Neil Fulcher, farce ends in slap on wrist! Comment.

Neil Fulcher a Bramley resident and parish council member has been suspended for 6 months from holding elected office.

After well in excess of £160,000 has been spent trying to pursue this community activist for simply trying to perform his elected duties on behalf of his fellow constituents.

What were his crimes that merited such vast expenditure in bringing him to book?

He is on record as using the following terms when attempting to hold our slippery and opaque council to account:

“Numpty, incompetent, inept, pathetic, stupid, arrogant, conceited and misconceived”

Hardly the most pejorative terms to have used when commenting upon the poor performance of our Council! Much, much worse has been said in these columns and if this were a libel case,  ‘fair comment’ would surely win out as a defence. The Advertiser would also have found it self subject to litigation on a regular basis if words such as these were to be genuinely derogatory and libellous!

These words do not adequately cover the situation at RMBC, indeed Labour members, councillors and the odd MP have used much more direct and far cruder language than this when describing me in the past!

Numpty

Scottish usage: a) Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others. b) A good humoured admonition, a term of endearment c) A reckless, absent minded or unwise person.

Incompetent

Being useless or very bad at your job or task.

inept

adjective

1. without skill or aptitude for a particular task or assignment; maladroit: He is inept at mechanical tasks. She is inept at dealing with people.
2. generally awkward or clumsy; haplessly incompetent.
3. inappropriate; unsuitable; out of place.
4. absurd or foolish: an inept remark.

Pathetic

adjective

1. causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, etc.; pitiful; pitiable: a pathetic letter; a pathetic sight.
2. affecting or moving the feelings.
3. pertaining to or caused by the feelings.
4. miserably or contemptibly inadequate: In return for our investment we get a pathetic three percent interest.
.
Stupid
adjective
1. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
2. characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless: a stupid question.
3. tediously dull, esp. due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless: a stupid party.

Arrogant

adjective

1. making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud: an arrogant public official.

Conceited

adjective

1. having an excessively favourable opinion of one’s abilities, appearance, etc.

Misconceived

adjective

Badly planned because of a failure to understand a situation and therefore unsuitable or unlikely to succeed.

As I said, fair comment, if not too mild and understated in my opinion!

Hope Neil appeals, that should be fun!

Rik

Neil Fulcher, farce ends in slap on wrist!

PRESS RELEASE – FROM NEIL FULCHER DATED 22-07-2010

STANDARDS BOARD OF ENGLAND / RMBC V COUNCILLOR NEIL FULCHER

CASE REFERENCE: LGS/2010/0504 Rotherham Law Courts The Statutes 19th / 20th July 2010

SUBJECT MATTER: Reference in relation to a possible failure to follow the Bramley Parish Council Code of Conduct

APPLICANT: Jonathan Wigmore, Ethical Standards Officer Standards for England

RESPONDENT: Councillor Neil Fulcher of Bramley Parish Council

TRIBUNAL MEMBERS

Judge: Patrick Mulvenna

Member: Richard Enderby

Member: Peter Norris

STATEMENT FROM NEIL FULCHER

Not a 100% victory but a victory never the less in spite of the fact that I was never going to get a fair trial in view of the covert and clandestine activity surrounding this case. After a 13 month investigation involving over 10 officers and many, many more back office staff at an estimated cost of over £160,000 to the public purse I find it insulting to the public at a time of great national hardship money has been deliberately wasted on what has been nothing more than a public vendetta by Rotherham Borough Council Officers Mumford, Waller, Battersby, Sheera and Councillor Terry Bradley. Heads should role and accountability should be demanded from those who are elected by ballot to run our services in Rotherham. Such a substantial breach of fiscal and political policy can only be described as incompetence by a third rate three star lacklustre council.

The decision by the Standards Tribunal Panel to dismiss some of the charges is testament to the poor quality case made by such vast resources at RMBC and the SBoE. Charges without substance or factual evidence to back them other speculation and vengeance. All made against Councillor Fulcher because I used my democratic right to have a say, hold an alternate opinion and be an activist in exposing the appalling record of this deplorable Labour controlled council.

It is quite extraordinary that the charge sheet states “The Tribunal has considered an application from an ESO following an investigation of a complaint that the Respondent had failed to follow the provisions of the Code of Conduct of Bramley Parish Council when in fact I have not even been tried against the Bramley Parish Code of conduct but by Tim Mumford’s self made Borough Council Code of conduct. This aptly demonstrates the tribunal process is flawed constantly making mistakes with many, many inaccuracies. Even the charge sheet read Councillor Fulcher of Wigan Council. Another major flaw in the quango Standards Board soon to be abolished by national Government is been found guilty on charges that I have never been interviewed about or asked one question about. How appallingly wrong is that and in a so called justice system? The standards Board have unremittingly gone out of their way to case build, collude and manipulate with the Rotherham Borough Council officers to gain an outcome that dealt with that “Troublesome Councillor” once and for all in their high mined opinions.

The most stupid thing of all about the hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money wasted in this fiasco is it only came about because of the descriptive words I used to expose the totalitarian corruption behind Rotherham Borough Councils bullet biting, gun ho, bunker building, greenbelt land grabbing policies.

I used words such as Numpty, incompetent, inept, pathetic, stupidity, arrogant, conceited, misconceived. I admit it is quite a textual bombardment and bang on accurate. It is really something mature Officers such Mumford, Waller, Battersby, Sheera and Bradley throw their dummy out of the Borough pram just because there are other people in the sweet shop. The tribunal judge said of my words they were pejorative (negative), unjustified and probably defamatory”. They are accurate, articulate and acutely true. If the best they can come up with to find me guilty is probability then that accurately, articulately and acutely demonstrate why this inept organisation is to abolished as the whipping boy organisation it has become.

I stand by what I said, every single word, I stand by the people who I represented as a councillor and I stand by the community where I live, work and socialize. I can prove that my words where descriptively accurate to describe these people and the situations RMBC had manipulated to their own deceitful advantage and that why they fought so long, so hard, so expensively to shut up that “troublesome councillor”.

It is quite ironic that the Standards Board Tribunal have band me from having a public voice as a councillor for 6 months have in practice given me an even greater voice as Neil Fulcher the citizen. I will not be going away in fact I now have leave to be more active in uncovering RMBCs Totalitarian Regime and dogma down at town hall towers. I will attending council meeting as a citizen and will debate and challenge and expose accountability as often as I can. I will use my democratic freedoms to call these people numpty, incompetent, inept, pathetic, stupidity, arrogant, conceited, misconceived wherever and whenever appropriate those terms need to be applied.

The case file all 2000 pages will now be going to HM Government and Mr Eric Pickles, Government Minister for Information who is spearheading the abolition of hundreds of Labour quangos and useless organisations that just tax payer money in serving no purpose other than to control, manipulate and implement Labour party politics.

As always I make myself I am open to public scrutiny and will answer questions asked of me and provide proof of my justifications. If the Council don’t like it then let’s a full open public debate about it and let the people decide.

Lastly I would like to thank the countless people who have supported me over the last 13 months throughout these malicious unjustified allegations. Your help and support was so much appreciated.

Regards

Neil Fulcher (power to the people)

BELOW IS THE FULL OFFICIAL ISSUED TRIBUNAL DECISION

Notice of Decision

Ref No: LGS/2010/0504

Subject matter: Reference in relation to a possible failure to follow the Code of Conduct

Applicant: Jonathan Wigmore, ESO, Standards for England

Respondent: Councillor Neil Fulcher of Bramley Parish Council

Tribunal Members

Judge: Patrick Mulvenna

Member: Richard Enderby

Member: Peter Norris

  1. The Tribunal has considered an application from an ESO following an investigation of a complaint that the Respondent had failed to follow the provisions of the Code of Conduct of Bramley Parish Council.
  2. The Tribunal reached the following decision after considering the written evidence and submissions of the parties.
  3. The Respondent did not fail to comply with paragraph 3(2)(b) the Code of Conduct, but did fail to comply with paragraphs 3(1) and 5 of the Code of Conduct.
  4. The Code of Conduct provides:
    1. Paragraph 2:
    1. (1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) to (5), you must comply with this Code whenever you—
    1. conduct the business of your authority (which, in this Code, includes the business of the office to which you are elected or appointed); or
    2. act, claim to act or give the impression you are acting as a representative of your authority,
    1. and references to your official capacity are construed accordingly.
    2. (2) … this Code does not have effect in relation to your conduct other than where it is in your official capacity.’
    1. Paragraph 3 states:
    1. (1) You must treat others with respect.
    2. (2) You must not—
  1. bully any person’.
    1. Paragraph 5:

You must not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute’.

  1. The Respondent breached paragraphs 3(1) and 5 of the Code of Conduct by mounting continuing and sustained attacks on the integrity and character of two Council officers and another Councillor which were pejorative, unjustified and probably defamatory.
  2. The Tribunal decided to impose the following sanction:
    1. To suspend the Respondent for a period of six months.
  3. The date such sanction is to take effect is 1 August 2010.
  4. The written reasons for the decision will be sent to the parties as soon as reasonably practicable, which is likely to be within 14 days and published on the Tribunal’s website.
  5. Any request for the decision to be reviewed or for permission to appeal needs usually to be made to the First-tier Tribunal within 28 days of receipt of the Tribunal’s reasoned decision. Such applications need to be in writing.

Patrick Mulvenna

Judge

19 July 2010

Eric Illsley, latest court appearance.

Eric Illsley, Barnsley Central MP, formerly Labour now sitting as an Independent, stands accused of dishonestly claiming more than £25,000 in expenses appeared at Southwark Crown Court on 22nd July.

Mr Illsley is accused of dishonestly claiming expenses for council tax, service and maintenance, repairs and insurance, utilities and communications at his second home in Renfrew Road, Kennington, south London, between May 2005 and April 2008.

He was granted bail and ordered to appear for another hearing at the court on a date to be fixed.

The Leader Writes to 'His People'!

Our wonderful local newspaper, the Rotherham Advertiser carried this 966 word missive on 17th July in the name of Roger Stone, the rather less than wonderful Council Leader.

“Dear Sir,

It is clear from the announcements made in recent weeks and the messages that are coming out of the new coalition Government that tough times lie ahead for everyone.

We as a council—along with the rest of the public sector—are aware that we are facing some very difficult decisions.

In the light of the budget reductions being placed on local government, we have no choice but to look seriously at all our current and future spending plans.

The situation in which we find ourselves is unprecedented.

We will not be able to shy away from the fact that there are areas where we will need to prioritise, to become more efficient, and to deliver better public services with even greater value for money.

However, what I can tell the people of Rotherham now is that our priority will be to protect services—particularly those which mean most to our vulnerable families and groups.

We will scrutinise the way we do business and challenge the ways in which we work to ensure that in the future, with a much reduced budget, the most-needed services can continue.

Our focus must be on the customers we serve, the communities and families of Rotherham—and not on the structure of our organisation.

We will identify where we can work with our partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors more effectively and efficiently.

There may be areas where we can transform our services by being more creative about how they are delivered, and it is true to say that there are some areas where we believe it is in the best interests of local people for services to be delivered in new and different ways, and possibly even by other organisations.

It is inevitable that some services will have to stop.

Where we believe services, projects and initiatives are delivering clear benefits to communities in Rotherham, we will fight for them to continue – even where national funding has been withdrawn.

Good examples of this will include the continuation of free swimming for younger and older people, at least until the end of the summer holidays, the continuation of work to ensure community cohesion, and the work successfully undertaken to attract new business and other investment into Rotherham.

As you will appreciate, these discussions have been underway for some time, as they are lengthy and complex.  The decisions we are taking now will make a difference to the lives of people in Rotherham for years to come, and we take our responsibilities very seriously.

For that reason, we are avoiding the temptation to respond with knee-jerk reactions, and we are taking a calm and measured approach to our decision-making, which will be based around the priorities which as a council we have agreed to focus on:

  • Making sure no community is left behind.
  • Providing quality education, ensuring people have opportunities to improve their  skills, learn and get a job.
  • Ensuring care and protection are available for those people who need it most.
  • Helping to create safe and healthy communities.
  • Improving the environment.

The scale of the financial challenge is so great that we have decided to revisit our spending plans for this year and revise the 2010/2011 budget which was agreed by Full Council in March.

Myself and my elected member colleagues will do so in the light of the huge reductions already announced, such as a reduction of £6 million revenue in the grant funding we receive to deliver specific services—on top of the pressures we were already facing this year.

There could be a freeze on council tax increases, and we will also lose £3 million in Local Area Agreement reward grant – recognition for successes already achieved – on which a number of innovations and new developments for the future had been based.

We are working hard to reprofile our spending so that we can concentrate on using the remaining LAA reward grant for priority activities.

We also have to look ahead and anticipate the likely impact of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, which is scheduled for the autumn, and the effects of which are likely to be felt for some years to come.

A significant amount of the council budget is employee salaries and, regrettably, it is unlikely that we will be able to deliver a new budget without the loss of some staff – although we will be seeking to keep the number to a minimum—alongside the “freeze” which we currently have in place on all but the most essential job vacancies.

We have already informed staff that for a limited period, a number of flexible working options are being made available to help reduce our wage bill and minimise the need for redundancy, which the council seeks to avoid wherever possible.

These include part-time working, term-time only working, unpaid career breaks, buying additional leave and early or flexible retirement.

All applications will be considered but not necessarily approved, depending upon the costs to be incurred and the requirements of the individual service where they work.

Where we are forced to lose staff, the council will adhere to the principles of transparency and fairness, and will work to minimise the trauma for any staff involved.

We are at the start of what will be a very long process, which will see unprecedented changes in the way local authorities work.

Increasingly, we will be helping people to help themselves while protecting non-negotiable services which provide a safety net for the most vulnerable.

Wherever possible, we will be talking to our communities and to our staff about the best way in which to deliver those changes.

Tough times and tough decisions lie ahead—but the people of Rotherham are now, and will remain, our priority”.

Cllr Roger Stone
Leader
Rotherham Borough Council.

This pious, platitudinous, self serving drivel, insults the intelligence of each and everyone of us!

Presumably designed to inspire confidence in our Labour Council, it doesn’t! Far from it, when you consider the make up of the current Rotherham Labour Group and Cabinet!

Nor for that matter, do the nine Tories that function as Rotherham’s Official Opposition inspire confidence as they are demonstrably incapable, it would appear, of providing any more than token protest or opposition and even in the event of their success in the forthcoming by-election this is unlikely to improve any time soon, with ten.

Clearly drafted by a public relations specialist, it reads more like next year’s Labour Manifesto, than a serious attempt to engage with the public on the most significant changes to local government for at least a generation.

We are not fools! We should be involved in the kind of major change that will affect us all at some point in the future. Roger Stone leaves it until his penultimate paragraph, 920 words in to his diatribe before he mentions us the public of Rotherham Borough and talking to us, clearly an afterthought that would look good in print, but be meaningless in practice!

If I were a Trades Union Official with members working for RMBC, I would perhaps be a tad unhappy about this apparently naked attempt to circumvent the appropriate consultative and negotiating framework established to deal with such matters. I’d like to have been a ‘fly on the wall’ of the union office.

Rik

Now time for Tory expenses embarrassment!!

Lord Taylor of Warwick a Tory peer and practising barrister, has been charged with six counts of false accounting in relation to alleged dishonest claims he made for £11,000 in subsistence costs.

It has just been announced that he has resigned the Tory Whip.

He tried unsuccessfully to become an MP, Cheltenham in 1992, losing to a Liberal after a disgraceful campaign with significant racist undertones. Embarrassingly this was one of the then safest Tory seats which they lost with a black candidate. Afterwards working as a Government Adviser, Lord Taylor became the Tories’ first black member of the Lords in 1996.

£11,000 is a lot of money!  Did no one realise that he had ‘padded’ his claims? Was Cameron unaware of this before today? Why was the whip not withdrawn sooner? Why did the Tories wait for him to jump?

There will be more to follow this sixth parliamentarian to be charged, as the police carry out further investigations into members of both Houses of Parliament.

His five fellow accused are former Labour MPs – Eliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine – serving Labour MP – Eric Illsley and Conservative peer – Lord Hanningfield are already charged under the Theft Act.

Current score: Labour 4 – 2 Tories.

Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park, is in difficulties it would appear over his accounting in his expenses returns for the money used in his campaign. There are strict upper limits placed on election expenditure and are being alleged to have been exceeded in this case. £11,003 was the limit here, just 1/24 of the sums donated by him since 2007. Funny how the sum of £11,000 keeps cropping up!

Zac Goldsmith is ‘filthy rich’ so a challenge was always likely because for Zac, the upper spending limits were but mere small change! If proved, this will be another embarrassment for DC when he is riding so high in the polls.

He has donated £264,000 to Richmond Park, his local Conservative association since 2007, a record I believe, for a single candidate! Most of it generated by being a Non Dom tax evader for most of this time, no doubt! Until very recently that is.

Oh Dear! Business as usual!

Rik

Denis MacShane working hard for Rotherham?

Nice to see Denis is working hard on Rotherham’s behalf.

Quite what the link to Rotherham is in his latest preoccupation is beyond me, read on and weep.

“Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funds have been provided to Maxim Bakiyev following his application for asylum in the UK. [7039]

Damian Green: It is not Home Office policy to comment on individual cases.”

Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 13 July 2010, c630W

And

“Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the status is of Maxim Bakiyev under UK law; [6652]

(2) what discussions she had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the granting of leave to remain in the UK to Maxim Bakiyev. [6653]

Damian Green: It is not Home Office policy to comment on individual cases.”

Hansard Citation: HC Deb, 13 July 2010, c634W

Just who is Maksim Bakiyev?

According to Wikipedia he has applied for asylum in Britain. He however appears to be a thoroughly unpleasant character indeed!

Wanted by Interpol for embezzlement of $35millon and abuse of power and is suspected of funding the 2010 inter-ethnic riots in south Kyrgyzstan with $10 million from his own pocket!

Currently awaiting possible extradition to Kyrgyzstan, he does however have permission to stay pending consideration of request for asylum.

What is MacShane’s interest here? What has this got to do with us?

Who does he really work for? It certainly doesn’t look like us! We should be told!