Jacob Williams
Tuesday 12th February, 2013

Internally grateful

Internally grateful

In the wake of the surprising news that Cllr. David Wildman is to step down from the council, there has been no end of speculation as to who might fill his shoes. And what a rack of shoes there will be left to fill. The Burton seat for which the Tories, Labour and Plaid Cymru are expected to throw their hat into the ring, will be the biggest by-election in Pembrokeshire County Council’s history. The IPG is also rumoured to be preparing to campaign hard. Who would have guessed that the non-party party would be unlocking the campaign cupboard so soon after the 2012 elections and the Partygate revelations?

Theories have also been rife as to which councillor the leader might appoint to fill the void in his cabinet room. The current favourite is Cllr. Keith Lewis, chairman of the council’s Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and so the highest stakes have instead been placed on who the leader will appoint to replace Cllr. Lewis as the outgoing chair of Economy. Whilst the vice-chair is the obvious assumption, the odds aren’t conclusive. Following a series of unfathomable cabinet appointments since becoming leader, Cllr. Jamie Adams has taught us that he can never be second-guessed!

The other speculation has been who might replace Cllr. Wildman as the Local Authority board member on Hywel Dda Health Board. However, unlike cabinet posts, chairmanships, National Park seats and the like; this appointment is not in the gift of the leader. In fact, it’s not in the gift of anybody or any organisation within Pembrokeshire. The sole Local Authority member on the Health Board is appointed by the Welsh Government, and is a role which covers all three counties – Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion as well as Pembrokeshire.

There is no guarantee that Cllr. Adams can secure the role for one of his own party members, nor is there any overriding reason why it should be a councillor from Pembrokeshire, for that matter. The salary for non-officer members serving on the Hywel Dda Local Health Board fell within Band 3 at the start of Cllr. Wildman’s term, at which point the precise remuneration was £13,344 plus subsistence and travelling expenses.

With a councillor base of 176, made up of 60 councillors in Pembrokeshire, 74 in Carmarthenshire and 42 in Ceredigion; we can expect some stiff competition for this prize role as and when it comes up for re-advertisement.

Cllr. Wildman was appointed in 2010 and I understand that a cabinet colleague of his was among the unsuccessful applicants from the three councils who he pipped to the post. No doubt having been a member and Vice Chairman of the Pembrokeshire Health Board for nearly six years stood him in good stead, but questions must be asked of another factor which may have assisted his successful application.

A mole has provided me with a copy of the application form Cllr. Wildman submitted for the post in March 2010. Section three requires candidates to provide two referees who it states will “only be approached if you are invited for an interview.” The guidance note also states: “You must ensure that the people whose details you have provided have given their consent for their names to be used in this way, prior to including them on your application.”

I was not at all surprised that the first referee offered up was the erstwhile leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr. John Davies. It seems only natural that the man who saw fit to appoint him to his cabinet could be relied upon to contribute favourably in a written testimonial.

It was the second referee that caught my eye. Mrs. Bernardine Rees OBE, whose occupation is listed as: ‘Director of Primary, Community & Mental Health Services’ at ‘Hywel Dda Health Board.’ Boxes were ticked against both referees to indicate that the references would be in a “professional/work” capacity, as opposed to a “personal” one.

If there is any doubt as to whether or not there may be a conflict of interest, my mole also handed me a copy of the ‘role description’ and ‘person specification’ given to prospective candidates in 2010. Point twelve under the ‘skills and experience’ heading is of particular interest:

12. The ability to hold the executives to account for performance whilst maintaining a constructive relationship.

Further content: Click to open

Cllr. Wildman had worked alongside Mrs. Rees in her previous role as the Chief Executive of the Pembrokeshire and Derwen Local Health Board. Serious questions must be asked as to why Cllr. Wildman offered Mrs. Rees as a referee in 2010 for a paid role, part of which was to scrutinise, among others, Mrs. Rees in her new post as a Director of the Hywel Dda Health Board.


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56 Comments...

  • PR

    God bless you young Jacob! Little things such as these revelations give quite a large insight into the dirty dealings of PCC and other local authorities.

  • Andrew Lye

    Ditto…makes interesting reading.

  • John Hudson

    How will the good electors of Burton be able to distinguish between “independent” or “no-name” candidates to ensure the IPG+ preferred candidate is elected or not?

  • John – there’s absolutely no way of knowing who will or won’t join the IPG once elected. History shows that they don’t even have to be ‘independent’ candidates to join up. They come in all colours, shapes and sizes. Just look what happened after the election only a stone’s throw away in the Neyland East ward!

  • Certifiable Wally

    Another ‘non story’ from 3 years ago? Things must be quiet on the real PCC front. Even if there’s something murky in this (IF!) perhaps the question should be asked of WAG why, as the appointment authority, they let this proceed at the time. Otherwise it’s ‘make believe’ to be honest. You also have to wonder as to who they are and what motivates these ‘moles’.

  • Wally, the fact that the story is three years old is irrelevant.

    Truth is not diminished by age e.g Jimmy Savile, Hillsborough etc, etc.

    The point, in case you missed it, is that a senior NHS executive was cast in the role of referee for someone whose task it is to scrutinise the actions of senior NHS executives on behalf of the public.

    You are however right to ask why WAG didn’t pick this up at the time. Perhaps it is just another example of the ubiquitous cronyism that blights public life in Wales.

  • Dave Edwards

    This has been going on for many years. When I applied to be reappointed to the old Pembs and Derwen NHS Trust I found that the other candidates had given the Board Chair as one of their referees. Seemed wrong at the time and still seems wrong today!

  • John Hudson

    Is there no bottom to this?

    Years ago questionable government actions were attributed to “moral turpitude”, or base, depraved moral conduct. It seems anything goes now.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Cllr Stoddart, I think that to associate the Savile affair and Hillsborough with a questionable use of a referee as illustrated in this example is sadly inappropriate yet typical of the small minded, self centred approach taken by some individuals over blown with their own self importance in commenting on or being in and/or associated with Pembrokeshire public life.

    This is both in terms of the assumption by the applicant in this illustration that it was alright to do what he/she did/may have done and the subsequent ‘link’ regarding ‘truth’ made by yourself. Don’t be so arrogant as to think that I ‘missed’ the point, your comment rather demeans you.

    Finally, I am totally unconcerned whether or not you think I am ‘right’ on WAG’s role in this. You may by all means agree with me but you are no judge.

  • Quill

    Wally don’t you think this issue is of importance to a much bigger audience than just Pembrokeshire? Are YOU forgetting that the Hywel Dda Health Board covers Pembs, Carms + Ceredigion and invited applications from all three councils for this local authority board member position?

    (And before you reply “yes I know it covers three counties don’t patronise me” I feel I ought to point out that was a rhetorical question, because basic things like the worthiness of this story seem to have gotten quite easily lost on you!)

    If this was a four year term which I think it was then the term has also got over a full year left of it, perhaps someone else will know on here. If you were unsuccessful in applying in 2010 and you found this out now might you not feel that things could have been unjust? I think you would, so maybe you should think more before putting such comments on articles on a web site that clearly hits a raw nerve of yours.

  • Certifiable Wally

    My comments are in the main directed at the individuals who make inappropriate links on parochial issues to national scandals and/or view themselves as public guardians of something, what I’m not sometimes sure.

    Right, ‘don’t patronise’ then you do precisely that. I, for a number of reasons, am very aware of the scope of the health board and its predecessors. I object to comments such as ‘you are right’ as if I should be grateful for this sanction/approval amongst other things.

    The flawed appointment of a councillor to another public post 3 years ago is of mild interest not earth shattering consequence and this is whilst we continue to have an inept regime running many of our local services. So yet again, I’m not sure this passes the ‘so what’ test but who am I??

    Also, just because I have the audacity to not behave as some acolyte of this or any other blog type commentary site does not mean I cannot express my view does it? I can assure you I commented after thinking long and hard as to why somebody running another blog site would be qualified to judge my observations or another blogger then would subsequently kindly offer the view that ‘I should think’.

    I have no axe to grind or raw nerves on such issues, you might be surprised as to why that is. I was not unsuccessful in applying for any such appointments. Were you??

  • Lean

    Now then children.

  • Wally, when I agree with you I am being patronising, when I disagree, I am accused of arrogance!

    Clearly, you are not an easy man to please!

    You say you are “unconcerned” about what others on this website think, so why waste your time posting long comments setting out your concerns?

  • PR

    When services are being slashed at our local hospital and lives of infants and adults are being put at massive risk, then the fact that a county councillor appointed to be a representative of the health board that is making these decisions, by way of a reference from one of the Directors/Executives ON that board, then it’s a lot more than bloody mildly interesting. It stinks like a farmyard full of cow shit and it beggars belief that the WAG allowed this to happen. It’s indicative of a more deep rooted corruption within our local authorities’ actions.

  • Quill

    Gosh what a pickle! We now know that Wally’s chip on his shoulder has nothing to do with the NHS, but I think he still has a point to prove but I’m damned if I can see what it is.

    You said that Cllr Stoddart compared a ‘parochial issue’ to national issues, when he didn’t. He referred to a national issue to demonstrate your argument was flawed = that because the issue being discussed on this blog was an old one it was somehow not newsworthy or as you put it ‘fails to pass the so what test’.

    And why do you think he is trying to judge you? It’s got nothing to do with you disagreeing with the flow of other people commenting and if you think that is the reason your views are being challenged then maybe you should consider standing for the IPPG in the Burton by-election, I’m sure they would love to field a candidate with your sort of outlook on life!

    Anybody can comment on this site like you have and I have and sometimes you will disagree with something someone’s said in which case you can challenge a view or be petty and just dismiss it in a non constructive way, but if you agree with something you can show your approval. Mike hasn’t just shot you down he has tried to be constructive where he disagrees and saying when he agrees and yet you are still not happy.

    P.S. There is a second option which most people take for both of those scenarios and that is to keep your mouth shut!

  • Certifiable Wally

    I could hardly stop laughing at your postscript. Very constructive, completely balanced, mature and helpful observation. Rather proves one of my points. Nice one Quill.

    Not sure how you come to your conclusion about a chip on my shoulder. PS (as you put it) did you not get appointed then?

    “You say you are “unconcerned” about what others on this website think, so why waste your time posting long comments setting out your concerns.” – I did no such thing. I observed I was unconcerned as to your view as to whether I was right regarding WAG’s role. Rather different to the wider implications of your statement.

    PR – “the fact that a county councillor appointed to be a representative of the health board that is making these decisions, by way of a reference from one of the Directors/Executives ON that board”. Is she? ON that Board??

    I simply disagree that this issue is of the level of importance it seems to be attracting. If you’d looked more closely, I observe that the Council is still run (ineptly) by those that this site and others have been commenting on (lampooning??) for some time. Much of what appears here I find interesting and completely agree that a root and branch reformation is needed of local government in Pembrokeshire.

    However, in contrast minor skirmishes and sniping will achieve little and there is as much of that as there is of substance, in my humble opinion, assuming I’m allowed to have one. By the way, I am perfectly balanced and have chips on both shoulders.

    So I appear to have missed the point, failed to think before posting my observations, been told what my views would be had I been an original applicant who failed, wasted my time posting long comments, NOT been shot down by ‘Mike’ and had the audacity to not have kept my mouth shut.

    Oh and for those not familiar with the ‘so what’ test, what do the good commentators wish to see happen as a result of this misdemeanour being uncovered? Presumably one of you has already written to WAG as the proper authority to draw this to their attention and sought their urgent observations on their own failings and what they propose as reparation. And also the individuals involved? You haven’t?

    Perhaps Jacob’s next revelations will provide enough to refer this ‘elsewhere’ shall we say.

  • Certifiable, I’ll respond to the one part of your latest missive that I have the strength to pick up on!

    Yes, Bernardine Rees absolutely was, as you put it: “ON that board” referred to in this scoop, as an ‘Executive Director.’

    To debunk your misguided suspicions you can check the pertinent page of the Hywel Dda Health Board website for yourself at the link I’ve pasted for you below.

    You will notice that this page profiles all of the current Board Members, of which the position of ‘Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services,’ the post which Bernardine Rees held, is one of those listed.

    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/862/page/59896

    I am, of course, assuming that you can believe your own eyes.

  • Certifiable Wally

    What suspicions would those be? And after breakfast, would you be kind enough to show me where this entry is on the page referred to? My computer must be like me, certifiable. Or perhaps you have posted a dodgy link to lead me down the garden path?

    Sorry to try your strength. But at the risk of being persistent, has the content of this ‘scoop’ been submitted to WAG or not?? By the way, I did find the executive concerned here

    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/865/page/53822

    But then I already knew that…

    Not “the fact that a county councillor appointed to be a representative of the health board that is making these decisions, by way of a reference from one of the Directors/Executives ON that board” even you could concede?

    I shall continue to ignore the Quills of this world and will not keep my mouth shut.

  • This gets better. You really can’t believe your own eyes, can you Wally?

    Firstly, I understand that questions are to be tabled in the Welsh Assembly over the matter by local AMs.

    So you can’t find the position on that page I gave you the link for? Click on it again. It’s the eighth from the bottom, where – as I said – you will find the incumbent ‘Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services’ listed.

    The link you found – which is the first result which came up when you typed ‘Bernardine Rees’ into google, is for a page from June 2011, a year after Cllr. Wildman had been appointed, and after Mrs. Rees had left Hywel Dda Health Board.

    Not only that, but the page is clearly from ‘Cwm Taf Health Board,’ her new employer, and the very first paragraph says: “Bernardine joins us from Hywel Dda Health Board where she was Director of Primary, Community and Mental Health Services.”

  • Quill

    When I said your chip in your shoulder is not relating to the NHS (HDHB) I was responding to where you said “I have no axe to grind or raw nerves on such issues, you might be surprised as to why that is. I was not unsuccessful in applying for any such appointments. Were you??”

    So why might I be surprised? Are you going to say or leave me in suspense?

    And Wally no I didn’t apply for the position I am not a councillor or a passenger on any gravy train nor do I want to be.

    You say you “completely agree that a root and branch reformation is needed of local government in Pembrokeshire” well what efforts have you ever made in your life towards reforming public standards in local government? And what would you rather this sort of web site did?

    If you think these issues are small and trivial then you obviously know of some far bigger scandals than Jacob has ever got his hands on so why not share it with us or give us some teasers about what you know is left to be uncovered.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Right, 8th from the bottom is Dr Sue Fish Medical Director – not Primary, Community and Mental Health Services as far as I can see.

    Given that the link takes me to a Hywel Dda Directors’ list I would be surprised if it showed an incumbent as Mrs Rees and indeed I cannot see it, even though public bodies are notorious for not keeping their websites up to date and even though I’ve looked again closely at the page. Perhaps you have an old version and should clear your cache?

    Secondly when will these questions you refer be so asked in the ‘House’ and by whom so us not in the know can watch the Senedd TV with interest for a change?

    Thirdly, I posted the link in full knowledge that it was Cwm Taf as part of illustrating how she couldn’t be involved in the current decision making on local health services as suggested by PR. What’s wrong with that exactly? As you enboldened June 2011, I cried with laughter again. I know all this and don’t need to use the NHS websites to do anything other than use it as ‘evidence’ in my comment so how can the individual be involved in the current decisions on the shape of local health services in 2013.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Aha here’s Quill!

    For the record and it would help if you read complete texts sometimes, I am not critical of such websites only of some of their content. As I have said previously, I have found some of the material very interesting but some of it is also over blown in its importance to my mind. That’s my view, take it or leave it. I do have some history in the public sector but it’s minor. Similarly, what efforts have you made to change the status quo?

    Perhaps I do know of what I think may be bigger scandals, then again, maybe I don’t. I am looking at some of this ‘objectively’ and as I have already made clear, we have had little substantive change as a result of very recent poor Council performance so why waste effort on something from three years ago?

    Apart from which, as we’re talking about conflicts of interest, because that’s the implication in this ‘scoop’ amongst other things, how does a councillor reconcile some of the material on this site with a role as an elected member? Which is it to be, councillor or populist scribe, for example ‘God bless you young Jacob’. Pleeeeeease…

  • Quill

    Wally pull yourself together!

    What Jacob’s showing you and made even clearer for you in his follow up…is that the link he gave you to go and inspect was to the list of CURRENT Board Directors, where…surprise surprise the INCUMBENT ‘Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services’ appears as a Board member…by the virtue of the fact that she is, are you ready for this, the ‘Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services’!

    You are well off target because he never said the page showed an “incumbent” “Mrs Rees” he said that it showed the “incumbent Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services” so pay more attention and stop making up wacko ‘cache cleansing’ or ‘outdated web site’ excuses.

    So what don’t you understand? You questioned (and don’t deny that you did because you did) whether Mrs Rees was even a member of the HDHB at the time of the application process for Cllr Wildman in 2010 and that link shows that the ‘Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services’ is INDEED a board position on the HDHB – so she was offering a reference to Cllr Wildman whilst she was serving as a member on the board to which he was applying to also become a member. Are you satisfied about that point now or not?

    Also you have just said you were fully aware that the link YOU provided was for Cwm Taf HB. Like hell you were, you would have (tried your best to) labour the point if you thought Jacob had made a mistake in saying Mrs Rees was a current member of HDHB, which he didn’t. In any case why on earth would you think he was trying to make out that Mrs Rees was involved in “current decision making” on the “shape of local health services in 2013” at HDHB? Nobody made this suggestion and neither has anybody else ever referred to Mrs Rees in the present context, or even YOU until you had made this comment.

    The whole point of your former argument was that this was OLD news as the application was made three years ago when Mrs Rees was, without any doubt to anybody but you, and as others are trying to get through to you = a member of the HD health board as “Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services”!! 2013 has never been mentioned by ANYBODY but YOU so you are barking up the wrong tree.

    I think the penny has finally dropped and in your latest comment you’re distracting from the real issue and trying to murky the waters and divert attention away from your failure to grasp something that even little old me understands was being said, right in the ORIGINAL article. Because the original article states:

    “It was the second referee that caught my eye. Mrs. Bernardine Rees OBE, whose occupation is listed as: ‘Director of Primary, Community & Mental Health Services’ at ‘Hywel Dda Health Board.’ Boxes were ticked against both referees to indicate that the references would be in a “professional/work” capacity, as opposed to a “personal” one”.

    What part of that don’t you believe? I don’t begrudge you wanting to challenge stuff of concern that is reported to you, even though you CHOOSE to view this site, but in this case I think you should just accept that the moles are coming up with much better fodder for scrutinising public service shenanigans than you ever will Wally.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Stop press…perhaps I’m wrong on the website link???

    Well yes but no! It’s the Deputy Chief Executive not the Medical Director who’s 8th from bottom…

  • You conveniently missed the important bit. The eighth from bottom is:

    “Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Primary Care and Mental Health Services.”

    Get with it! I’m sure you’re better than this!

  • Certifiable Wally

    How on earth is the incumbent relevant to any of this? The current Director had no role in the Councillor’s appointment so what is the point? I certainly need no confirmation that the role is a Board level one.

    “So what don’t you understand? You questioned (and don’t deny that you did because you did) whether Mrs Rees was even a member of the HDHB at the time of the application process for Cllr Wildman in 2010” – Did I, where was this? I asked IS SHE ON THAT BOARD? in relation to the next quote and point, so perhaps you should be a little more careful. Jacob, who made me smile, said she WAS ON THAT BOARD. Neat change of tense or sloppiness, who knows?

    “PR – the fact that a county councillor appointed to be a representative of the health board that is making these decisions, by way of a reference from one of the Directors/Executives ON that board”. For the third time I quote from someone else who said IS MAKING THESE DECISIONS, (present tense isn’t it?) BY WAY…ON THAT BOARD.

    2013 it is now isn’t it? Yes, at least on my calendar it is.

    “It was the second referee that caught my eye. Mrs. Bernardine Rees OBE, whose occupation is listed as: ‘Director of Primary, Community & Mental Health Services’ at ‘Hywel Dda Health Board.’ Boxes were ticked against both referees to indicate that the references would be in a “professional/work” capacity, as opposed to a “personal” one.”

    I believe it all, why wouldn’t I and where have I suggested otherwise?

    “In any case why on earth would you think he was trying to make out that Mrs Rees was involved in “current decision making” on the “shape of local health services in 2013″ at HDHB?” –

    Because without some sort of link forward to the present time, whilst the appointment was possibly flawed, it is difficult to follow what the impact has been, is it not? And what would you assess as the IMPACT of this so far? In the words of the prophet and up to now, subject to any further revelations, ‘so what’??

    Don’t witter about process, comment/scrutinise outcomes.

  • Certifiable Wally

    1) But it isn’t is it? But it might have been if the same people were in post.

    2) Doubtful, clearly stupid. I’m just distracting from the real issue although I thought I understood but now I’m not so sure. Remind me again??? Just so I don’t continue to rattle cages.

    3) There’s always the next issue. Oh and any progress on ‘Partygate’??

  • Wally, I think in a roundabout way Quill’s breakdown might have pointed to the possibility that you misinterpreted PR’s comment.

    PR said:

    “When services are being slashed at our local hospital and lives of infants and adults are being put at massive risk, then the fact that a county councillor appointed to be a representative of the health board that is making these decisions, by way of a reference from one of the Directors/Executives ON that board, then it’s a lot more than bloody mildly interesting.”

    And it appears that you have read more into it than was there, by interpreting it to mean:

    “…it’s a lot more than bloody mildly interesting that councillor Wildman’s appointment to be a representative of the health board which is currently making controversial and unpopular decisions came off the back of a reference he was provided by one of the Directors/Executives who was on the board at the time she provided his reference, and who is currently serving alongside him in making these decisions.”

    When it was quite clearly meant to mean just:

    “…it’s a lot more than bloody mildly interesting that councillor Wildman’s appointment to be a representative of the health board which is currently making controversial and unpopular decisions came off the back of a reference he was provided by one of the Directors/Executives who was serving on that board at the time of his application and when she provided the reference.”

    Maybe PR will one day confirm to us that the above was the intention of his comment, though I don’t think PR is as obsessed with my website as you are, so he/she may not be back for a while. If he/she does come back, then he/she may trawl to the end of this long thread to chip in another two penneth worth.

    Your concession: “whilst the appointment was possibly flawed, it is difficult to follow what the impact has been, is it not?” is quite revealing, and is rather diversionary.

    It shows that you are only concerned with the effects, and care not about the principle.

    I believe that the 2010 appointment process should have been a fair one, and as your latest tack is now to question how “difficult it is to follow” the effects that this unfair advantage might have had, then you are venturing into a completely different argument than is being brought to light by this revelation.

    Partygate is currently being investigated by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

  • PR

    My initial point was simply that Wildman should not have had Rees as a reference when the position he was applying for was, partly, to scrutinise decisions made, in part, by the person who gave him the reference (Rees).

    This obviously represents a moral conflict of interest if not a regulatory one, although it probably does both.

    I’m not sure what’s so difficult for Wally to understand what’s wrong in Wildman’s actions. He’s blatantly stupid for being unable to absorb the logic which has been explained in detailed and plain English.

    My other point was that Wildman’s actions in soliciting a reference from Rees, was a classic example of the shady and seedy goings on perpetrated by the IPG/IPPG over recent years.

    The reason that it IS so important in my view, as are the other revelations made by Stoddart & Williams, is these little things add up eventually to blow corrupt local councillors out of the water. e.g. Stoddart’s relentless campaign to expose the disgraceful behaviour of Brian Hall in Pembroke Dock which took several years but eventually led to his downfall as a councillor of any real influence. Likewise the humiliation suffered by Huw George recently who was forced, if only sideways, out of the position which he was so obviously out of his depth in.

    We need less people on the council who are self-serving in the guise of “putting communities first” etc and who are willing to fight against the status quo and wrongdoing of the group that holds the power, as any effective opposition group is supposed to do in a democracy.

    Mike Stoddart – I noticed in this week’s WT that there was actually an official response from BPJ…albeit on the subject of CRBs…

    “Pembrokeshire County Council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones said the council clearly could not display the certificates, but would be making a public disclosure once the process had been undertaken.”

    Is the man finally dipping his toes in the water of actually removing himself from his ivory tower to comment on matters, even though on this occasion it’s a non-story a la Certified Wally?

  • PR

    Let’s not forget the massive remuneration received by Wildman over the years. If he stooped to such practices as highlighted in this article, how can he be trusted to do the right thing in any other aspect of his civic duties?

  • Certifiable Wally

    “My initial point was simply that Wildman should not have had Rees as a reference when the position he was applying for was, partly, to scrutinise decisions made, in part, by the person who gave him the reference (Rees).”

    With which I agree, it being impossible to do otherwise in my view and which I haven’t challenged as I haven’t seen the application.

    “This obviously represents a moral conflict of interest if not a regulatory one, although it probably does both.” – Probably it does, I agree.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Obsessed? Amused is more accurate.

    I started with a ‘so what’ question and this is another way of approaching the issue. If there has been a maladministration issue, what has been the result of that? Usually an independent scrutineer (eg Ombudsman) would consider the full picture, wouldn’t he?

    I am fully aware that ‘Partygate’ is under investigation by the Ombudsman, but (and I’d best interpret for you here) my question asked whether there had been any progress. So the answer is therefore no. As a principal in this issue, has the Ombudsman indicated to you how he might be getting on then? Or will you simply refer me to your earlier answer??

    More to follow tomorrow.

  • PR

    There’s no reasoning with a fool whose counter argument contains zero substance.

    Jacob revealed questionable actions by Wildman and Rees.

    Wally asked “So what?”

    Wally’s question has been amply and clearly answered yet he puts forward further erratic mumblings which offer no intelligent consideration. Very tiresome indeed.

  • Certifiable Wally

    “Very tiresome indeed.” – Certainly is! Helps me sleep very well.

    Welcome to the world where everything is not what it appears to be. Let’s have some more heads on pikes I say. I don’t think you are a fool and wouldn’t say so on an open forum anyway. You simply have a different view to me. That’s fine, but doesn’t seem to be fine in return.

    When we see some “substantive” result from some of these musings then I might be impressed. I’m waiting to hear of a publication date of the ‘Partygate’ report from the Ombudsman, perhaps the contact of that will dilute my cynicism.

    As for your reference to several years of relentless campaigning, both individuals remain Councillors so whisper it: “so what”. If it was me, I would rather hope that spending several years would result in rather more than loss of influence and sideways movement.

    I think it’s characters on here who should ‘get a grip’ not me. I have plenty more tiresome views where these come from. Could you focus on the NHS for a while?? Tenby Cottage, now where shall I start…

  • Quill

    Keep taking the pills Wally.

  • PR

    Jacob has no argument to make with you Wally. His original point was covered very clearly in the initial article. There’s no grey area on this issue.

  • Certifiable Wally

    I will keep taking the pills, thank you.

    It fascinates (but does not surprise) me how many questions I have posed which remain unanswered, but then again, they are easy to dismiss as the ravings of a mad man I suppose.

    PR – are you now ‘PR’ for Jacob then or has he asked you to respond in his absence? If neither, you show startling audacity I have to say…

    Good night good people, there’s always tomorrow or another article to read and digest.

  • Quill

    Keep taking the pills.

  • PR

    Keep taking the pills.

    You are in danger of taking over from Andrew Lye as the most boring commentator on local politics.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Certifiable Wally

    I am, I am, and very happy they make me too Quill! Your advice is invaluable, many good questions remain unanswered on here, irrespective of your comment.

  • Lean

    THE END!!! – please.

  • DDG

    I hear Brooklands are still taking on new residents, Wally.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Hello DDG, welcome to the thread. Very grateful for you offering to give up your place. By the way, did you get your induction pack as part of your welcome to the ‘Acolytes’?

    PR – who is Andrew Lye and what was the answer to the question on you representing Jacob?

    I’m sure we can make 50 blog entries if we try hard but the quality is decreasing with the collective fatigue of most, but not me!

  • DDG

    Hook, line and sinker.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Very apt!

  • PR

    Wally, you’re just proving yourself to be a boring fool. The issue posed by Jacob was very simple, you’ve turned the responses into a nonsensical rant, thinking that you’re being clever and provoking a balanced debate on a serious issue when nothing could be further from the truth.

  • PR

    Andrew Lye is a regular commentator on this blog and the WT website with similar abstract views similar to yourself.

    Leader of Wiltshire District Council (Ret.) or something like that. He was Mayor as well I believe.

  • PR

    And to make it up to 50 comments, PR simply stands for Pembs Resident. A normal person who resides in the county who, like the vast majority no doubt, appreciate the common sense approach to public service as displayed by Williams & Stoddart. Or Stoddart & Williams (sorry Mike).

  • John Hudson

    Local authorities are “allowed” a representative on a local health board. In Pembs this would seem to be the Cabinet one with “health and well being” responsibilities.

    However, under declaration of interest rules, he may speak on Health Board matters at Council but not vote. Because our Council minutes, by officers’ rules, do not report debate, we are spared the views of our Cabinet members and representative on the Health Board.

  • Certifiable Wally

    Well, when it’s Jacob or Mike’s turn to be Chairman of Council perhaps they can insist that is rectified. Mind you, they might not want it altered but who knows…one question and out!

  • Certifiable Wally

    Oh, I wonder what names Andrew’s been called by the non fools on this blog then…must seek him out. Does he go by his full name?

    I imagine what you actually mean is that he has the effrontery to not necessarily agree with you or take a less than microscopic view of things.

  • Pacifist

    I think the comments on this blog are getting too personal.

    To suggest that somebody might be even more boring than Andrew Lye rather proves the point.

  • Bayard

    Certifiable Wally, you are David Wildman and I claim my prize.

  • Andrew Lye

    I don’t know why people who are prepared to make comments and abuse others have to hide behind made up names.

    I am more than happy to use my real name unlike some cowards who are content to pontificate and abuse.

    I welcome all views and respect them, whether I agree with them or not, but I do not wish to hide my true identity.

  • Quill

    Heading towards 60 comments now! Andrew I don’t think your comments are boring, they are well informed contributions which is a positive thing especially when what is being analysed/criticised is funded using taxpayers’ money. The devil is in the detail, as they say.

    It would be interesting to know how many of the people behind all the anonymous comments on this post and on the whole site are actually county councillors or ex councillors.

    I’ve seen Tony Wilcox comment on here before but he used his real name and didn’t hide behind the mask, but I bet they all read it and I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to comment anonymously.

  • Keanjo

    I don’t normally find the debates on this website boring and trivial but there’s always a first time.

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