Call me naïve but surely the main purpose of a Council website should be to provide information about Council activities. It should not be to spread political messages on behalf of the ruling group. Yet that is precisely what the Labour administration in Rhondda Cynon Taff seems to spend a large proportion of its PR budget on.
It is not a new issue of course, the blatant misuse of public funds has been going on for some time, as we have pointed out previously. It was obvious the direction they were taking when they appointed one of their own as Head of the Public Relations and Strategy - a job specifically created for him. Christian Hanagan, was the Labour candidate for Llanharry in the 2004 elections. Shortly after being unsuccessful he was appointed as PA to the leader of the Council and two years later was given his current job which was never advertised.
This month's Outlook magazine continued in the usual manner - with a front page article yet again blaming the Council's financial situation on the UK Government.
Then today there is a press release on the website about the difficult decisions the Cabinet are having to make. It reads
"The impact of cuts to Wales' capital funding by the UK government are set to be considered by the Council's Cabinet today. As a result of reckless cuts to Wales' capital funding Councillors are set to make tough local decisions to deal with the limited resources now available to support investment in key infrastructure."
Reckless cuts by the UK Government? How political can you get? Yet the Labour party in RCT are spending over £1million a year on staff costs alone for the department that churns out this repetitive nonsense. Plus the cost of the Outlook magazine, plus not far short of £200,000 a year on advertising in the local press and on GTFM radio.
How's that for reckless?
Of course if we want to really talk about reckless activity there is the money they throw away on compensatory payments for those they make redundant on a 'voluntary' basis. £3million in the past 18 months alone.
The Labour administration in RCT care about only one thing - themselves and maintaining their lofty position lording it over the residents of this County doing just what they like. As they so rightly say the voters last May gave them the mandate to do just that. I wonder how many of them are regretting that now,
Campaign Manager RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats