Plaid AM Attacks 'Bully' Ministers

11/09/2011

Ministers Leighton Andrews and Carl Sargeant have been accused by Plaid AM Lindsay Whittle of acting like bullies in their attitude to local government.
The South Wales East AM told delegates at the party’s conference in Llandudno: “Local government is under threat from certain ministers in Cardiff. Carl Sargeant and Leighton Andrews are without doubt the bullies in the school yard.
“I accept Ministers have a duty but they should harness the experience of local government and work with them.
“The real people who scrutinise local government are the electorate themselves. They have the opportunity to say: you have done a good job or a bad job, not ministers in Cardiff Bay. They do not have a mandate to do what they are doing.”
He said that local government needed to ensure council taxpayers were getting value for money “for their buck” and they didn’t need the threat of mergers.
“Wholesale reorganisation of local government would be too costly and distract from the effort to provide services. Boundary changes should only be made on a case by case basis and not through a one size fits all.”
He said that it had been a privileged to have been leader of Caerphilly council. “Caerphilly was the only council to declare a nil tax rise and in 2012 there will be a nil tax increase.
“We were aware that the public were facing tough times with fuel, food, gas and electricity increases while some faced wage cuts.”