Labour Abuses Privileges – Martin Kimber Duped?

Yet another sorry tale of Labour abusing their privileges I am sorry to relate. This time in the Eric Manns Building aka ‘the Councillors Club’! This expose′ comes courtesy of the Rotherham Tories, who have been investigating this abuse.

This tale of petty abuse casually done, followed it would appear, by another Officer led ‘cover up’. This time it goes right to the top, the lead Officer involved, none other than the Chief Executive, Martin Kimber!

Someone thought it was acceptable to install an expensive printer, owned by the Labour Party, in the Eric Manns Building and then to use it for printing Labour Party electoral propaganda! Who thought it was an acceptable use of public resources? – we should be told!

In Rotherham both the Councillors and Officers have an extraordinarily loose relationship when it comes to their observance of their ‘Codes of Conduct’.  Martin Kimber’s role here leaves him open to the accusation of naivety if not complicity! This kind of thing should never happen, it must not do so again.

I reproduce the Tory Press Release:

Press release on Labour theft of electricity

Rotherham Labour Councillors caught fiddling the ‘lecky!
Sent by: Cllr Tony Mannion

Phone No 07766441754

Conservative Gp Leader Cllr John Gilding.

Phone No 07795368650


The Conservative Opposition Councillors have caught Labour with their hands in the public purse yet again. This time with a systematically planned operation to print Party Political leaflets using stolen electricity.

They purchased a printer said to have cost £3000 and installed it in a public building, the Eric Manns building, so it’s not just the theft of electricity but the misuse of a public building as well.

The Chief Executive, Mr Martin Kimber, investigated the matter and his initial decision was to charge them a nominal sum for one day’s use of the printer, as that was all the use of the printer that Labour admitted to. We subsequently informed Mr Kimber. that the printer was first seen being used over at the very least a two month period, they have been seen using the printer on several occasions by the Conservative opposition, and that stacks of paper and ink cartridges have been seen in the Eric Manns building for Labour’s use. He stands by his initial decision!

Cllr Tony Mannion. said “we always felt that for Labour to spend £3000 on a machine, go to the trouble of installing it in a public building, with all the inherent risk involved, and then to use it on one occasion was just too ridiculous for words!” he added “ this was not a portable machine, not even a table top model, this was a large free standing machine as large as the professional photocopiers that the public can use for a fee in their local shops and Library’s. This would take at least two men to install, who installed it, who signed for it, and who subsequently removed it, all in plain view of the Council Staff?”

We know from our experience of fighting elections that when you use a smaller machine than the ones used by professional Printers that to get the numbers needed to cover an electoral ward they soon turnout to be more expensive than getting the job done by a professional printer, even with the electricity being paid for by the taxpayer: so the question has to be asked if they were prepared to steal electricity how can we be sure they did not use any council paper or ink cartridges?

Leader of the opposition Cllr John Gilding stated “The installation of this machine was no small affair and from my many years of experience in Politics I know the purchase of such an expensive item has to be approved at the highest levels. Where did the people who approved this purchase think it was going?”

Labour have closed ranks and refused to confirm when the machine was installed, who installed it and who subsequently removed it.

Cllr Cutts said “Its not just the theft of the electricity and who knows possibly paper and ink, it’s the use of a public building as their office. The Labour party, to best of my knowledge do not have an office in Rotherham so to bypass the cost of an office with all its overheads is no mean saving, and we ought to know as we do have an office fully paid for by our members, and we pay our own electricity bills as well!”

An added twist to the tale is that the printer was in the Chair of Planning’s office when it was first spotted but was then placed in the Majority room without actually being moved, they simply changed the name on the door.

Cllr Cutts added “whether or not this was to protect the Chairman of planning or to disguise what they doing we do not know. I do know, even if we hadn’t seen them doing their printing on several occasions, that to ask us to accept that they used it only once is quite unbelievable! We are not satisfied that we have got to the bottom of this scandal yet and we will keep pressing and digging until we do!”

Quite a little tale, this raises as many questions as it answers. More on this as information comes in. If you have any further insights in to this story, please let us know.

Blue Badge Abuse – New Question for Richard Russell?

Peter Thirlwall has asked the following question of Councillor Richard Russell:

Richard Russell - Question he must answer?

Question to Councillor Richard Russell

“Can the Cabinet Member for Town Centres tell this chamber who the elected member is that has been found to have illegally used a blue badge parking permit and has subsequently been let off prosecution on a technicality?”

The answer should be most revealing, but I suspect he will hide the truth from us behind a fig leaf provided for him by Council Officers in breach of both Councillors and Officers Codes of Conduct.

It is no part of the Officers duties to ‘cover up’ Members wrongdoing, especially when others have been prosecuted, found guilty and fined, some heavily, for the same offence we are now told were prosecuted under a ‘faulty Order’! Officers may also be eventually held to account for their own actions in this disgraceful and grubby little episode!

Richard Russell must come clean with us on this, tell us the true identity of the Councillor involved. Further prevarication and silence is simply not acceptable here, there are serious issues at stake and they must be resolved!

No one in Rotherham should be above the law! Justice demands a full and candid answer! Richard Russell has a public duty to tell us and he should do so.

Previously published:

Whistleblower – exposes councillors abuse of his wife’s disabled blue badge!

Blue Badge Abuse by Rotherham Councillor – Fresh Information

Council crow over prosecution of 73 year old for Blue Badge Abuse! Should he get his money back?

Blue Badge Abusing Councillor – New information from ‘the horses mouth’

Blue Badge Abusing Councillor – Council Officers prevaricate!

Blue Badge Abusing Councillor – New information from ‘the horses mouth’

Information just in, raises more questions than it answers!

A source has told us that, in addition to the as yet unnamed Councillor, four other cases were included and most worrying of all, the Order under which all prosecutions had been previously conducted was indeed legally flawed!

This raises a number of very serious questions that Rotherham folk have a right to the answers! The Council must come clean! Those previously prosecuted, successfully I might add, surely have a right to know! It is quite outrageous that this situation has arisen now just when a Councillor was caught, not for the first time we understand, abusing his wife’s Blue Badge.

The full truth cannot be any more damaging than the drip feed of information that is coming our way. We already know that the identity of the abuser is common currency in Council circles and his continued silence demonstrates in spades why he is not fit to be a Councillor!

Blue Badge Abusing Councillor – Council Officers prevaricate!

Don Buxton, a redoubtable fighter for the truth and a little openness from our most secretive council, has been trying to get to the bottom of the Blue Badge abuse scandal, first exposed by this blog on April 7th.

As you can see for yourself, it looks for all the world as though they may indeed be hiding something.

Don Buxton’s email enquiry was played with a very straight bat, but no illumination I am afraid. I reproduce the emails here:

From: DON BUXTON
To: Battersby, Karl; ChiefExecutive
Sent: Thu Apr 14 19:26:08 2011
Subject: ALLEGED ABUSE OF BLUE BADGE SCHEME

Dear Karl Battersby <karl.battersby@rotherham.gov.uk <http://uk.mc870.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=karl.battersby@rotherham.gov.uk> >; ChiefExecutive <ChiefExecutive@rotherham.gov.uk <http://uk.mc870.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=ChiefExecutive@rotherham.gov.uk> >;

Are you able to confirm or deny the veracity of the following information that is in the public domain – https://rotherhampolitics.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/whistleblower-exposes-councillors-abuse-of-his-wifes-disabled-blue-badge/

Is a RMBC Councillor currently under any form of investigation for alleged infringements of the blue badge scheme. A YES or NO will simply suffice.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

— On Thu, 14/4/11, Battersby, Karl <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk> wrote:
From: Battersby, Karl <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk>
Subject: Re: ALLEGED ABUSE OF BLUE BADGE SCHEME
To: donbuxton@btinternet.com
Cc: “ChiefExecutive” <ChiefExecutive@rotherham.gov.uk>, “Hatton, Lesley” <Lesley.Hatton@rotherham.gov.uk>
Date: Thursday, 14 April, 2011, 22:33

Mr Buxton, I am not at liberty to divulge any information relating to any individual, or likely to identify any individual who has been or is subject to investigation. That would breach the data protection act. When a case proceeds to prosecution, then it is a matter of public record. I am not prepared to comment on speculation on a web site.

Regards

Karl.

On 15 April 2011 10:01, DON BUXTON <donbuxton@btinternet.com> wrote:

Dear “Battersby, Karl” <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk>

Thank you for your e-mail response which was entirely as I predicted to members within my community.

Just to be clear about my question, I didn’t ask you to comment or speculate on a website comment, I only wanted you to say YES or NO an investigation is taking place.

You and I both know that this can be done without in anyway prejudicing any Acts or legal proceedings. RMBC can simply say: “RMBC is currently investigating an allegation of abuse of blue badge parking regulations. When complete the investigation may proceed to legal proceedings in the courts which will then be a matter of public record and in the public domain”.

I trust that any such investigation that may be taking place will receive the same level of RMBC vigour and scrutiny as that which pertains to ordinary members of the public who infringe blue badge schemes and then rightly face the robust legal consequences from RMBC and the town’s courts.

Yours Sincerely,

Donald H. Buxton

These emails have been widely distributed and Rob Foulds added his views for good measure:

— On Fri, 15/4/11, Rob Foulds <rob@rofos.net> wrote:

From: Rob Foulds <rob@rofos.net>

Subject: Re: ALLEGED ABUSE OF BLUE BADGE SCHEME

To: “DON BUXTON” <donbuxton@btinternet.com>

Cc: “KarlBattersby” <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk>, “ChiefExecutive” <ChiefExecutive@rotherham.gov.uk>

Date: Friday, 15 April, 2011, 10:41

Y’know Don, neither did I think for one second that you had requested the identity of any person being investigated in relation to Blue-Badge parking facility abuse – nope!, definitely not – nope!, I’ve read your letter again – nope, definitely not!.

But then, the response you received doesn’t deny that any investigation is taking place, so by applying the logic that has become the hallmark of Rotherham MBC, I think it is therefore quite safe to assume that a councillor is indeed being investigated for misuse of such a privilege.

Regards

Rob

Our information concurs with Rob Foulds’ analysis, others have given us a name which surprisingly is always the same. Time for him to own up before the embarrassment for him and his wife gets any worse.

There is one law, it should apply equally to us all. The spectacle of a Councillor trying to hide behind Officers attempting a ‘cover up’ does not look good. High time for the truth!

Previously published:

Whistleblower – exposes councillors abuse of his wife’s disabled blue badge!

Blue Badge Abuse by Rotherham Councillor – Fresh Information

Council crow over prosecution of 73 year old for Blue Badge Abuse! Should he get his money back?

Rotherham Institute of Obesity (RIO) – There must be cheaper ways to lose weight?

Thanks to the Yorkshire Post the truth about the Rotherham Institute of Obesity (RIO) and it’s extraordinarily high cost, has been exposed! Over £60, per pound lost in fact!

Peter Thirlwall

Coun Peter Thirlwall, an independent member of Rotherham Council, said RIO appeared to be a “terrible waste of taxpayers’ money” and added: “This is totally ridiculous. Obesity is a serious matter and they should be dealing with it properly.”

Peter believes that expenditure on projects such as this, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and the Jamie Oliver ‘Ministry of Food’, healthy eating project, has been wasted by the council at a time when essential services are being cut back or ended altogether. Pet projects that are supported on the whim of the Leader, Roger Stone should end! Now!

Charlotte Linacre from the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “This initiative has done a fat lot of good and been a massive drain of taxpayers’ hard earned cash.

“At almost £60 per 1lb lost this is a very expensive way to shift extra pounds, at a time when the NHS doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of pounds to spare.

“These figures show that sadly RIO does a better job at losing money than losing weight, and people need to take personal responsibility for healthy eating and exercise rather than relying on the state.”

Can’t argue with either Peter or Charlotte’s views, Peter Thirlwall was also featured on ITV Calendar yesterday, click here to view.

Blast from the past! Wave of protest grips Rotherham following email!

First published on 4th September 2009

Rotherham residents are quite literally in a state of open revolt on almost all fronts after being insulted and ignored when trying to influence council decision making, surely a fundamental democratic right?

The public having been referred to variously as riff-raff, rabble, stupid and short sighted when opposition to council decisions develops.

The Rotherham Advertiser has stepped into the fray (Councillor’s rant sparks war of words) after being attacked in an email for bias and lack of rigour when reporting on council matters by Iain St John (RMBC Labour Councillor for Anston & Woodsetts Ward). Read the full text HERE. Read Peter Thirwall’s reply HERE. Sorry links no longer work, so I have removed them.

Doug Melloy, the Advertiser’s editor, gave a wonderfully robust defence of the newspapers political stance, reporting and of the publication of letters from readers.

St John’s egregious and unwarranted attack is an alarming demonstration of hubris. In his view the voters are always wrong when they wish to influence council decisions. The underlying message here illuminates the sad fact that Labour Councillors in Rotherham no longer seek to represent those who put them there.

The Rotherham Labour Group is a self-serving elite only interested in themselves.
Their organisation would be one that Stalin would have admired.
Their discipline and cohesiveness is described by some commentators as owing more to Freemasonry than to Socialism.
They are virtually devoid of real accountability even by the few Labour Party members left.
The Labour Party in Rotherham now have so few members that they can’t even give us any decent candidates. Those we get are largely time-served apparatchiks with little or no ability and with the quota system it pays to be female, no brain necessary!

It is now time for Rotherham folk to stand up and be counted! We all deserve better than this!
We want councillors who will listen to us and represent our concerns properly, rather than giving craven loyalty to a party that has so badly let us down!

See also: Tory ‘dirty tricks’ flushes out Labour. Judge for yourself!

Gillian Duffy – Brown’s nemisis, gets another scalp. This time it is the unfortunate Nick Clegg!

The redoubtable Gillian Duffy in 2010 - Click image to view.

Gillian Duffy, remember her? Last year when she told Brown some home truths and he called her a bigot.

She’s done it again! She caught the hapless Nick Clegg who fared no better than Brown before him. At least Nick Clegg remembered to make sure his microphone was switched off, so no bigot moment this time.

Click image to view latest encounter

No wonder Nick has gone from hero to zero, he is condescending and simply trots out the old line much rehearsed since May last year. Gillian Duffy did not seem too impressed to me!

Read transcript here.