Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No change here

A few weeks ago an insider was asking on twitter (which by the way I've decided is not for me) what would be a suitable name for a Ceredigion/Radnor/Montgomeryshire local authority.  Seems they were having a brain-storming session down in Cardiff.  I suggested Elenid but, thankfully, that particular re-organisation must have missed the cut.  It seems that Powys, yet again, has survived to manage the population transfers in this particular corner of paradise.

In Radnorshire you get used to small mercies and at least no-one has suggested that we should link up with Herefordshire.  That was certainly the Boundary Commission's first option in the immediate post-war years.  So things could be worse and we are allowed some continuity; while officialdom will have to work pretty hard to justify the Friday pay-offs/Monday re-appointments associated with previous re-organisations.

Some, who clearly find variety unappealing, complain that Powys is too small to have a council. Heaven knows how Radnorshire survived in the 1960s with a population of less than 20K.  Yet it did.  We had schools, roads, old folks homes, social services, smallholdings, libraries, even the occasional policeman.  The Council's Barber Green travelled around the county laying asphalt on the highway and roadmen kept the ditches clear.  Nowadays you spend your time avoiding potholes and floods, although no doubt there is a small army of white-collar workers brain-storming the problem as I write.  Our even smaller Rural and Urban District Councils somehow managed to build council houses in nearly every village in the county, they even had electric light and flushing toilets.

One North Wales blogger describes Independent councillors as gombeen men.  I know what he means and there was a time when I would have said thank heavens for that.  At least those old stalwarts had the economic interests of the county and its communities at heart and if they over-stepped the mark might even find themselves opposed at election time.  The present generation don't measure-up of course and perhaps their demise is to be welcomed, although the artificial tribalism of British party politics doesn't appeal.

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