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Lindsay Whittle’s blog: June 24

Published in Comment, News on Thursday June 24th, 2010. Last updated at 10:55

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In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly Council leader Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.

Lindsay Whittle, Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Lindsay Whittle, Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council.

DIFFICULT TIMES REQUIRE DIFFICULT DECISIONS

Earlier this month, I mentioned that tough times were ahead given the economic crisis and the huge squeeze on public spending.

One area the Plaid-led administration is looking to save money is the appointment of a new chief executive for Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Stuart Rosser is retiring at Christmas after five years as chief executive and sterling service over 38 years in local government.

That leaves us with the choice next Tuesday of deciding to appoint a candidate from one of the four remaining directors as Plaid wants. Labour wants to advertise outside and possibly bring in a new chief executive.

By appointing from one of our existing high calibre directors it will save the council around £150,000 a year or about £750,000 over the next five years.

That is a significant amount of money at a time when money is very tight, particularly when we have the people internally who would do an excellent job as chief executive.

I also think it sends a message to those working for the council or residents outside that we are looking at all avenues to save money.

It is important that we start at the top and work down, when we look for savings, and not at the bottom and work up.

Every job vacancy within the council now has to go through a process when the directors consider whether the role needs to be replaced and its replacement has to be justified.

I, and the Plaid-led administration, believe that we must concentrate on delivering the services that the public need and want.

We have already agree a series of key actions over the next three years including the rationalisation of assets and  entering into partnership with communities to take on sports and community facilities and ensuring the premises the council occupy run efficiently minimising overheads and reducing its carbon footprint.

SHOW DOMESTIC ABUSE THE RED CARD

With the World Cup in full flow, I wanted to highlight the initiative of the Safer Caerphilly Safety Partnership which is encouraging people who suffer domestic abuse to seek help.

Statistics suggest that domestic abuse incidents rise during major sporting events, often the result of people drinking too much.

The Safer Caerphilly Multi-Agency Centre is a one-stop-shop for victims of abuse and their families. They can be contacted during office hours on 01443 819317 while a free 24-hour Welsh helpline is available on 0808 8010 800.

Lindsay Whittle,

Plaid Cymru leader of Caerphilly Council

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