In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly Council leader Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
LABOUR BEHAVING LIKE TORIES
I was staggered to read that Labour controlled Rhondda Cynon Taf council was threatening its 10,000 workers with a lock-out. They are trying to force staff to accept lower terms and conditions of employment without any negotiations.
This is exactly the sort of treatment of hard working and loyal workers I would expect from right-wing Tory administrations not a Labour council.
It would have been good to see Labour AMs and MPs, particularly those in Caerphilly, condemning this action. They’re quick to criticise the Plaid-led administration in Caerphilly but their silence on RCT council is breathtaking. Can you imagine if it had been a Plaid-run council – they would have been condemning us from the roof tops?
We accept times are very tough for all authorities but there are ways of dealing with the problems. As my cabinet colleague Allan Pritchard explained recently, this council has reduced its workforce by around 170, not through compulsory redundancy but amicably with the Trade Unions through early retirements or not filling vacant posts.
Consultation is ongoing with councillors, trade unions, management and staff to ensure that we manage the savage cuts imposed upon us by central government and we are determined to avoid the ‘Big Bang’ approach that some Labour councils appear to be following.
We don’t want to see anyone put out of work so we’re doing everything we can to protect jobs and frontline services so vital for the public.
I was delighted to attend the annual ‘One Beat’ event last week which celebrates the work of volunteers across the county borough.
Almost 80 different organisations came along to showcase their services, with BBC Wales radio and television personality Roy Noble making a guest appearance at the event.
This was easily biggest and best One Beat event to date. It also saw the official launch of the 2011 edition of the area’s Community Directory, containing over 700 entries of useful contact details for local community groups.
I’m today attending the South Wales Echo’s Community Champion Awards which were launched in 2002.
They recognise in ten categories the work of local people in our communities and it is great that those often unsung individuals are recognised.
The awards include one’s for a lifetime champion and child of courage and I am delighted to show my support.
Plaid Cymru leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council