Rotherham Politics compared unfavourably with Pinocchio

I know it’s difficult to believe, but Rotherham Politics understands that this blog was compared unfavourably to Pinocchio, by parish councillor Robin Stonebridge.

This blog stands accused of deliberately publishing untruths, by Robin Stonebridge. In the vernacular, Rotherham Politics was just lies!

Rotherham Politics does not always get it right. When we realise that a mistake has been made, a correction is issued and an apology given, if appropriate. Several such examples may be found on our pages, the most recent being a story involving Michael Dugher MP that was picked up from twitter.

Robin Stonebridge, or anyone else who feels aggrieved, is welcome to contact us if they think we have published inaccuracies, Email Rothpol here and we will consider any points made.

To those we merely irritate by our coverage, I recommend that you get used to it, because this is part of what democracy looks like in the 21st Century. If you do it in the ‘name of the people’, you can expect the kind of scrutiny that Rotherham Politics provides.

For the record, Robin Stonebridge, has yet to contact us asking for any corrections. Silence speaks volumes, despite his accusations.

For your entertainment – The Acorn Antiques Christmas Pantomime! Act2

ACORN ANTIQUES – December 2011

Mrs Overall’s Anston parish, Christmas Pantomime – Act 2

Hope you all enjoyed the intermission?

Lights down – Curtain up!

Anston Parish Council Pantomime – Act 2 begins:

It was a dark and dank Monday night – the wind was howling/or was it the Parish Councillors?

Question Time: Public Session

A resident asked – If the budget was being put out for public consultation? The resident pointed out that on the Labour election leaflet it was a manifesto promise:

“ We will consult residents before taking any major decisions affecting the village, including the Parish Council budget.”

Cue – All Labour councillors squirming in their seats!

Cllr Beck (the Boy Wonder!) sought to distance the parish council by saying this leaflet was nothing to do with the parish council.

Altogether now Oh yes it is. It was in their election manifesto.

Pledge No.1, directly under Boy Wonder’s photograph.

Cllr Burton – We were elected to do this for them.

Question: Had she put her name to the Labour leaflet?

Answer: Yes – Along with the other 8 Labour councillors!

Are they changing tack because this leaflet is under police investigation?

Back to the minutes of 21st November – Cllr St John`s half declaration of interest.

Cllr Thornton again sought from Cllr St.John, clarification as to whether his declaration had been personal or prejudicial – Safe At Last Trustee. No answer was the firm reply!

Enter Boy Wonder Beck, throws over his cloak of protection – It is up to the individual whether to declare an interest, it doesn’t matter what you declare”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

However Standing Orders say you have to declare an interest and if it is prejudicial you must leave the room.

Question: Was Cllr St.John avoiding declaring correctly in order to remain in the meeting?

Answer: You bet your bottom dollar!

Question: Did Cllr St.John enter the discussion?

Answer: No – Cat got his tongue (Dick Whittington’s????)

Question: Why when other councillors declare fully does Cllr St.John fail to do so?

Answer: Possible arrogance?

Question: Is he the only one who does not leave the room?

Answer: YES -Well readers what do you make of all this.

Chairman Ireland get a grip.

Letter from Standards Committee:

Queston: Is Boy Wonder having his collar felt?

Answer: It appears so!

Letter of complaint by resident –

Question: Did Chairman Ireland instruct the clerk to reply as requested by the parishioner?

Answer: NO –

Letter of complaint by another resident –

Question: Was this discussed?

Answer: Bet your bottom dollar it was NOT – WHY



Approved for 2012/13

A recorded vote was asked for.

Cllr Thornton voted against.

Cllr Beck – “I think it is absolutely disgraceful that Cllr Thornton has voted against he had ample opportunity in both meetings to make his point known.”

Cllr Thornton retorted that when he had suggested savings to the budget he was shouted down by other councillors with one councillor saying leave it to the experts. At the second meeting he was shouted at by Councillor Stonebridge AND TOLD TO SHUT UP!

Question: Is Cllr Stonebridge reverting to type?

Answer: Well leopards do not change their spots!

Question: Did Cllr Stonebridge stare at Cllr Thornton lean forward and say “The pantomime season is on us, Pinocchio is about?”

Answer: Yes – Twice.

Chairman’s Chain of Office

What a bling king farce!

Question: Was the Chairman reluctant to name the prospective sponsor?

Answer: Oh yes you bet.

Question: Who did this turn out to be?

Answer: Darren the Defector.

Question: Is this against all propriety?

Answer: We would say so.

Question: Maybe part of his election campaign?

Answer: You make up your minds.

Question: Does the Chairman want this desperately?

Answer: Desperately enough to extend the discussion and confuse everybody.

What a “Buggers Muddle”

Congratulations to right thinking councillors for voting against this cynical ploy.

Staffing Issues – The Gang of Four

Working Party to discuss staff matters

Question: Who had decided that this would be a meeting of just 4 Councillors: Cllrs Ireland, Dalton, Beck & Stonebridge?

Answer: Obviously they did.

Question: Shouldn’t staffing matters be discussed by ALL councillors?

Answer: Not when you want to implement your own agenda.

Question: If the reason for this coterie was given as experience on staffing matters – What experience has a 19yr old in this field?

Answer: None!

Question: How many of the other councillors have staff management experience?

Answer: Many!


Curtain Down – Lights Up – Chairman showing largesse – providing booze & mince pies??

For your entertainment – The Acorn Antiques Christmas Pantomime! Act1

ACORN ANTIQUES – December 2011

Mrs Overall’s Anston parish, Christmas Pantomime – Act 1

Finance Meeting 7th December Cllr Thornton queried what interest Cllr St.John had declared in relation to a 100% grant (free use of Parish Hall) on 21 November. Other members had declared personal or prejudicial interest whereas Cllr St.John just declared “An” interest. Cllr St.John stated he was a Trustee of Safe at Last, the group asking for the free use of hall.

Question: As a Trustee – Does he have a direct financial interest?

Answer: Yes and it is prejudicial, due to financial implications.

Cllr St.John was not at the meeting of the 7th – not available to answer what interest he had declared. Cllr Thornton queried if Cllr St.John had left the room, as required to do in Standing Orders.

Tra La Tra La – Riding to the rescue – Boy Wonder Beck, declared Cllr St.John had left the room.

OH NO – He didn’t , He’s behind you looking at the wall map. Then came back and sat next to you.

A member of the public confirmed he did not leave the room.

Telling porkies for a friend!?

AGRD Anston Kids – Grant

Question: Was this granted last month?

Answer: NO – Blocked by Cllr St.John.

Question: Was it granted This month?

Answer: YES – Overwhelmingly – £100 –

Question Was Cllr St.John Absent?

Answer: YES!

Question: Was this unanimous?

Answer: NO – Cllr Stonebridge queried if Children’s Services at RMBC had been informed? WHY?

Did he query The Junior Football Team’s application? – NO!

Well the pantomime season is here and he made a great performance of abstaining and asked for a recorded vote.

Question: Was this to let everyone know (if they were in doubt!) he had abstained.

Answer: Maybe it was more to do with Mrs Sheldon-Ennis – the applicant.

Broadcasting of Meetings

Question: Is this now dying a death – Seems to be – WHY?

Answer: Don’t they want us to see their performances? Oh shame.

Chairman of Parish Council sitting next to Cllr Dalton Chair of Finance Meeting.

Question: Did he start to get agitated at 9.30pm?

Answer: YES!

Question: WHY?

Answer: Well he always has to leave around this time to go to the pub!

Question: Had all Agenda items been discussed?

Answer: NO – There were more than 10 items left to discuss!


This was brought to you courtesy of Mrs Overall, to whom I am sure readers will be grateful.

We will bring you Act 2 later on.

Vanity, pure vanity at Anston parish council

The Anston parish council chairman wants a chain of office!

Anston parish chairmen have managed perfectly well for over 100 years without one, so why propose to buy one now for the chairman, John Ireland, when public funds are to experience a squeeze not seen in living memory?

The cost of this frippery? Around £2,000 when the full cost is established!

The parish council was reluctant to approve such a large sum using public money. A proposal then came from a guest from Catcliffe parish, Darren Hughes, that he would pay for it thereby removing the cost from the public purse.

Darren Hughes remember, is a Borough Councillor for Anston & Woodsetts Ward and lives in Catcliffe where he is Catcliffe parish council Chairman so it seems strange that he should be present and treated by the chairman of Anston parish council almost as though he was part of the parish council! Very strange indeed! He has in fact no entitlement to be there, save as a guest!

The parish after further discussion decided that they didn’t want a chain for their chairman and so it was , ‘thanks! but no thanks!’ to Darren for his offer. Darren was disappointed that on this occasion, ‘money can’t buy you love’. The fact that Darren tried to use his money to curry favour speaks volumes!

Letters to the Editor – Advertiser 16th December – something missing?

I welcomed the arrival of my copy of the ‘Tiser this week with an unusual level of anticipation. I went firstly to the letters page, because I felt sure that Kevin Barron would have a letter of apology to his constituent from Dinnington, Dave Smith published.

Kevin Barron is always punctilious in setting the record straight when he feels he has been wrongly criticised, as may be evidenced by his letter that had prompted the rather public request last week for an apology with reference to the incorrect accusation by Barron, that Dave Smith, “had taken his redundancy and run.” Kevin had so clearly got it wrong in this respect, I felt sure he would want to acknowledge this.

I should have known better, for an apology, came there none!

The full text of Dave Smiths’ original letter and Kevins response, may  be read at Who has trodden on Kevin’s corns?

This is the text of Dave Smith’s request for an apology, published in the Rotherham Advertiser of December 9th.

Kevin Barron’s apologies are a rare thing indeed and when so obviously required but not forthcoming, merely serves to highlight one of Kevin Barron’s less endearing qualities!

Would you buy a used car from this bunch?

The first time a Labour Leader chose his own Shadow Cabinet, rather than by election among the labour MPs themselves, we get an uninspiring Leader choosing a pretty uninspiring front bench!

Most would struggle to identify more than a handful of Ed Milband’s pick for his A team. The new faces are simply time served party apparatchiks who have known little else but politics since leaving college!

This is probably the weakest Shadow front bench we have ever seen and inspire little in the way of confidence just at the time when experience may be needed.

Labour leave parliament with the disaster for Ed Miliband at PMQs still reverberating in their ears, a disaster for them on Europe, and if that were not bad enough, Labour is now firmly behind in the latest opinion polls!

No sense of direction is apparent and Ed Miliband’s leadership is turning into a disaster in much the same way Michael Foots leadership was a huge mistake!

Ed Balls, in his announcement before this years autumn conference that he no longer had ambitions to lead the party, was interpreted by most, as firing the starting pistol for the race to replace Ed Miliband as leader. At least, it was an open invitation for plotting to commence.

Yvette Cooper, no wonder she has not taken her husbands name, it’s Balls! Is said to be in pole position and the favoured choice of those who judge these things, especially the MPs! She will have to assert her political independence though, if she is to remain front runner at the end.

Many other political political careers, currently on hold, will depend on Yvette’s success. Why is John Healey not in the Shadow Cabinet? Is a question I have now heard many times. Was it the result of pure political spite on Ed Miliband’s part, as some have suggested for the support he gave Ed Balls? Whatever the reason, the Shadow Cabinet is the poorer without him!

‘Cult’ wants to build school on Anston’s greenbelt!

A Christian group, with some pretty unchristian practises, has applied to RMBC for planning permission to build a place of worship and a school on greenbelt land at Anston. This application has received the backing of Labour or so it would appear, but for the locals, this application is distinctly unwelcome.

Firstly, this application, if successful, will be sited on greenbelt land at Anston!

This aspect alone will galvanise the community to oppose the scheme and the rumblings of increased community activity and organisation are plain for all to see. To find out more and to make your voice heard, see the Save our Greenbelt Dinnington & Anston Action Group website. Every inch of greenbelt use must be opposed, lest they just pick each piece off, one at a time! Going for the weakest first! The divide and rule tactic has been tried and didn’t work, leaving slices of the greenbelt apparently undefended will rebound on those that allow this to happen! Anston residents do this at their peril!

Clive Jepson has learned that all three Anston & Woodsetts councillors are in favour and in Darren ‘the defector’ Hughes case, has been working with them on planning issues for the last year!

Quite outrageous! Does he not understand the feelings of Anston residents? Well he wouldn’t would he? Darren lives in Catcliffe! Has he not consistently said, he opposed using greenbelt land. What a hypocrite!!!! But then, he has been a turncoat in the past!

Secondly, The nature of the applicants!

Ultimately, whoever they call themselves on a planning application, the applicants and those who will be running the school are variously called the Exclusive Brethren, the Brethren as on the original planning application or sometimes the Raven/Taylor Brethren.

It is alarming that this group should now appear to be hiding behind nominees, to confuse the casual observer at least, as to who is behind this project. Indeed, this lack of candour is a worrying development and goes to their basic honesty! It they fail on the basic honesty question, can anything they say, possibly be trusted?

Christian friends have told me, that even for a bunch of Christians they are distinctly left-field! Mostly active in the UK and Australia they have been accused of ‘cult’ practises, unfortunately, not without good reason!

The term ‘Exclusive’ refers to the fact that this group demands separation from the rest of society, even refusing to live in semi-detached properties unless the other is also occupied by a fellow adherent.

This school will only accept the children of members, so it is unlikely that any local children will be welcomed to their ‘exclusive’ school.

Their approach to education has been followed by trenchant denunciation where ever they have operated schools. Not the least for their treatment of science which tends to ignore all scientific developments since 1848! The access of students to books of all kinds is severely limited and those that are allowed them, heavily censored.

This group are apparently given to controlling their own members in similar ways that cults operate and is aimed at ensuring total domination of the individual to the group.

The Exclusive Brethren are not an open and welcoming bunch of Christians at all. Quite the reverse in fact! I find it incredible that this proposal should gather support from any Labour politician and very worrying that they appear to have been actively helping this project along, in contradiction to their public utterances on the greenbelt! But that’s Darren Hughes for you!

Where is Kevin Barron, the MP for Rother Valley constituency on this proposal? He surely cannot be in favour too! We shall see?

Imprint on a Christmas card?

When Rik received this Christmas card to the voters of Anston & Woodsetts ward it seemed to add little to our understanding, He was wrong.

Rik, despite many years of experience to call upon, could not remember ever receiving a Christmas card with an imprint from a Political Party on it. Here it is:

This must make this particular Christmas card, part of a cynical political campaign and not a genuine expression of goodwill. Labour’s cynicism knows no bounds it would seem?

Kevin Barron’s picture was included among those signatories. I hope no public money was expended on this document?  If it was, then it could well prove embarrassing?

What else does it tell us? Well for one thing, it clearly shows that the Anston & Woodsetts ward is now run by someone who doesn’t even live in the ward! There’s nothing new in that, Judy Dalton an Anston & Woodsetts borough councillor and Anston parish councillor lives in Dinnington! Local? Not!

We bring you the greetings section of this card, the only thing it doesn’t actually say is vote Labour!

Cheerful, not!

There is a huge clue as to this cards true purpose in this:

All roads lead to Darren Hughes! The one man band re-election campaign! Speaks volumes that this self-serving and inveterate self publicist should shamelessly exploit Christmas as part of his strategy to con the folk of Anston & Woodsetts ward in to voting for him next May! Some hope! Let’s dump Darren! Is the oft heard refrain.