I read the ‘Ballad of a Small Player’ by Lawrence Osborne, but felt disappointed with it by the end. If you are thinking about starting to gamble or trying to stop or simply learning more about the psychology of a gambler, this is a good book to read, but towards the middle of the book I started to lose all sympathy for the main character and didn’t really care what happened to him.
It was my birthday in June and I was treated to a good seat at the Royal Opera House to see one of my favourite operas: La Traviata. There are lots to do and enjoy during the intervals too. My idea of a great night out.
The Welsh Government finally published its ‘map’ for the future organisation of local government. It seems the Government believes that the argument for two local authorities in North Wales is as strong as the case for three. You will recall that our case for voluntary merger with Conwy was rejected because our outline business case was ‘not convincing enough’.
So, when I heard the Welsh Government is seriously thinking about merging us with Flintshire and Wrexham instead, I quickly contacted a senior civil servant to ask for their ‘outline business case’. Guess what the answer was? Yep, there isn’t one! Apparently simply publishing a ‘map’ is good enough. Perhaps that’s what we should have done, instead of doing all that work!
What’s not so funny though is the state of the NHS in our region. We know from our own experiences that there are hundreds of excellent nurses and doctors in North Wales, but the depth of the failings in leadership and corporate governance are very worrying indeed. Turning this around is no simple task and will probably take years. We must now avoid quick fixes and instead work together on a sustained effort to transform this organisation to one that we all deserve. This will require much more openness about the problems, both with the public and key partners.