Letter to press:
I hope you will allow me the right to respond to Cllr Andrew Morgan's rather rambling attack on the letters page October 24th bizarrely entitled 'criticism should be constructive.'
Following on from the well-worn, standard Labour message which they are all repeating by rote that "it's not our fault" he criticises opposition politicians for not coming up with any credible alternatives. Now apart from being a lie in that other options have been put forward - although some of Plaid's, such as reducing the working week to 35 hours, are non-starters in my view - it is very difficult to come up with a complete set of alternatives when no detailed budget information is available. The Labour administration treat opposition Councillors as they do the general public - like mushrooms, in the dark covered with….!
Cllr Morgan describes our calls to make cuts in the PR and strategy department as "flippant" and says it does not have a budget of over £1m. He really should play closer attention. What we have said is staff costs alone are over £1m, and that figure came from RCT Council officers via an FOI request, so is he suggesting they are lying?
The latest list I have of employees in that department says there are:
In the Mayor's office - 1 civic officer, 1 admin assistant. Under strategic events & communications - 2 marketing advisers, 1 marketing and communication adviser, 2 strategic marketing and events adviser, 1 events co-ordinator, 1 senior events assistant. 1 events assistant, plus the casual events team. 2 service support officer, 1 clerical assistant and 1 photographer.
As part of the publications and corporate branding arm - 1 Publications and corporate branding adviser, 1 senior designer, 2 graphic designers and 1 assistant graphic designer and a corporate branding and marketing assistant.
The media section meanwhile has a media manager, 2 press officers and 2 assistant media officers whilst research & information is served by a corporate policy & consultation officer, and an admin assistant.
This is topped off by Cabinet Support, policy & research which has a cabinet policy and research adviser, secretary to leader and deputy leader and a clerical assistant
Hidden amongst all these are a tourism manager and a tourism officer, a section which should surely come under economic development if RCT Council were in any way serious about developing tourism potential.
I am sure not all of these are working on 'museums and fostering recruitment' as Cllr Morgan flippantly remarked. No disrespect to the employees in this department, but the services provided are hardly front line, and in many cases highly political. The blinkers are coming off and the public will not be so easily fooled in future.
Campaign Manager RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats.