Not for the first time has this publication looked at the performances of Gwynedd Council and wondered why they are able to get their stuff together — and why the heck can’t other councils do the same.

In particular, the bureaucrats and former teachers who are in change at Ceredigion County Council would do well to take a lesson from the Gwynedd playbook and at least make some effort to emulate their neighbour’s success.

Both counties cover large geographical areas — and both have a high proportion of rural residents.

Both counties too have to deal with the issue of a high proportion of second-home owners.

When it comes to politics, both Gwynedd and Ceredigion are controlled, for better or worse, by Plaid Cymru. At least in Gwynedd’s case, that Plaid control seems to be for the better.

In Ceredigion? Not so.

Let’s just say that instead of following the party line, Ceredigion county councillors seem more interested in following the line laid down by the CEO, Eifion Evans. One wonders what hold he and his close confidantes have over the Plaid caucus? Clearly, the majority of pupils seem afraid of the headmaster.

When it comes to simple things, the diff­erence between Gwynedd and Ceredigion is stark, like night and day or chalk and cheese.

Take Christmas as an example.

If you’re a business owner in Gwynedd who has a store in a busy town there, you can at least take comfort knowing that in these tough economic times, Gwynedd Council is doing its bit to drum up support. There, the council is waiving parking fees every day between 9 and 26 December.

That’s quite the concession for customers and businesses alike, knowing that until Boxing Day, council parking charges are gone by the board.

In Ceredigion? Let’s just say that the Christmas spirit hasn’t reached Aberaeron just yet. Nor anytime soon it would appear.

Hard-pressed business owners in the county can look at Gwynedd with envy. Ceredigion will allow free parking in its car parks on the three Saturdays in December leading up to Christmas.

It’s nice to see that the Grinch is alive and well and living in Ceredigion.

We all know who’s on Santa’s naughty list... and why.