Today another of my FOI came to fruition with Powys county council replying to my request about filming tweeting and blogging at their meetings. It is quickly becoming clear that councils tend to only allow filming at meetings with permission from the chairperson. However no council go on to clarify what the criteria chairpeople use to make the decision to allow filming or not. Here’s what Powys has to say in their rules and procedures document,
“20. RECORDING OF MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL
No recording shall be made of the proceedings of meetings of the Council whether audio or visual and by whatever method except with the express authorisation of the meeting. If a person records the proceedings of any meeting (or causes such recording to be effected) without authorisation then the Chair will order their removal from the meeting room and shall not permit them to be admitted to a further meeting except on a written undertaking to desist from such recording ”
The same applies to all committee meetings.
Welsh Govt to set limits on rural windfarms. Montgomeryshire pylons and sub-station "not needed"—
Vaughan Roderick (@VaughanRoderick) June 17, 2011
It would seem that people power is alive and kicking. Anti-pylon campaigners in Montgomeryshire will be celebrating this evening with the announcement from the First Minister, Carwyn Jones that the Welsh Government will be setting limits on rural windfarms and so Montgomeryshire Pylons and sub-stations are not needed.
The First Minister said,
“ My Government would not support the construction of large pylons in Mid Wales and my Ministers are pressing this case with National Grid Transmission and with Ofgem”
The statement can be read in full here. This has been a fast moving campaign which has found success faster thatn many had expected.
I have written before about the Lib Dems’ misleading graphs in their election literature, but this is a new one to me! Today I received a leaflet through the post from the Lib Dems (see picture). When I opened the letter I was expecting to see Wyn Williams pointing at various points of local greivances, however there was a leaflet with Kirsty Williams standing in front of an Ambulance, hugging a lamb, and sitting with schoolchildren (and one, which I can only assume, of Kirsty hiding behind a corner – bottom right of the picture).
Anyway, this must have been a regional leaflet, however the title read “Time for real action for Montgomeryshire”. But correct me if I’m wrong, Kirsty isn’t standing in Montgomeryshire. I can only assume that this is a regional leaflet, but she isn’t standing on the regional list either! Neither does it say anything about the regional list on the leaflet, apart from the suggestion that i should “look for the bird” (maybe an idea from the former MP Lembit Opik?).
With electioneering in full swing right across Wales I thought it timely to discuss the way things look in the constituency I live in. As I have already mentioned in an earlier post, I have already cast my vote via postal ballot where I voted for David Senior (Plaid Cymru). I believe that Plaid are the only group in the Assembly that could offer an alternative to a Labour government. The Tories have no experience in WAG, and as for the Lib Dems, well their share of seats will either remain the same or, as expected decrease.
However, in Montgomeryshire there are two plausible outcomes to this election, either Wyn Williams, the Lib Dem candidate, or Russell George, the Tory candidate will win. As many of you will know the Tories took the seat from the Lib Dems in the 2010 Westminster election, and so are riding high off that victory. Lib Dems have had bad press in the area over the last few years with Lembit Opik (as seen on TV – and any other two bit reality show / tabloid newspaper) and his exploits, and of course the incident between the former AM, Mick Bates and paramedics.
The situation for the Lib Dems isn’t helped by the fact that the Tory that already represents Montgomeryshire in Westmister is a popular individual. Glyn Davies MP (and former AM) has earned great respect amongst many in the county accross the political spectrum. Glyn has managed to raise his profile, and that of the Tories in the county with his campaign against proposed plans for windmills and electric pylons in the county which has certainly reflected well on Russell George.
It should also be noted that it is only Russell George placards that can be seen along the roads around Llanidloes and Newtown. I know such a sentence can easily be hyperbole, but I have literally seen no poster nor placard in support of Wyn Williams up anywhere, up to this point anyway.
So I gingerly raise my head above the parapet here to say that in my opinion it will be Russell George and Montgomeryshire Tories who will be celebrating come May 6th.
Here’s another letter I sent to the County Times about True Wales’ misleading and extremely parochial argument in Montgomeryshire. Sadly this was not published this week.
Why would the fact that Llanidloes has a bypass influence my views on constitutional matters, as Mr Philip Glynn is suggesting? I agree with Mr Glynn that the traffic situation in Newtown is terrible, and I do use the roads around Newtown frequently, so experience the queues often. Traffic planning apart, I fail to see what this has to do with the referendum on clarifying the Welsh legislative system. There is a deference between the government who creates policy and the system within which it works, and the March 3rd vote is about the system, and not policy.
I too am amused by the headline of Mr Glynn’s letter in last weeks edition (18/2/11), which suggest that a no vote in March would bring an end to queues in Newtown! As I have raised on a few occasions in these pages, a no vote would mean that the present situation will remain, including the traffic queues. However, I will not claim that a YES vote will get rid of the queues, because it won’t – after all the vote isn’t about the traffic situation of Newtown. Mr Glynn could, however campaign for the 5th of May Assembly elections where his efforts might pay off and get something done about the terrible queues we all have to endure on a daily basis.
I’m not “having a laugh” by using the term simpler, because it will be simpler without having to send a Legislative Competence Order (LCO) to Westminster in order to pass a law in Wales. Could Mr Glynn explain perhaps why he thinks I’m “having a laugh”? I don’t think that waiting for 3 years to pass a law on child safety on school busses was particularly funny.
Mr Glynn claims that his campaign is a “local campaign, with local issues” – how local does this mean? – should I, a resident of Llanidloes not express a view on a national debate because I don’t live in Newtown? The issues of Assembly powers are the same in Llanidloes as they are in Newtown, and anywhere else in Wales.
A YES vote would be to the benefit for every person in Wales.
A no vote would change nothing – so if you like the way things are now then vote no.