Majority in

Blaneau Gwent, Bridgend,Caerphilly Flintshier ,Merthyr Tydfil,Newport,Torfaen and Swansea

 And if the expected Libdem collapse occurs.Then they could add Wrexham, and the "Jewel in the Crown " that is Cardiff to the list.

 However if Labour do win these Councils then along with RCT and Neath Port Talbot then Labour will be in overall control of 12 of the 22 Welsh Unitary authorities.

 If it is even only a few less councils they control . To what extent would the new Labour leaders of these councils wish to see areas that they have gained responsibility for passed to these Regional government Quangos.? Would the Labour Assembly Government risk a revolt from tier own councilors as they seek to retain tier powers? and anyway would they feel the necessity for change if they are back in control of the majority of Welsh Councils?

Ironically it seems that the best way to make sure the Assemblies plans for local government do not end with these undemocratic regional areas ,would be to vote Labour next year..


  1. If there is reorganisation then, as in Scotland, we should bring in STV for local elections. All three opposition parties in the Senedd could vote to make sure this is passed through.

  2. Thanks for the kind words....

    Labour will approve STV over their dead body. If we are to revitalise local democracy then reform of the electoral system is essential, and STV is the only system that gives full control to the electorate.

  3. Vote Labour, phew that's hard I've voted labour since 1967 I stopped in 2005 due to my disability after an accident, just do not think I could vote labour again to save my life.

    But yes STV should have been brought in long ago sadly it's never going to happen.