End of March I posted this which outlined the absolute 'Horlicks' that the Assembly Government had made of providing advice to businesses in Mid Wales. To recap briefly - after many years of business advice provision by Powys County Council, (through Business Connect and Business Eye) the contract to supply the service was given to a company from outside the area called Business in Focus (BiF). But there was a problem in that BiF did not think there was any ongoing responsibility to the Council staff who had been doing the job for years. Mid March, I was being told with certainty that this was not the case - and I wrote privately to the Minister responsible, Ieuan Wyn Jones warning of the impending problem. Almost three weeks later I received a reply written by some 'Jobsworth' on Ieuan's behalf, completely misunderstanding the point at issue (probably deliberately). Anyway BiF pulled out at the last minute, leaving no service at all on April 1st. Just guess what the Assembly Government's pathetic response was. To persuade BiF to have a change of heart, and ask/pressurise the Council to indemnify BiF against any costs associated with accepting responsibility for the previously employed staff.
I don't want you, dear readers to think I'm becoming a sycophantic cheerleader for Powys County Council, but they did the only sensible thing - told the Assembly Government to 'get lost'. The minute of the Management Board of the Council's discussion earlier this week reads "The Board is not minded to accept secondment on the terms offered (by the Assembly Government). The default position is that the staff are entitled to redeployment/redundancy. This is to be conveyed to WAG and if there is a revised proposal......certain designated councillors were given delegated authority to deal with it. The Board also decided to explore the options of taking action to recover any costs that will have fallen on the Council as a result of this fiasco. As for the local economy. Well that can go the same way as the Wales GB Rally.