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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sitting on a Scottish Mountain contemplating the state of the world. And tomorrow the Scots have a once in a lifetime chance to change the face of the United Kingdom. But will they take that step?

I've spent some great times in Scotland and this particular photo was taken several years ago on a senior management outward bound type leadership course. I can recall vividly the beautiful countryside and the hospitable scots. We went to a kaille and danced the night away. It was a great week. Just another part of the UK? But will that change and they go independent? Its going to be a close call. My opinion is that they will vote "No". Now I'm going to be proved wrong.

Written 9th September
Was he pushed or did he jump? Councillor David Phillips resigned as Leader of Swansea Council just a week after it was rumoured that he had lost the confidence of the Labour ruling group where it is claimed there was widespread unrest.

So who will become the new leader? And will they be able to turn the City fortunes around? Looking at those in the running it is difficult, if not impossible, to see a natural leader emerge: someone with charisma, who dresses and has the bearing that says "Hey Guys. I know what I'm doing. Lets work together and get the job done": someone who has an open face and voice that announces "I am working for you. Have faith and I will steer us through these difficult times and ensure that we go forward to make Swansea the city to love". I see nobody.

The councillors meet regularly in the Council Chamber. This should be an opportunity to make a positive effort for the good of the city, residents, business owners and other stake-holders. I highly recommend you take a visit. Sit in the Public Gallery and watch and listen. You'll see in-fighting. You'll be surprised and perhaps dismayed.

It does seem that there is no overall strategy for an exciting and vibrant Swansea. Just piece-meal projects. The SA1 Development is taking shape but looks half finished as you drive down Fabian Way. Ok. Perhaps the recession cut back on investment has perhaps stopped new projects. The recent new road layout over the 2 bridges is good and traffic keeps moving until there is a bit of a rush then some of the traffic runs block off oncoming traffic.

The huge amount of money spent on the Boulevard has neatly split the city and waterfront in one swoop. But, as I've heard "Its funded by European money so it doesn't matter" isn't a good reason for this project. Crossing from Wind Street is far from easy, particularly as the right turning traffic.

And I could go on . . . . .

Written Wednesday 17th September
But now a new Leader has been elected together with a new council cabinet. Will be see a difference? Do we now have a charismatic leader who is focussed on the community and who has a clear idea in his mind of a plan that will take Swansea forward.

Unfortunately I can't see it. It is understood that we have amazing beaches and views, wonderful countryside and superb creative sports facilities together with a friendly welcome and fresh tasty food. But we need to focus on what we have within the city and how we can drive Swansea forward to be that vibrant exciting city we keep hearing about but don't see. And being a councillor today should be a full-time job. The salary is sufficient. Do you think that any councillor should have a full time job outside the council? Do you think that it is possible to manage two jobs without either burning our or falling short.

The Swans continue their rise. What a boost for the city. And the only first division team in Wales. Not only that but their continuing success is great news locally. 

Finally I see employment is up again and unemployment down, down, down. But wages are falling behind. I still believe that the rise in employment is made up of part time jobs and many are zero hour contracts. These should be banned.

What do you think?

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