In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly Council leader Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE
The fayre in Caerphilly last weekend once again proved extremely popular among families and individuals with more than 150 traders lining the walls of Caerphilly Castle.
What particularly pleased me was that thanks to the Plaid-led administration, we persuaded the Welsh Assembly Government to offer free entry to the castle to under-16s and many took up the offer.
In addition, my cabinet colleague Ron Davies was asked to reopen Caerphilly’s Indoor Market, which has been shut for more than a decade. It will provide a real boost for the top end of the town centre and I wish the owners David and Alan Prosser all the success. As a Caerphilly boy, it’s great to see the traders there again.
DELAY IN ELECTORAL REVIEW WRONG
I was disappointed at Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant’s decision to postpone the implementation of the electoral review process in Wales.
While there have been concerns about the initial reviews’ conclusions and the size and artificial nature of some of the proposed new communities, I believe a delay until after the 2012 municipal elections is wrong.
This smacks of indecision by the Minister and he has bowed to political pressure from Peter Hain in respect of the Neath constituency and the implications for Neath-Port Talbot Council.
If a job is worth doing then carry it through. I find putting the whole process on hold for 18 months is rather strange. People want politicians who are not afraid to make decisions.
This is my last column before Christmas so I wanted to take this opportunity of wishing all Caerphilly Observer readers and their families a happy Christmas and prosperous 2011.
I know many people in the county borough have had difficult times, perhaps losing their jobs. I cannot forgive the excesses of the bankers and the huge debt built up by the former Labour Government in Westminster.
The council is facing difficult challenges in 2011 and beyond but the Plaid-led administration is determined to protect frontline services to the public as best we can.
We have made savings at the top of the council and, indeed, no increases in councillors’ allowances have been paid since Labour lost control of Caerphilly.
I hope there will soon be light at the end of a very dark tunnel for the people of the county borough.
Plaid Cymru leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council