Saturday, 15 December 2012
TIME TO BRING BACK GWENT
I can think of no better argument for local government reform than the ongoing row over the pay increase awarded by the Labour controlled council cabinet (Plaid voted against) in Caerphilly. On Monday many council staff in Caerphilly will walk out on Monday lunchtime in protest at the disgraceful pay rises set to be awarded to the council's top twenty executives. The former county of Gwent was abolished by the Conservative Government in the early 1990's, being replaced by five councils covering; Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Newport and Monmouth. One chief executive was replaced by five seperate chief executives, five heads of education, five heads of social services and deputies, etc. relative economies of scale were replaced by five seperate purchasing organisations, etc. It's time to bring back Gwent, but, with Single Transferable Vote to ensure that it is fully democratic rather than a Labour in Wales political monolith. Along the way we can cull the number of higly paid council cabinet members, and reintroduce some joined up thinking and sensible economies of scale cut out that local government middle management tier without cutting front line services.