Local Liberal Democrat councillor and former Cardiff cabinet member Nigel Howells has questioned a Labour AM for using taxpayers' money to employ a gardener.
Cardiff Central AM Jenny Rathbone has advertised a part-time post, initially titled “Community Liaison Officer (Gardening)” before being revised following initial criticism, and paid at up to £24,325 pro rata.
Cllr Nigel Howells, Lib Dem Councillor for Adamsdown, said:
“I'm utterly baffled as to how Jenny Rathbone thinks using her staffing allowance to employ a community gardener is an effective use of taxpayers' money.
“During the five years I spent working for Eluned Parrott when she represented Cardiff, my colleagues and I worked flat out to help local people with their issues. In fact, we were so busy we barely had time to tend to our own gardens, let alone offer horticultural services to others.
“What's even more baffling is that Jenny isn't even advertising for a qualified or experienced gardener. In the accompanying job description, demonstrable knowledge and experience of gardening is only a 'desirable' rather than 'essential' criterion.
"I don't know if this new role is Labour's new strategy to tackle food poverty, or an admission that the strategies of both the Welsh Labour Government and Cardiff Labour Council are failing local people. Either way, Labour seriously need to rethink their priorities.”