Edna Mopbucket's been on the phone, telling me about one almighty row that's been raging down at County Hall in Llandrindod Wells. Our phone call was a bit strained because she fundamentally disagrees with me about the benefit of wind turbines - and this row has been about the Council's treatment of planning applications for new wind farms. Edna loves them. They remind her of the time she ran a small Band B in Blackpool, opposite the Tower. Last time I was banging on to Edna about the terrible impact of these monstrosities on the landscape she accused me of being a "middle class snob with a full belly", and slammed the phone down. Charming I thought.
Anyway back to this Council rumpus. It all started when Councillor Wynne Jones, planning portfolio holder told the County Times that the Council was suspending discussion of all planning applications for wind farms until the Assembly Government had improved the County's transport infrastructure. It seems that this position had not been cleared with planning officials, or with Chief Executive, Mark Kerr. Edna reckons that Mr Kerr almost collapsed with shock when he heard what had happened, and his condition worsened when Councillor Bobby Mills, Chair of the Planning Committee got hold of him. She informs me that it completely untrue that Cllr. Mills threatened to visit physical violence on anyone, but he was 'fired up' and is noted for his 'direct' approach. Edna went on to say that poor old Mark hadn't fully recovered from the effects of the defibrillator when the Assembly Government were on the phone, asking him what the ****** **** the ****** ******* at the ******* Council were thinking about. Personally I doubt that a civil servant would ever have said such things. I suspect that Edna just likes using these dirty words, and thinks its OK if quoting someone else. A lot of people, especially ladies, use that as an excuse. And then the MIGs were on the phone, concerned that the National Assembly was going to take the planning function away from Powys County Council altogether, and demanding an 'emergency' meeting of the Council's Management Board at the earliest possible opportunity. Main reason Edna rang me was to tell me that this 'emergency' meeting is arranged for next Friday, when Councillor Wynne Jones will be summoned to explain his public comments to the Board. Edna didn't know whether any professional medical support is going to be in attendance to help the beleaguered Chief Executive survive it. She's trying to arrange her cleaning rota to be in the vicinity of the Boardroom next Friday, and she's promised to ring me if any fist fights break out.
UPDATE - Edna's been on again. She told me that she was gathering up all the 'calming down lotion' bottles from the Chief Exec's office when she heard someone say that the leader of the MIGs (Montgomeryshire Independent Group) had called for the resignation of Wynne Jones from the planning brief. This sort of stuff is unheard of in Powys. Next thing will be a demand that all emails and other communications between the Chief Executive and others concerning this issue be attached to the papers for next Friday's meeting. Blimey, it could be getting nasty.