Careless talk is damaging

South Wales Evening Post - Saturday 4th April 2012

Swansea Council leader Chris Holley was clearly speaking prematurely this week when he told protesters at a Gorseinon site: "There are no gypsy families going here, full stop."

Because it turns out now that the site - next to the former Valeo factory - is indeed one of have locations that is going to be looked at as a possible bas e for the city's second travellers' site.

Mr Holley insists that he did not attempt to mislead the protestors. He says he knew a task force group was searching for a site (of course he knew; he is the council leader, after all); but he did not know what particular sites were on the group's shortlist.

That is entirely possible. But in that case he should not have been so categorical in denying that the land off Heol y Mynydd was a possible site.

While Mr Holley faces some short-term embarrassment, the challenge facing the council is greater and will last far longer.

Finding sites that satisfy travellers' legal requirements and avoid residents' protests, is a huge challenge.

Mr Holley's careless comment has not helped his own council's cause.

Jobs axe will fall over 'hundreds' more employees, says Swansea Council boss

S.Wales Evening Post - 26 January 2010

HUNDREDS of jobs are to go as Swansea Council seeks to close a major gap in its finances.

Council leader Chris Holley has admitted that the authority will be forced to impose compulsory redundancies on staff and revise plans to cut staff numbers.

Last February, the council announced it was to axe 500 jobs by 2012 — hoping the numbers would be made up of natural wastage and voluntary redundancy, avoiding compulsory redundancy.

However, with just 130 of those positions gone, and in the face of a £15 million gap in its budget, the council has been forced to adjust its target, with hundreds more of the 13,000 total workforce facing the axe.

Councillor Holley said: "That figure (500) is going to have to be extended now because of the cuts the Assembly Government and national government are making.

"We did start this process at the point where we are going to have to have 500 job losses.

"That is the minimum.

"I suspect it will be more than that.

"I would say probably hundreds on top of the 500."

Asked about whether there would be compulsory redundancies at the authority, Councillor Holley said: "It would be impossible for me to say no. I sincerely hope there will not be.
"We will work as best we can to avoid them."

Councillor Holley said it was wrong for trade union Unison to claim it had not been consulted. He said: "Officially, we started discussing it with them two years ago."

However Unison, which has local government members working in the authority, say there has been no contact over the latest development.

Mike Davies, from the Swansea branch of Unison, said: "We had a joint consultative committee meeting last week, and we made representations that we are seeking urgent discussions with the council.

"Of course, it is a concern because, whatever the result of the budget, it is not likely to be good news.

"However, we want to be informed exactly what the position of the council is going to be."

Mr Davies added that, while the authority has not told Unison how many job cuts it is considering, he believed it "is well above the 500 from last year."

He said: "I think they are probably going to have to look at compulsory redundancies now.”

Councillors' mud-slinging is 'detracting from what's best for city'

S.Wales Evening Post - Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Councillors need to get back to debating what's best for Swansea instead of launching personal attacks on each other, says the city's leader.

Councillor Chris Holley made the comment after being questioned about the quality of debate in Swansea Council's chamber.

Last week, a row erupted after two councillors allegedly made comments about enforced sterilisation and compulsory long-term contraception for parents whose children had been taken into care.

The views were denounced by Swansea councillors on Thursday. However, concerns have been raised about whether debate in the chamber has degenerated into mud-slinging and personal attacks on councillors.

Councillor Holley said: "I think it has become personal, and it seems to be whatever is best for Swansea is being ignored — it's about individuals.

"Policy has disappeared. If it's about anything that benefits Swansea, it's just rubbished by the opposition.

"Just because an idea has been put forward, doesn't mean the opposition have to disagree with it."

Councillor Holley also criticised councillors who condemned their colleagues for being too old, referring to comments made earlier in the year by Tory leader Rene Kinzett.

He added: "I do think debate in the council chamber has degenerated into mud-slinging.
"Councillors need to remember they are there for the benefit of Swansea, and not for themselves.

"It becomes personal when councillors say people are past it just because they are of a certain age. That has certainly left a bitter taste in my mouth, and is something I totally disagree with."

However, Labour leader Dave Phillips said he believed debate in the chamber remained healthy, and there was even a place to discuss the importance of Twittering while council was in session.
He said: "I don't think there's mud-slinging in the council chamber.

"I don't think you should have to just agree all the time. If we did, we would all be in the middle of the road and we would all be run over.

"I think the standard of council debate is generally very good, and I believe most councillors are there to do a better job for their constituents. Politics is a serious business, and it affects all of us, but it's very easy to trivialise by taking one or two items out of context.

"The last council meeting covered not just sterilisation and Twittering, but services for the elderly, children's social services and councillors' remuneration, among other things."
However, Councillor Phillips said he did have concerns about the level of debate in Swansea Council.

He added: "Nonetheless, I am concerned that much of what we should be discussing about the future of our city is decided in cabinet — less and less is being brought to council. When it gets the chance, council does discuss matters in considerable detail — while the length of cabinet meetings can be counted in minutes."

Councillors call for forced sterilisation for parents of children in care

S.Wales Evening Post - 28 July 2009

A row has erupted among Swansea councillors over compulsory sterilisation of parents of children in care.

Conservative group leader Rene Kinzett claims two councillors caused uproar in a meeting which looked at the growth of the number of children in care in the city.

Councillors were discussing the issue of parents who have had their children taken into care but continued to have more children.

Councillor Kinzett, who was not present at the meeting, said he had been told the concept of forced sterilisation for parents had been raised. The subject was discussed at a members seminar on social services.

Tory councillor Paxton Hood-Williams has supported Councillor Kinzett's claims over the meeting.

Councillor Robert Francis-Davies, who was also at the meeting, confirmed the Labour party had tabled a motion for Thursday's council meeting as a result of a discussion at the members forum on social services.

"I can't remember exactly what was said, but Alan Robinson certainly did mention sterilisation and Councillor Fitzgerald agreed," he claimed. "However, David Phillips told them that was disgraceful."

He said it got very heated and people started to "backtrack" saying they had been misunderstood.

Both Councillor Robinson and Fitzgerald declined to comment when contacted by the Post last night.

A group of opposition councillors are now seeking a condemnation of the concept of forced sterilisation from the Lib-Dem administration.

Ten Labour members, including party leader David Phillips, have called for the matter to be discussed at a meeting of the full council on Thursday.

They have tabled a notice of motion calling for the council to acknowledge the complex issues involved when a child is taken into care.

It said: "Council considers it imperative that there is an evident commitment to such sensitivity and compassion at all levels in the authority and that this is expressed by both its political and administrative leaders.

"Council states unequivocally that it is unacceptable for any member of council, or the authority, to publicly pronounce, or privately harbour, views that some parents of children in care should be prevented from having any more children, by compulsory sterilisation if necessary. It believes that such extremist views have no place in mainstream politics in Britain.

"Council calls upon the leader of the council and the chief executive to unambiguously condemn such views and explicitly assure council that such statements not only have not, but also do not, form part of the policy considerations of the authority.

"Council calls on them to ensure that no member of the cabinet or senior management team hold, or agree with such views, and provide an assurance that such statements will not be tolerated within the authority."

European Elections - Swansea Results

BNP 4.89%
Christian Party 2.11%
Conservative 24.49%
Jury Team 0.64%
Liberal Democrats 10.58%
No2EU: Yes to Democracy 1.33%
Plaid Cymru 15.28%
Socialist Labour 1.41%
Green 6.72%
Labour 20%
UKIP 12.47%

Total: 19,436
Turnout: 31.75%

BNP 9.49%
Christian Party 2.43%
Conservative 11.36%
Jury Team 0.59%
Liberal Democrats 11.83%
No2EU: Yes to Democracy 1.82%
Plaid Cymru 13.72%
Socialist Labour 2.37%
Green 4.43%
Labour 28.84%
UKIP 13.12%

Total: 13,882
Turnout: 23.4%

BNP 5.44%
Christian Party 1.96%
Conservative 17.16%
Jury Team 0.56%
Liberal Democrats 18.76%
No2EU: Yes to Democracy 1.34%
Plaid Cymru 10.96%
Socialist Labour 1.38%
Green 6.62%
Labour 20.76%
UKIP 11.22%

Total: 17,051
Turnout: 27.03%

Come and tell us what you think

SWEP - Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 07:58

This is Local Newspaper Week.

It is a seven-day celebration of the crucial role newspapers and their websites play in our communities.

Throughout the week we will be focusing on what your local newspapers (Evening Post, Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal) and websites (thisissouthwales, thisiscarmarthenshire, and thisisswansea) mean to you.

And we would love to know your thoughts on what you love about us, what you would not be without, what you enjoy the most and what you would like to see more of in the future.
We believe we have a vital part to play in the community, but we need your help and support to continue doing it.

Please post any comments you have below.

Also, if you have any pictures of you or colleagues reading one of our newspapers at work, home, or, perhaps, somewhere unusual, then please send them to


Comments (26)
As "a vital part of the community" the post should be judged by the same standards as it expects from public bodies. Unfortunately it fails this test and has been in decline for years. Poor research, lack of knowledge of Swansea, lazy recycling of articles, tabloid headlines sensationalising stories, need I go on. Would like to see the reaction to this on the front page! My money is on. "Post readers tell us we are the best!"
Richard, Swansea
commented on 12-May-2009 13:13

What happened to the readers letter section, something I enjoyed reading.
Anne, Georgia, USA
commented on 12-May-2009 13:08

Another vote here for bringing back the letters page on the website. Also, I'd like to see Heather from Mumbles given her own column.
P.Lazarou, Bonymaem
commented on 12-May-2009 12:45

I agree that the same stories are recycled which is frustrating. It would be nice to see balanced coverage with regard to the NHS etc, the paper is quick to go to town on anything negative but rarely does the same for positive stories - they tend to be a statement of fact only (and no, I dont work for the NHS). I too am sick of seeing these poor victims pointing helplessly at some random item - 9 times out of 10 they only go to the Post in an attempt to get some money out of whoever they think is to blame - shame on you for reporting it - you are just encouraging them. The name Evening Post is a bit of a joke now too. The paper is printed overnight and available to buy in the morning so hardly the news of the day.I agree that if you are going to have a website - print the stories rather than the habit you have recently adopted of printing a couple of sentencesCant disagree with the comments about your building - its vile!
J, Swansea
commented on 12-May-2009 12:26

more stories about swansea and the areas around it.more decent reporters.try and put your advertising on just a few pages they seem to be on every page.i like the website though because you dont have to pay 40p every day for a load of adverts and poor reporting
geoff, mumbles
commented on 12-May-2009 10:34

Go back to broadsheet formula, print the paper on the morning of the day of publication or stop calling it The Evening Post (perhaps The Morning Post would be more appropriate) Bring back the Sporting Post printed on a Sat after the games and available to read by around 6.30pm
Steve, Neath
commented on 12-May-2009 10:28

Bring your price down! I haven't paid for the Evening Post for many years. The post is only a local rag and you charge the same prices as the daily papers. For shame!
Jim, Swansea
commented on 12-May-2009 10:23

I enjoy the E.P. and take a daily look at your web page. As stated by other readers though, it is a pity that the E.P. is now printed in England. The news isn't "news" when we get now as it used to be. I expect that down to economics, it's a shame though as the E.P. should be a "our" local rag
Gloria, Swansea
commented on 12-May-2009 09:11

If i want up to date news about Swansea i look at the BBC web site which is updated 24 hrs a day.Since the printing of the post t has moved out of Swansea the news in invariably stale.Who wants to read a supposedly evening paper at 7 am. When the post was printed in Adelaide st we had a number of editions throughout the day and of course the "Late night final".Sorry Northcliffe newpapers you do not provide an up to date source of news to West Wales.
Derek, Swansea
commented on 12-May-2009 03:43

i miss the local gossip from the various areas around neath.why is it that you only print favourablr comments from the web site in EP?
byron, neath
commented on 11-May-2009 21:08
I agree with Paul (West Cross).Please reinstate the "Readers Page",on the website,some really interesting comments made by citizen's who may be without web facillities.
roy r, swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 19:32

The EP website needs improving/upgrading.....if a website is available it must be functioning on a level with the paper. At the moment, you have cut the readers letters (!!) and you direct readers to look for additional details of newstories on the following day!! If you have a story to report, REPORT IT in full at the time. The EP, rather than keeping up with progress, has taken ten steps backwards. Oh and for goodness sake, reinstate a proper bereavements section so that we do not have to wade through dozens of identical announcements for the same person - all we need is to know that a death has occurred and the date and time of the funeral.
clarysage50, Somerset
commented on 11-May-2009 18:55

what you love about us: when you talk up the positives about Swansea Bay - positive news stories.what you would not be without: sports news esp. live text report onlinewhat you enjoy the most: as abovewhat you would like to see more of in the future: more stories that do not stereotype, do not judge, do not make a mountain out of a molehill ... and that do share good news! And finally...Sort your building out!
Anon, Sketty
commented on 11-May-2009 17:06

You used to have a lady writer who used to write loads of interesting articles and features about Swansea but I have not seen her writing in the Post for several months. Without such interesting articles I personally gave up reading the Post as I am not interested in paying money to read endless adverts and endless stories from estate agents talking rubbish about house prices and why they think Swansea is worth such silly asking prices. I want to read interesting articles about local people.
Bob, Sketty
commented on 11-May-2009 16:57

Could you please reinstate the "Readers' Letters" page on the website?
Paul, West Cross
commented on 11-May-2009 16:28

i would like to see more headline grabbers like that front page story you ran about the woman who bought a burger from macdonalds that was rare. now thats real reporting for you. keep up the good work EP.
steve, swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 16:07

Try and be less small-minded and parochial, the fact that some minor celeb once visited Caswell or had a Granny from Gowerton is not particularly newsworthy and does not mean that Swansea is somehow responsible for their success.
Glen, Margam
commented on 11-May-2009 15:26

Totally agree with B.S's point 3.The majority of the "hard done by" victims you write about are lazy good for nothings who don't work or do anything constructive with their lives. Then a brick comes through their window and they are on the front page of the Post pulling a ridiculous pose pointing at a brick. Come on Editors half of you must be educated????
SHA BUDGE, swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 14:57

A little more investigative journalism would be good.
caebrwyn, Llanwrda, Carms
commented on 11-May-2009 14:42

I always read the EP because it is the only paper that gives local news. However I feel there has been a marked decline in the standard of journalism over the past years. It seems like journalists are appealing to the tabloid readers by sensationalising stories and stirring up trouble between the tax payer and statutory organisations such as Swansea Council and NHS. Also, the EP is not truly up to date with local news as it once was due to the fact that it is printed overnight before the news of the day has actually happened.
DD, Swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 14:35

I totally agree with comments by Dav. The building is an eyesore and is in a prominent position in te city. You reported several years ago that the building was to receive a facelift? You've not mentioned anything since and so why haven't you done it? You quite rightly highlight the issues with the bus station but people see the great improvements taking place around the bottom end of the city centre and then see your building slap bang in the middle.
Martin, Swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 14:02

I totally agree with the comments of Dav,Swansea. The Evening Post building is an eyesore. It is in a prominent position and you reported some years ago that it was to undergo a facelift? You report, quite rightly, about the state of the bus station but when are you going to do something about your building?
Martin, Swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 13:45

A good source of local news but there are areas in which you can improve:1/ Avoid being melodramatic and over-using words such as 'SHOCK, HORROR, DRAMA, ORDEAL'. Just give us the news and we'll be the judge of how 'shocking' it actually is.2/ Avoid recycling the same news. Recently you've printed stories about swine flu and the lad off Britain's Got Talent almost every day and it's starting to get very tedious now as it was not major news in the first place.3/ Cut down on publishing 'victim stories' with pathetic people whinging about how they stubbed their toe & have to find someone to blame.4/ I find your celebrity column to be uninteresting and the sort of thing you'd expect from the worst of the tabloids.
B.S., Penllergaer
commented on 11-May-2009 13:32

more positive news about Swansea!
Angela, Sketty
commented on 11-May-2009 13:01

More attention to basic grammar would be top of my list
Matthew, Swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 12:59

It would be nice to see the Evening Post improve the aspect of its building as a key gateway landmark to the City.
Dav, Swansea
commented on 11-May-2009 12:38

City OAP called police over reports of MP expense claims

South Wales Evening Post - 11 May 2009

A Swansea pensioner was left so disgusted by "scandalous" expense claims by politicians that he complained to police.

Mel Poole, aged 66, rang police in Swansea to complain about Justice minister Jack Straw, who claimed expense payments for the full amount of council tax on his London home over four years, despite only having to pay half.

Mr Straw repaid the money last year when he was foreign secretary.

His complaint alleging criminal deception was forwarded to the Metropolitan Police, but he said they had refused to take it any further.

Mr Poole, of Glan Yr Afon Road, said: "I'm just trying to highlight that the taxpayer is fighting back. They're all at it, it's scandalous, and they've only given pensioners a 50 pence a week rise. It's disgusting."

A spokesman for the Justice Secretary said: "All claims made for Jack Straw's Blackburn home have been made in accordance with the rules of the Commons. It was also Mr Straw who spotted errors in the claims for council tax and alerted the authorities. He repaid the difference."


South Wales Evening Post - 8 May 2009

Swansea has a new lord mayor. But does anybody outside the council care?

That is not meant to be an insult to the new lord mayor. Councillor Alan Lloyd has been a stalwart of Swansea Council for 42 years. Congratulations to him, and we hope that he and his wife have a wonderful year as Swansea’s first citizens.

And we are not criticising the office of lord mayor. It is important that we have a figurehead who can represent the city at important events.Add to that the large sums of money the lord mayor raises each year for his or her selected charity. Clearly there are still great benefits in the post.

But when hardly anyone bothers to vote in council elections any more, we cannot pretend that the mayor-making is of much interest in the lives of councillor Lloyd’s fellow citizens.

Most people would not know the difference between the lord mayor and the council leader. Perhaps it’s time to merge the roles with an elected mayor.

Local paper is vital for us all

Have Your Say - South Wales Evenning Post - 20 April 2009

Your report [April 15] says that taxpayer-funded newspapers which are published and distributed free by council may be having a negative impact on independent newspapers (such as the Evening Post).

We then read the comments from spokesmen for the local authorities defending their role of communicating details of local services, policies and initiatives to local residents.

Of course, none of these council free-sheets carry a word of criticism of the local authorities. They are little more than propaganda outlets for the respective councils.

In a democracy a powerful independent and critical local press is essential. Howe else would we learn of the many questionable actions taken by our councillors and council officials and how would members of the public be able to voice their concerns and express opposition.

It is of great concern that because of the current economic crisis “50 or so newspaper titles are closing this year”. The people of West Glamorgan should support the Evening Post and other local newspapers. Should we lose them, our hold on democracy will be greatly weakened.

Name and address supplied

Travellers win battle to stay put

Editorial - 2nd April 2009

The outcome of a long court battle to evict two traveller families from a car park in the city’s enterprise park is not good for Swansea Council. The families are staying, and the council is left with red faces.

The cause of the embarrassment is a meeting between the families and council cabinet member John Hague. They reached a verbal agreement that the council would provide facilities if the families moved to another part of a car park.

Unfortunately, nobody told the rest of the cabinet, or the council’s lawyers, when they subsequently decided to seek a possession order for the entire enterprise park. A situation described by the judge as a failure on the part of councillors, officers, or both.

The council will attempt to salvage a little credit from the fact that the judge did allow the order to cover the rest of the enterprise park, which theoretically should deter any more travellers from camping there.

But even here there is a sting attached, with his references to the city’s overcrowded official sites, and its duty to provide enough temporary sites.

Sparks fly in council planning claim row

South Wales Evening Post - 1st April 2009

Security guards had to be called to escort a Swansea councillor out of a heated meeting.

There were cheers from the public gallery as Mawr representative Ioan Richard was led from the council chamber.

Things came to ahead towards the end of a 90 minute planning meeting to decide whether or not to grant permission to allow green waste and composting treatment to take place at Abergelli Farm, Velindre.

Mr Richard, who had earlier said that he was in favour of the controversial plan, ignored repeated calls to sit down and be quiet from deputy chair of the area one development control committee, Viv Abbott.

Sparks flew when Councillor Richard accused Councillor John Miles – who was against the proposal – of not have an “open mind”.

He said Councillor Miles’ son-in-law ran a pub from which the petition against the application had been launched.

Councillor Miles then turned the tables when he asked: ”How can Councillor Richard, who has access to that evidence and phoned people in Pontardulais and asked them why they signed the petition, have an open mind?”

Councillor Richard then caused uproar when he said: “I admit I have phone some petitioners up.”

Councillors voted to refuse permission.