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Is Lindsay like Caesar's wife? Yousay IN YOUR OPINION...

I REFER to the ongoing row in respect to "two jobs" Assembly Members.

I have read the response of Councillor/Assembly Member Lindsay Whittle (YouSay, May 17) as one of those "two jobs" Assembly Members and can find very little criticism in the points he makes about councillors in all authorities having a full-time job while serving their electorate as councillors.

Lindsay has done this very successfully for many, many years, but his reasoning in respect to Assembly Members doing the same is flawed.

Assembly Members have a scrutiny role on many issues involving the work and performances of local councils. Assembly Members have a "full-time" job, which, in almost all aspects could bring them into serious conflict with the authority of which they are also members.

Citizens will go to Lindsay, as their Assembly Member, with housing problems, with issues of social services problems, issues of education, and lots of other problems in relation to the activities of Caerphilly County Borough Council, of which he remains a member.

There is no doubt that such a situation of "conflict of interest" would not give the concerned citizen the highest level of confidence that Lindsay could rise above his allegiance to his elected colleagues, and to the authority of which he retains membership, and which he led, politically, for years.

I would also point to the fact that two of his colleagues have had their rights to the Assembly withdrawn for a similar conflict of interest test.

In their case of course they have had the common sense to resign their outside role in favour of being above reproach in the future representation of the people who elected them to the Assembly.

I wonder if Lindsay could square this circle. Is he capable of being like Caesar's wife, above reproach, considering the political and personal allegiance constraints he still intends to hang on to? Finally I have to say that Lindsay's political experience will stand him in excellent stead to do his job as an Assembly Member, but I doubt he can constructively juggle the two sometimes conflicting roles.

* Trefor Bond Caerphilly

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Lindsay Whittle
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 24, 2011
Words:355
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