12:01pm Monday 28th October 2013 in Letters
WHILST recognising Cllr Moore's right to reply, I must take issue with his response and his accusation that I “make things up on a regular basis to suit (my) story”. I have written to Cllr Moore today to offer him an opportunity to substantiate this claim or apologise.
It is a fact that his council has failed to secured regeneration funding for Barry, that his cabinet member has failed to meet with the board of St Athan enterprise zone, and that rural bus services have been decimated on his watch.
It is also, sadly, a fact that his council last week failed to secure a reasonable settlement for the Vale from the Welsh Government – the council now faces a 6.3%, or £10.4 million, real terms cut to its budget.
On the issue of his use of the phrase “use it or lose it” – Cllr Moore is right to say that I was not at the meeting last month, but two members of my staff were present on my behalf and their word corresponds with that of several councillors with whom I have spoken, each of whom expressed their surprise to hear him use the antagonistic phrase in relation to the Vale's decimated bus service.
In each letter of response that I have seen from Mr Moore he denies using the phrase - before going on in the next paragraph to reiterate his view that residents should use buses, or face losing them. The point I have made all along is that residents were not given fair warning of the impending loss of their service. In other words, they weren't given a chance to “use it or lose it”.
The real issue here is the loss of vital bus routes, not Councillor Moore's sensitivity to criticism. It is my duty as a local Regional AM to perform a role of scrutiny and if he doesn’t enjoy criticism of his council’s performance then he needs to get his colleagues to up their game.