THE EDITOR’S CHAIR: Arrogance of top 'public servants' must end
1:03pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
THE scandal – and make no mistake, it is a scandal – over the unlawful awarding of pay rises to senior officers at Caerphilly council is another example of a growing trend in the public sector.
The argument I am about to make is not a specific criticism of Caerphilly council as such.
But it is an observation resulting from many years of dealing with senior politicians and civil servants.
There is, I think, an increasing failure among some public servants to remember their job is to serve the public.
The evidence is there for all to see. The MPs’ expenses scandal.
Tragic failures in some parts of the NHS. The overwhelming arrogance of the BBC.
The way in which public bodies of all kinds engage in so-called public consultations that are rarely anything more than tickbox exercises before decisions that have already been taken are rubber- stamped.
And, yes, councils awarding huge pay rises to senior officers in secret. It is no wonder there is so much apathy and cynicism surrounding our political system.
This is not an attack on the public sector. The vast majority of people who work for tax-funded organisations are hard-working individuals committed to public service.
But at the very top of many of these organisations there are a growing number of extraordinarily well-paid people who believe themselves to be bullet-proof, unaccountable to the public and – in some cases – above the law.
So how do we cut out this cancer?
There has to be more accountability, particularly of unelected people in senior positions.
There has to be more transparency surrounding decisionmaking.
There have to be more performance-related measures that are understandable to the public.
These people are spending your money.
It is time that they – and we – remembered that.
County's play is the stuff of title-winners
I WAS planning to write a piece this week about the apparent bias shown by BBC Wales towards Wrexham FC at the expense of Newport County AFC.
But, do you know what? Who cares? The exhilaration of being in a 1,200-strong away crowd at Hereford on Tuesday night far outweighs any issues County supporters might have with dear old Auntie.
Tuesday’s last-gasp win in a drama-filled match was the stuff of legend. And the stuff of title-winners.
As someone once said: Football, eh? Bloody hell.