Council Website

Again life has been keeping me busy and most recently I’ve been working on the community council website. I say working on it I’ve for the last few months been trying to slowly develop the existing site that the council has it can be found here, as you can see the site is outdated and in fact very little of it still works and the organisation behind it plans to withdraw the site at the end of 2013.

So it was rather fortunate that the Welsh Government have a grant of £500 available for councils to use to help promote themselves and a website fits this requirement. I will not bore you with the details but a deal was struck with a company to utilise this grant to produce a site. Ever keen to take the current site and develop it further I began looking at example sites of what we could expect to get for our money and found an example that I liked the look of so began building a mock version of the site so that I had something to show to the council who have themselves admitted they have very limited skills with websites.

The problem however came with a new member of the council who sold himself as having experience with web design, this came at the best time for the council but not for me as this person is very difficult for me to work with.

Trying to get an opinion on anything has proved extremely difficult and would have forced the council to pick one of us to take the lead on the development and in all honesty that is a vote that I could struggle to win going up against someone who has come on to the council with an application letter mentioning his web design skills – something I have yet to see. I decided to withdraw my rather limited skills and leave it up to the resident expert!

Anyway enough of the rant.

Community Councillor – 1 Year On

It has been just over a year since I became a community councillor for Llangunnor and the last twelve months have certainly flown by. One thing I have discovered over the last twelve months is how slowly the wheels of local Government move.

Obviously there are 12 other councillors and and we only meet once a month but I think I can sum up the last twelve months with the following fact that it took the council nearly five months to decide not to have a bench!!

I don’t feel that I have achieved anything during my time on the council, I have taken part in discussions as you would imagine but the outcomes of those would have remained the same without my being present. I am trying to help with the community website and have always wanted to see the community park developed to its full potential – again very slow progress and as most of the councillors have been on the council for years I find that the council has its own ways of doing things and at times decisions have been made before the newer members know the discussions have began.

Still enjoying it and hopefully the next twelve months will see some of the ideas I have come up.

Council Tax

About this time of year people will start getting letters informing them of how much council tax they need to pay for the next year. These bills as they are normally broken down into a number of sections informing you were the money is going that makes up the total for the year.

Here we have it broken down into three sections, the local authority takes the largest share, the community or parish council and the police authority.

I had a little part in the decision making process when it came to setting the local precept here as a community councillor, basically the community council finance committee had a report which detailed how much money they needed for the coming year. As councillors we were given three options and went for the largest increase.

However it was mentioned at the last meeting that we had one of the lowest rates for a band D property with it being about £35 a year!

This seems really good but I start asking myself what exactly are we spending our £37,000 a year on?