Thursday, 29 April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
I have to admit that things are relatively quiet with Council meetings at the moment.
So who will I vote for? To be honest I'm still have yet to make up my mind. Knowing the candidates does I have to say bring a new dimension to my consideration. I obviously work with Mike, Ronnie and Phil as fellow Councillors, all of which are well respected Councillors in their own right. Each has qualities that you can see being useful as an MP. I have met Guto several times over the last couple of years, and again you can see why he was selected as the Conservative candidate. I haven't had the opportunity to see them in action at a hustings. I did listen to the Tudno FM debate, but I would have really liked to personally see all 4 in action.
On top of the local candidates we then have to consider the Parties Policies and the National Politics. I still have yet to see the detail that I was hoping for. The manifestos are OK but lack the detail required. It will still be a lottery when we get down to the detail. I suppose where I'm mostly concerned about is the Economy and particularly the Cuts that will come.
No one is being open and upfront about what will happen. I see that the Lib Dems have probably come closer to this than the other parties.
The parties have given top line figures with respect to Efficiency Savings. They are right when they say that the % talked about is quite small compared to the total spend, But then when you start saying that certain areas will be protected, such as Health, Education, Defence etc, it means the percentage is larger for the remaining departments. This percentage becomes even larger when you consider they are potentially Ring Fencing the larger spending areas.
so I have grave concerns that these savings can be done simply by Efficiency Savings. It begs the question that if these Efficiency Savings are so easy why they have not been identified and acted upon already, which doesn't look good from a Labour perspective.
I also doubt that the Conservatives will be able to make the Cuts and Savings as quickly as they are suggesting. Having been a Councillor now for 2 years I've seen the length of time it takes to go through the full democratic and governance procedures, things just do not happen straight away. So I doubt how the Conservatives could make any substantial savings any quicker than the other parties are suggesting. This, I'm surprised, doesn't seem to have been picked up by political commentators. The impact of this delay in making savings will mean that the figures will need to be revamped.
One thing is for sure the nation can not continue with the level of debt it has. The amount of money this debt costs us, deflects so much money from other services. So we have to have plan to reduce this. This has to be well planned and done over many years, which puts any new government at a disadvantage as it will take at least 2 terms (if not more) to bring this debt down to a manageable figure. So we will end up with a reduction in services, last public sector jobs and tax increases which is NOT a good position for the the forth coming government. It will make hanging on to power in 4/5 years very difficult. One thing is for sure; we need to a government that is going to have to work together to get us out of this mess and put point scoring off the agenda. Wishful thinking I know.
Update: Nick Clegg must read my blog (as if). He on the Leaders Debate, and Vince Cable later on Question Time, said much the same; that the parties will have to work together to find a way through the Economic situation.
This is why I don't believe a Hung Parliament is a bad thing. It will mean that more negotiation and hence scrutiny will be required before very important decisions are made.
So on reading the above you could say that I'm leaning towards the Lib Dems. But then there are other policies that then I have problems with, such as Nuclear Power and Europe. I can see how important Wlyffa B would be to Angelsey's economy. Some will say that Nuclear power is very expensive, but so are the wind farms. The Wind farms are only being built due to the massive subsidies for government. I'm all for renewable, but again we need to get our finger out and start building alternatives to just wind. This agenda again will take time (a common theme of this post) and hence why will need Nuclear while these alternatives prove themselves. In fact had the present government got there act together and managed a planned migration form Wlyffa A to the new B, without a loss of power production it could have meant the Aluminium Factory could have continued with the benefit of the cheaper/discounted power.
As for Europe, I'm very sceptical about the whole situation. How we can trust any organisation that has not had its own accounts audited. But the Lib Dems although Pro European have committed to not allowing transfer of any new powers without a referendum. Having worked in telecommunication companies for 12 years, which worked across the whole of Europe I can see the benefits of close ties with other Europeans countries. In fact the last company I worked for before moving to North Wales, was a French company called Alcatel. This company was a true European company with factories and businesses across the whole of Europe (and the rest of the world). But I think that close working relationships could (and where) be achieved without a full blown integration of governments. But we are in Europe now and we can not simply stop without a planned exit which again would take a lot of work and time (that word again). So as most of the parties are saying is it not better to tackle the issues form inside? I'm still to be convinced.
As for the levels of democracy we have, more so in Wales, this has to be questioned. Is it right that we have representation at Town/Community Council, County Council. Welsh Assembly, UK Parliament and European Parliament. Is this level of democracy really required, each with its own public elected members and vast amounts of Civil Servants just to manage the Democratic process and structure. The Conservatives have promised a 10% cut in the number of MPs Is this enough? How much would the reviewing of all the Boundaries and the cost of the change be compared to what it will save in the long run. Shouldn't somebody grab the mantle and perform an a wholesale review of the whole democratic system, and make more significant changes (that are worth the investment in the change process)
So I still remain in deep consideration as to where to put my X. But one thing I'm sure is the importance of Voting. So I would encourage all those people who are thinking "whats the point" to actually do something. This is the system that exists and if we have a view we should make our mark and give which ever party we go for a mandate. This may be voting for one of the main parties or one of the alternatives.
Kirsty, my wife has already made her mind up, she had done quite a while ago and she hasn't seen anything to change her mind. She has based her decision predominately on the local candidate. We have had only one canvasser round and that was from the Conservative Party. As for leaflets Kirsty did comment that those received through the post have been addressed to me. except for Labour's which was addressed just to Kirsty. Kirsty had already made up her mind, but it's a interesting point.
Update: Conservative Flyer received this morning (Thursday) addressed to Kirsty !
Anyway still sometime to go yet, we'll see what the final leaders debate will bring on Thursday evening.
Below is the list of confirmed candidates for Aberconwy. No Independent candidate, which is a surprise I thought somebody might have come forward. With such a marginal seat and the mistrust of main stream politics I did feel there was an opportunity for Independent to enthuse the electorate. Maybe I should have gone for it, then again maybe not!!
Guto Bebb Conservative
Phil Edwards Plaid Cymru
Ronald Hughes Labour
Mike Priestley Liberal Democrat
Mike Wieteska UK Independence Party
Louise Wynne-Jones Christian Party
Monday, 26 April 2010
Thursday, 22 April 2010
2 SCOPE OF THE SCHEME
2.2 It is the combination of technical skills, wide experience and personal leadership qualities, which forms the basis for effective group management and the scheme assesses all these aspects. The employer or operating authority must ultimately decide whether a leader possesses the personal attributes needed to take responsibility for a particular group of people.
2.3 The scheme is intended for those leading groups in mountainous or remote country. For a full list of areas in the UK and Ireland defined as mountainous country, refer to Appendix 1 of the Prospectus. The ML Award is recognised by the Health and Safety Executive and the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority as being the appropriate award for 'trekking' in summer conditions (see 'Guidance to the Licensing Authority' L77, HSE Books)
2.4 The Mountain Environment: mountains mean freedom, adventure, beauty and solitude. Therefore, while fostering a love of the hills in others, group leaders should show appreciation of the needs of hill users, rural communities and upland habitats and encourage an understanding of the problems of mountain conservation and access. Consideration of these aspects is vital if the mountain environment is to be protected.
2.5 The term summer is used to describe any conditions not covered by winter. Winter can be described as the time when snow and ice prevail or are forecast. The ML scheme does not provide training and assessment in the skills required to cope with the special hazards of winter conditions, particularly snow and ice. Mountain Leader Training Scotland's Winter Mountain Leader Award scheme provides specific training and assessment for winter conditions in the UK and Ireland. More information about the winter scheme is available from MLTS (see contacts for address details).
3 STAGES IN THE SCHEME The scheme consists of six stages:
3.1 Gain personal hill walking experience.
3.2 Register and be issued with a logbook.
3.3 Attend a training course.
3.4 Consolidate experience.
3.5 Attend a assessment course.
3.6 Continue to gain and record experience and any relevant additional training.
I'm extremely proud and know how much this has meant to Kirsty.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
I posted just over a week ago about making representation at the Cabinet meeting on 13th April about details on the Tender process that I was not in agreement with. The subject was discussed under exempt items as the report details commercially sensitive information, which could be used by any potential bidders for the Management Contract.
I also made these views know at the previous Principal Scrutiny Committee, but they also voted to go with the 3 year contract.
The minutes have now been publicly published and hence this has given me the scope to post on the subject. I will not go in to great detail, as commercially sensitive considerations still have to be kept in mind.
As detailed in the minutes below, My main issue was with the term of the contract. The recommended term is for 3 years and 1 month, this would bring it in line with the Catering Contract. The implication, but not resolved, would be that the Catering and Management could be combined to go out to re-tender. Like I say there is no resolution on re-tenderering.
At the moment we have to tender due to Grant Funding requirements for the 2006 Conference Centre extensions (£11 million enhancement).
My argument was that I was concerned that 3 years was not enough time for any new Management Company to set there mark on the facilities and that I felt that a contract should be for a minimum of 10 years. I proposed 2 alternatives and suggested the use of the Performance Indicators to be used not only for determining if the company is meeting requirements but also to be used as a "carrot", in that if they are exceeding expectation they would be rewarded with a Contract extension.
I also suggested combining the Catering and Management contracts now, so that the winning Management Company would have full control of the site. Although having the an existing Catering contract in place for 3 years. The Management Company could then decide whether to re-tender or take on the catering in-house.
I felt a longer tender period would give the Management Company more potential to invest in the site and in marketing ensuring they get a good chance to make a decent return on that investment.
I also felt that a longer contract could help with budgeting as we would now the worst case situation as far as funding was concerned and then also have a better chance of sharing in any potential profits for the site.
My arguments did get the support of 3 Cabinet members (although slighlty amended), but the majority voted with the 3 year contract.
On Tuesday I and about 9 other councillors (all councillors were invited and 20 said they would attend) had a tour of Venue Cymru followed by a Presentation by the Venue management. This visit just reaffirmed my stance that any Management Company needs several years to invest in the site and get returns. The tour was very good and interesting, but it was highlighted that a lot of the facilities and equipment are now 15 years old and hence starting to reach the end of life.
At least I tried, but I have to accept the democratic made decision. May be when we see the tender responses I will be able to say "I told you so(again)". Then again it may be me that has got in wrong.
I must add that Venue Cymru has been named "National Venue of the Year for the Wales Region" by independent industry sponsors Business and Trade Express.
906. VENUE CYMRU MARKET TEST PROJECT
Members were presented with a report seeking approval for the Venue
Cymru Market Test Evaluation Criteria and Procurement Documentation,
in order for the Venue Cymru Market Test project to progress to the formal
In addition, an email from Councillor Jason Weyman was tabled at the
meeting requesting consideration of a longer contract period. It was noted
that the recommendations presented to Cabinet were proposed by the
Principal Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
(a) That the Quality/Cost weighting for the Evaluation Criteria as
Quality 80%, Cost 20% be approved.
(b) That approval be given for the Quality aspect to be further
subdivided as follows:
Quality Aspect Weighting
Method statement (cleaning, maintenance, marketing, etc) 20%
Theatre programme 20%
Conference Centre Programme 20%
Arena Programme 10%
Community Plans 10%
(c) That the draft procurement documentation attached to the
committee report as appendix A, B, C, and D be approved; and
that the Chief Executive be given delegated authority to make
amendments to the drafts which do not significantly affect the
content of the documents, in consultation with the Project
Manager and the Leader.
(d) That future approval be sought for awarding the contract for
the management of Venue Cymru following the completion of
the procurement process.
(e) That the contract period for 3 years and 1 one month, with the
option for the Council to extend the contract for a further 2
years, (as recommended by the Principal Overview and
Scrutiny Committee) be approved.
(Note: Councillors Philip C. Evans J.P., Mike Priestley and Graham Rees
voted against resolution (e).
Saturday, 17 April 2010
- Exempt Items: Employment Procedure Rules/Process
- Bay Life Initiative
- Colwyn Health Precinct
- Conwy Rural Development Partnership
- Conwy Partnerships Overview Report
- Children and Families Measure - Update
- Archives Project
Friday 23rd April
10am - 4pm: Community Health Council Training, Rhyl
I'm one of three Conwy County Councillors to join the newly formed Community Health Councils
I attended my first meeting of the Committee for the Llanrhos Old School Project on Tuesday. The Chairman of the committee is Mr Dave Rowley.
Today myself, and the 2 boys have been out delivering leaflets around Deganwy to promote and raise support for the project.
All the Committee will be distributing the leaflets over the next couple of weeks.
As part of our Grant Applications to help raise the £200,000 required to restore and renovate the building, we need to have informed and consulted local people on our ideas.
The leaflet is designed to gain feedback from potential users of the building and to create a portfolio of evidence to support our aims for the building.
I gained the support of a local resident Mr Thompson, in producing the leaflet. The committee have expressed there appreciation and thanks for the work Mr Thompson has done. The result is extremely impressive and I hope it will show the local community of our seriousness for the project.
We were concerned that posting material through the doors during an election may mean some may not look at the detail of the leaflet, but the timings of the grant applications mean we need to gain feedback NOW.
We have further community consultation events happening over the next couple of months, including an open day at the Old School and also a stand at the Deganwy Prom Day on Sat 5th June.
The leaflet details are:
- A welcoming, friendly place for the community to meet.
- Enhancement to the thriving Welsh culture.
- Greater opportunities for diverse Groups and organisations to assemble.
- A place of social gathering at which the disabled, the young and elderly all have affinity.
- A building which the local community identifies as their meeting place.
We already have pledges of funding and support from Conwy County Borough Council (Community Development Services), Mostyn Estates and Llanrhos Parish Church Council
Activities in the renovated Centre - examples
- Businesses: Meetings, Training, Interviews, Shows
- Children: Parties, After School Club, Toddler Group, Cubs/Scouts/Brownies, Playgroups, Youth Club
- Community: Police Surgeries, Councillor Surgeries, Residents Meetings, Public Meeting Groups, Special Interest Groups
- Education: Local educational establishments, Art and Cookery classes
- Health/Sports/Leisure Clubs: Slimming, Diet & Fitness Clubs, Meditation, Tai Chi, Judo, Karate, Yoga, Over 60's Fitness Club, Short Mat Bowling, Table Tennis, Badminton
- Other: Bric a Brac Sales, Indoor Table Top Sales, Darby & Joan Coffee Morning Club, Folk Club, Camera Club, Film Club, Flower Arranging
To learn more about this exciting project, or to hire the facility when renovation work is finalised, please contact us without delay ...
Tel: 01492 572546
(please include all the details contained in the form below)
- Organisation or Group name
- Contact Name
- Address & Post Code
- Contact Telephone Number
- Mobile Telephone Number
- Email Address
- Frequency of Use: Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Ad hoc
- Numbers Attending
Please send details to:
Llanrhos Old School, 64 Deganwy Rd, Deganwy, Conwy, LL31 9DN
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Apr 8 2010 by Eva Ketley, North Wales Weekly News
A NEW business in Deganwy is proving a hit with customers.
The former delicatessen Forget Me Not on Station Road, has been transformed into Rozi’s Tandoori takeaway.
Yousuf Ali, the owner of the takeaway, said: “We moved to North Wales after falling love with the area after coming on lots of holidays here.
“Although I’m from Bangladesh, we lived in Lancashire for 20 years.
“We bought the premises in Deganwy because we found there was no other Indian takeaway in the surrounding area.”
Yousuf added: “I also think Deganwy is very beautiful being so close to Conwy Castle.”
Yousuf said he’s received a lot of support from other business owners and residents in Deganwy.
“Everybody has been so welcoming, everyone on Station Road has been most encouraging,” he said.
“A bit of encouragement is very nice to have and I’d like to give a huge thanks to everyone who has supported us.”
Yousuf and other businesses in the village are also being helped by a new parking spot in the car park.
Cllr Jason Weyman lobbied hard to get two 30 minute parking spots in the village. Many local businesses had complained that the cost of the council car park was putting people off coming into Deganwy.
Cllr Jason Weyman said: “The new parking bay has gone down very well, as people will no longer have to pay for a parking ticket if they are just popping into a shop, picking up a prescription or a takeaway.
“The time limit is set at 30 minutes, alternatively there is free one hour parking on the road outside the shops.”
Yousuf commented: “These two parking spots have really helped me out over the last three weeks, my customers have come in and praised them.
“I can also use them if I’m just dropping off my Cash & Carry shopping.”
The two new parking bays are located immediately opposite the entrance to the car park, off Station Road.
Please check out the new facilities in Deganwy and remember if you are just popping in for provisions and will be there for less than 30 minutes then please consider using the Free Parking Bays,
NO TICKET REQUIRED
The selection of this years Deganwy Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud will take place his weekend.
Young ladies aged from three to teenage may enter and must be accompanied by an adult.
They must live or attend school in Deganwy, Conwy town or Llandudno Junction postal area.
Other selections taking place on the same day are Colwyn Bay and Llandudno.
Please call Linda Groom for details on 07787 577352
The Carnival Queens, Princesses and Rosebuds will be invited to join us for the Prom Day in June.
- The Medieval Period
- Tywyn in Victorian Times
- The 1940s and 1950s
- Guided Walks of Deganwy
For further information about the groups activities please contact the Secretary on 01492 582012
or visit the website www.deganwy.archive/historygroup
Personally I will not be at tonight's meeting. I will be going to the opening of the new improved (restaurant, bar and conference/event) facilities at the Quay Hotel in Deganwy.
Monday, 12 April 2010
- Call in of Cabinet minute 856 - Remodelling of in-house community support team across Conwy - presentation by the Head of Provider Services
- Revenue Budget 2009/20/10
- Corporate Plan review and establishment of 2010/11 Improvement Objectives and targets
- Equality Impact Assessment
- Matter referred back to the Cabinet following call-in by a Scrutiny Committee: Remodelling of In-house Community Support Teams across Conwy (feedback from todays Principal Scrutiny)
- Business Manager's Portfolio: Review and Refresh of the Compact
- Corporate and Regulatory Services Portfolio: Appointment of Older People's Champion (verbal)
- Environment Portfolio: Procurement of Vehicles and Containers for Kerbside Recycling
- Social Care and Health Portfolio: Social Services - Management Information System (PARIS)
- Communities Portfolio: Community Strategy Project Initiation Document
- Project Approvals - (1) Happy Health, (2) Fish-Net Project, (3) Woodland and Timber Sector Needs Analysis, (4) North Wales Cycling Centre of Excellence
- Delivery of the Regeneration Programme - Llandudno Junction
- 'Closing the Gap' - The North West Wales Spatial Development Strategy
- Finance Portfolio: Revenue Budget 2009/2010
- Exempt Items:
- - Communities Portfolio: Venue Cymru Market Test Project
- - Leader's Portfolio: Designation of Lead Director for Children and Young People's Services
- - Corporate Modernisation Portfolio: Joint Head of Children's Services
On Sunday evening I wrote to Cabinet Members with reference to the Venue Cymru market test agenda item. This is an exempt item because we are talking about the detail of the Tender and the Documentation. This contains commercially sensitive information that will become public once the tender document is issued. But I have concerns on some fundamental parts of the tender, which I raised at Principal Scrutiny on 23rd March. I have detailed my concerns in the email and put forward some suggestions. I have some background of answering Tenders in my previous Career in Telecoms, so I have some knowledge in this area.
4:45pm Llanrhos Old School Restoration Working Group, Llanrhos Old school (committee member)
7pm: Deganwy Prom Day Committee Meeting, Quay Hotel (committee member)
There is also a meeting of the Customers Overview and scrutiny Committee at 6pm, which I will not be attending, I'm not a committee member.
Wednesday 14th April
2pm: Planning Committee, Bodlondeb (committee member)
Only 6 items under consideration
Thursday 15th April
6pm: Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee (non-member)
- Members are requested to nominate a representative to become a member of the Parc Eirias Project Internal Board
- Head of Environment Services: Conwy Estuary Strategic Cycle Route
- Acting Head of Housing Strategy: Modular Buildings
- - Update on Affordable Housing
- - Verbal update on the Affordable Housing Conference
- To establish a Task and Finish Group for Colwyn Bay Pier (verbal)
7pm: Quay Hotel Launch Event, Quay Hotel, Deganwy
There is also a meeting of the History Of Deganwy meeting with a talk from Mr Dennis Roberts on the History of Deganwy Castle at 7pm at the Peniel Chapel Schoolroom, Ty Mawr Rd, Deganwy.
Friday, 9 April 2010
Parties accept jobs will be lost in efficiencies battle
All three main parties have conceded job losses will result from cuts in public sector budgets as the row over their spending plans has continued.
The Tories have said vacant posts will be axed in order to meet their £12bn savings target next year but have ruled out any compulsory redundancies.
A senior Lib Dem MP said it was "dishonest" to pretend there would not be job losses over the next four years.
And a Labour minister said public sector employment would shrink.
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
The Household Waste Recycling Centre in Mochdre has gone through a few changes from 1st April.
This site is managed by a 3rd Party company on behalf of Conwy County Borough Council, this company has recently brought in a new site manager who has operated a similar site in Denbighshire.
Through negotiation with the Council the layout of the site is being changed. The important point here is that this site is a RECYCLING Centre and as such its aim, is to maximise recyclables and reduce the amount sent to landfill. Landfill is fast becoming a very expensive option for disposal of waste due to Extra Taxes which are escalating year on year.
The changes at the site, are that the General Public will no longer have direct access to the Mixed Waste Skips. There will be expectation that visitors to the site separate their waste into the separate Recycling elements. Any mixed waste will have to be sorted by staff.
The second set of changes are with respect to Van Permits. These have changed to assist those people who own a Commercial type van or trailer and require a permit to dispose of household waste and secondly for those people who would like to borrow a Sign Written Van (normally banned from the site) to dispose of Waste on a one off basis. The Van Permits are required to ensure the commercial businesses are not using the site to dispose of trade waste, and that the site (paid for by Council Tax Payers) is used for the disposal of Household Waste free of (extra) charge.
Changes to Household Waste Recycling Centre Van Permits
The permit scheme for access to our Household Waste Recycling Centres with vans or commercial-type vehicles will change on April 1, 2010.
Why is the Permit Required?
The household waste recycling centres are licensed to accept domestic waste only from Conwy and the scheme is in place to restrict businesses from seeking to dispose of waste at the recycling centres.
If you currently hold a permit to use our centres, these changes will affect you. Please note that your current van permit will become invalid after March 31, 2010.
There are three types of permits available:
- Domestic Van Permit (see below)
- Trade Customer Permit (see below)
- Single Use Permit (see below)
Which permit is right for you?
Domestic Van Permit
If you wish to use your domestic van, which is registered to a domestic address and not a business, is without signage or advertising and is less than 2m in height, to dispose of waste and recycling at the household waste recycling centres, you will require a Domestic Van Permit.
Trade Customer Permit
If you are one of our Trade Waste Customers and wish to recycle paper, cardboard, soft plastics, cans, glass or garden waste at the recycling centres, you will require a Trade Customer Permit.
Please note that only these items will be accepted from vehicles displaying a Trade Customer Permit.
Single Use Permit
If you have hired or borrowed a van to dispose of domestic waste and recycling at the recycling centre, you will need to obtain a Single Use Permit.
Full details of the new scheme and how to apply are included in the leaflets which can be downloaded here.
If you have any further questions about recycling or the Van Permit scheme, please contact our Environment Advice Team on 01492 575337 or e-mail email@example.com
See the Waste Collection, Recycling, Disposal web page of CCBC:
Voters in Conwy County Borough have less than two weeks to secure their vote at the UK general election on 6 May.
If your name is not already on the electoral register, you have until Tuesday 20 April to register to vote.
If you are not registered, you won't be able to vote.
Print off a form from http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/ the website of the independent elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, or telephone the Council's Electoral Services Section on (01492) 576051.
I have to admit I read the election flyer, and as a recent employer I have to say the I was impressed on the policy. It was one of those times when I was to busy to investigate further, so I was hoodwinked, luckily not all local business people where satisfied at taking the information at face value.
The Election Flyer states under the title "Small Business and Prosperity in Aberconwy":
We should encourage business to employ not tax them for doing so. It is with delight that I heard of the new Conservative Policy to exempt small businesses from paying National Insurance on their first ten members of staff. what a great policy. No paperwork, no need for expensive form filling - just a simple rule. As a small business your first ten members of staff will be free from employers National Insurance contributions. This will, for many businesses, take the risk out of employing staff and kick start our economy here in Aberconwy.
I'm sure that more things like this may happen over the next month. If things are brought to my attention then I will post on the story whoever the candidate may be. (Thank you "On The QT" for highlighting this story).
I have tried to find any statements on the Aberconwy Conservatives webpage, but couldn't find anything on National Insurance on the site. I was just trying to determine whether the local website held more information about the "promise"
Just shows how careful all the candidates have to be.
I have highlighted this not to have a go at Guto specifically, but to highlight that it is misrepresentations like this that the public are fed up with politicians doing. If this was a mistake or oversight then so be it, but I'm afraid it looks to me like another example of smoke and mirrors. We, the public, are hoping that this election is going to clear us of this type of politics. But just a couple of days into the campaign and we are already seeing examples of this both nationally (E.g. Gordon Browns cheering "crowd" at St Pancreas Station yesterday) and locally.
Tory business claim 'misleading on National Insurance'
Conservatives have been accused of making misleading claims on a National Insurance (NI) pledge for small firms.
Aberconwy candidate Guto Bebb wrote in a leaflet of Tory policy of "exempting small businesses from paying NI on their first 10 members of staff".
But the pledge is restricted to new businesses set up within two years of a Tory government and lasts for a year.
Mr Bebb denied trying to mislead and apologised for any ambiguity, but rival parties attacked the leaflet's claim.
The new marginal Aberconwy constituency is home to a large number of small businesses, particularly in the tourism industry, many of which employ fewer than 10 people.
It is centred on Llandudno and Conwy town, and based on the old Conwy constituency, but without Bangor.
The claim contained in the leaflet was raised by a local businesswoman.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru said Mr Bebb's leaflet claim suggested that all small businesses would benefit from the Tory NI pledge.
Labour Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said: "This is another example of the Tories not being straight with people on the economy.
"It started out looking like confusion, but now it seems as though they are engaged in an active campaign to mislead the Welsh public. This is exactly the kind of thing that turns people off politics."
Ed Townsend, Lib Dem candidate in Newport East said: "This shows the inconsistency of the Tories on this crucial matter. The economy is the number one issue for people in Wales and small businesses deserve clear and firm proposals from the Tories.
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy and they need solid reassurances from political parties that they are there to help during difficult economic times.
'Answer the question'
Phil Edwards, the Plaid Cymru candidate in Aberconwy, said: "It's extremely worrying that the Conservatives are deliberately trying to misleading the people of Aberconwy and small businesses in their area about their plans.
"Clearly the Tories will say anything, no matter how untrue in order to gain votes. David Cameron now needs to answer the question - is their campaign going to be based on lies?
A spokesman for the Welsh Conservatives said: "We have been clear on this policy for some time and our proposals have been well-publicised.
"As part of Conservative proposals to support new businesses we have said that any new business started in the first two years of a Conservative government will pay no employer National Insurance on the first 10 employees it hires during its first year.
"This will help new businesses across Wales as we seek to build a strong economy from the wreckage of Labour's recession."
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
First of all I would like to introduce myself my name is councillor Tony Melia and I'm the deputy leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council and the leader of a small independent party called the For Darwen party. I shall be standing in the forthcoming general election for the new Impact Party led by Harry Takhar and based in Birmingham. I am writing to you to ask that you consider standing as a prospective parliamentary candidate or local councillor for the Impact Party at the next general election; the Impact Party is a new party which has been formed to bring some new and fresh ideas into national politics, such as frequent local and national referendums called by the public as is done in Switzerland.
We are not only offering this opportunity to independent parties, we would also like to extend this to members of mainstream political parties who are disillusioned with their leadership.
The Impact Party was formed in January 2010 and primarily consists of independent parties joining together to form a national party under one banner, we see the Impact Party as a vessel to bring together the ideas and thoughts of independent parties across the United Kingdom. The party has funds to pay the election deposit of candidates. We feel that by working together under one banner we can bring the voice of the people directly to parliament. As you are no doubt aware it is extremely difficult for a small independent party to get a candidate elected to Parliament, even if they are successful it is extremely difficult to achieve much as a sole independent, we are therefore offering the opportunity for the voice of the independent to be heard in the halls of power.
If you feel you have the time and the commitment to stand for the Impact Party in the general election and would like to know more about the party and its policies please visit our website www.impactparty.com . You can complete an online application form and a member of our team will contact you, or alternatively I can be contacted on 07966 589998.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and we look forward to hearing from you.
The following comment was left on Thoughts of Oscar
The Blog is no longer being used as a campaign tool Oscar my apologies for not deleting it all together.
3 April 2010 17:31
This is a shame as I still feel blogging is a method of keeping people informed of your views and actions.
I know Blogs take a lot of effort to keep updated, and I understand that candidates will be spending a lot of time preparing leaflets and canvassing on the door steps.
But I still feel a good blog/webpage allows people to compare policy and aids the electorate to form their view on who is their choice for MP.
I have deleted the link to the blog from my site.
You can find the proposal document here: http://www.lgbc-wales.gov.uk/electoral_reviews_e.htm
I have only had a brief review of the document, but it does seem the work we have already done and representations made have had an affect on the changes proposed. The changes for Conwy seem to be quite mild compared to some of the other authorities. The biggest changes are within the rural areas, where the proposals would equate to a loss of 2 members.
- Number of Councillors reduced from 59 to 57
- The average Member:Electorate ratio has increased from 1:1515 to 1:1568 (still well short of the 1:1750 direction)
- Loss of 7 divisions;
- The are no changes proposed to Betws yn Rhos, Bryn, Caerhun, Colwyn, Conwy, Craig Y Don, Deganwy, Eirias, Gele, Glyn, Gogarth, Kinmel Bay, Llansanffraid, Llansannan, Mochdre, Mostyn, Pandy, Penrhyn, Rhiw, Towyn, and Tudno
- Loss of 1 councillor in the merger of Betws y Coed and Trefriw divisions will be combined. (The community of Dolwyddelan will join Uwch Conwy) The working name for the division is “Betws-y-Coed and Trefriw”.
- Loss of 1 councillor through merger of Llangernyw and Eglwysbach. Pentrefoelas (from Llangernyw) will join Uwchaled and Llanddoged/Maenan (from Eglwysbach) will join Llanrwst. Working name is Eglwysbach and Llangernyw.
- Gower/Crwst divisions will be combined together with the communities of Llanddoged and Maenan (from Eglwysbach), This will be represented by 2 councillors under the proposed name of “Llanrwst”.
- Uwch Conwy will remain but will gain the community of Dolwyddelan (from Betws Y Coed) and lose the community of Ysbyty Ifan (to Uwchaled).
- Uwchaled will remain but with the additions of the communities of Pentrefoelas (from Llangernyw) and Ysbyty Ifan (from Uwch Conwy)
- Llanddulas and Llysfaen will merge but remain with 2 councillors
- New Division called “Penmaenmawr” by merging Pant yr Afon /Penmaenan and Capelulo divisions. This will remain with 2 councillors.
- Marl and Pensarn will merge to form “Conwy East”. This will remain with a total of 3 councillors.
- Abergele Pensarn and Pentre Mawr will merge to form a single division but will remain represented by 3 councillors. New working name would be “Pensarn and Pentre Mawr”
- Changes where consider for Llandrillo yn Rhos but it has been proposed to keep arrangements as they are.
The document states that these are proposals and representation is welcome on these proposals. The names are only suggestions and again the commission would welcome alternatives.
The above changes do seemed to have brought virtually all the divisions with +/- 15% of the authority average. Only Towyn which they propose to leave unchanged is well above average.
All observations on this draft scheme should be sent to:
Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales
1-6 St Andrews Place
Cardiff CF10 3BE
not later than 3 June 2010.
Once people have had a chance to review the document, I will call a meeting of the Task & Finish group to review the proposals and consider what representations we should make.
I’d welcome any views for discussion at the T&F group.