Anston Parish Council – Councillor is censured over breach

Dinnington Guardian’s report on the latest meeting of Anston Parish Council, you really couldn’t make it up!

Councillor is censured over breach

Parish councillors in Anston voted to censure one of their fellow councillors at a meeting this week.

The monthly meeting on Monday 20th May saw the parish hall full to capacity with members of the public.

It follows an alleged assault after April’s annual parish meeting of electors.

Police sergeant Mark Worrall was also there, and said he was likely to attend the next few meetings.

Item nine on the agenda was for members to consider whether the parish council had been brought into disrepute by the actions of a councillor, and whether that councillor should be censured.

Outgoing chairman Coun Dominic Beck put forward a movement that the councillor be censured for breaching the council code of conduct by not treating other members with respect.

He said the code had been breached by ‘bullying’ and ‘intimidating’ behaviour and bringing the office of councillor into disrepute.

The councillor in question left the room after declaring a ‘pecuniary’ interest.

Councillors discussed the matter and voted in favour of censure, and to remove the councillor from their committee duties.

Censure is when a council expresses strong disapproval and it is formally noted.

The letters pages also make interesting reading, to view click here.

61 thoughts on “Anston Parish Council – Councillor is censured over breach

  1. I attended the same PC meeting and it was obvious Cllr.Beck,Cllr Dalton,Cllr Stonebridge and Cllr.Brindley had decided Cllr.Thornton was a PITA because of his scrutiny of several agenda items during the past few months and consequently his presence would no longer be tolerated.
    Those of us who know Cllr.Thornton are not able to comment fully on this story because he is undertaking his own enquiries into this affair and it would be wrong to predjudice the final outcome.
    Labour councillors love to spout off about ‘democracy’ and ‘fairness’. Since when is a Kangaroo Court democratic or fair?
    This one will run and run……………………………….

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  2. If it was un democratic I a sure Mr Thornton would tell us. Great to see the chair take control of this delicate issue in a manner that supports the work of other members of the parish. Bravo!

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  3. @trambuster.
    The answer to your question is no. Investigations into this are strictly not allowed (at the moment).
    I should add the article was published without the knowledge of Cllr.Thornton nor was he given the opportunity to comment.

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  4. I think it is time for all the members of the Parish council to stand down, other than the “True” Independents who I feel are trying to represent the community of Anston, rather than following Labour and RMBC dogma. Anston Parish council are purchasing a piece of land and are hiding behind secrecy laws and what ever Stuart does to make this a public debate they gang up against him. I have very grave concerns about the behaviour of the Parish council and it is so convenient that they have muzzled Stuart.

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  5. Re my letter in the Dinnington Guardian – They have published this incorrectly – Why is the question!

    The third paragraph, as submitted reads:
    The councillor in question does know the protocols and procedures and tries, although in vain, to get the majority of the renegade councillors to adopt the correct procedures.

    AND HE DOES
    I have been in touch with the Dinnington Guardian and am expecting a correction to my letter and an apology.

    Valerie Sheldon-Ennis

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  6. Hi Tim,
    Rest assured they have not muzzled me. If anything this will bring out more of the antics of Beck and Co.
    The actions they take in the name of the Labour Party, are an embarrassment to those Members of the Party who are actually trying to do some good. Week after week Beck and Co are in the news, how long do you think the Rotherham Labour Party are going to put up with the bad publicity. This time they have messed up big style, they did not do the detail before they gloated. I sent a letter to all Parish Councillors recently, which said if anyone wants to carry on blackening my name in public, then they should be prepared to lose assets. When I left the room at the Meeting it was reported to me that one Councillor thought it right to do a “character assassination, wrong move. I will be quite happy to wipe the smiles off their faces.

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  7. Hi Stuart. I meant muzzle you regarding official Anston Parish business. but as an individual you have the right to do what is right in your own eyes, even though it may go against the establishment and what they deem to be right. Ex Councillor Barnes of the Labour party is siding with you, as per his letter in the Dinnington Guardian, where he spoke of you being hit at a previous meeting, by a certain person. http://www.dinningtontoday.co.uk/community/readers-letters/nothing-has-changed-1-5654928 Keep well Tim

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  8. I think the anonymouse who says good to see chairman take control is either a Anston Parish councillor or a dreamer. I was at this meeting and I think the goings on should be put in perspective. It started as the annual meeting where the chairman is elected, Becks surrogate mummy councillor Dalton immediately proposes councillor Ireland, has it begun to smell yet? This is seconded, someone proposes Crowther who declines, Ireland is duly elected with Dalton as vice. Anyone who has attended Anston Parish council meeting will know how inept he is at chairing meetings, this then begs the question why does the ruling Labour group want him? All will soon become clear. Now I am sure that most of us will know that the Chairman can not propose nor can they move a motion, Ireland is now in the chair when it gets to item nine on the agenda and I quote, “To consider whether the parish council has been brought into disrepute by the actions of a councillor. To consider whether that councillor should be censured over the alleged actions.” The chairman now turns to Beck who is now a backbencher and tells him you put this on the agenda, to which Beck readily agrees. By now not only should the penny have dropped but the whole Bank of England. Beck states quite clearly that this motion of censure has nothing to do with the Parish meeting, yet this is brought up by Ireland reading out a letter from a concerned citizen of Anston about the way councillor Thornton conducted himself at this meeting. This is followed by a long diatribe by Crowther who for some reasons seems to be on a crusade to assassinate the character of councillor Thornton, he was ably assisted by the seconder of the motion councillor Stonebridge; that wonderful polite upholder of the rights of the common person. Of course the motion is duly passed. Now it could be just serendipity that item ten on the agenda is the appointment of committees/sub-committees, at this point because they know that they can bamboozle the chair Stonebridge proposes an amendment to Becks censure motion that has already been passed, that councillor Thornton should be banned from sitting on any committee, this is of course immediately seconded and passed. The hatchet job is complete, they can all go away and congratulate themselves on a job well done, including the Labour poodle character assassin. The only one who comes out of all this without any mud sticking to him is councillor Jepson who had the guts to stand up for democracy and asked them to drop this rubbish. It all seems like a joke when you see how many complaints have gone into Rotherham Borough council about other Anston Parish councillor, who have insulted the general public, and it has been deemed that no action would be taken by the standards board. Of course again serendipity may play a part in Beck being a member of that board. We also now have a police state being declared in Anston, the police are going to be present for the foreseeable future, the officer even took the opportunity to ask for witnesses to the goings on at the parish meeting, the chairman and the Labour group never said a word. What happened on Monday night was a bigger stitch up than the Bayeux tapestry.

    Dave Smith

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  9. I agree with a previous comment made. I know almost everyone on here are labour haters in one way or another so it is no surprise to have people say how terrible some labour councillors are however most people are happy with their style of service. I think we should congratulate Beck for his outstanding work as chair and support his successor. I just hope that Mr Thornton does the right thing and resigns with the last bit of dignity he has 😉

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    • Graham have you been to any meetings lately? The majority of the country hate Labour for their policies over the last 12 years of government, they aren’t the Labour of the 70’s. Labour got involved in two illegal wars and have looked after the minorities and not the majority. Dominic Beck doesn’t have enough life experiences to chair Anston Parish meetings and I find his behaviour arrogant and rude.

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      • I agree on the first part. As a peace campaigner Labour have blood on their hands but when in economic doubt start a war as nothing is more profitable! I am left wing off the scales so I understand your points in a ever so painful way. In rest of Dominic I do not consider him arrogant or rude but just doing a very difficult job exceptionally well! I hope to see him leading the council at some point.

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  10. Graham using the word hate is utterly wrong I don’t hate I object to the political bullying that in our area has become the norm, and Labour are the masters of it. The way in which Anston Labour party dealt with the problem they see as councillor Thornton was close to the methods used by the old stalinists in the trade union movement in the bad old days. If they couldn’t deal with the questions we were asking so they attempted to blacken our characters, I speak from first hand experience. Councillor Thornton should stay where he is and expose these political bankrupts for what they are.

    Dave Smith

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    • Unprofessionalism and cronyism run through the veins of APC. For years the master manipulators of St John and Rob in have been able to conduct APC matters as they see fit. In that time what has happened ?….highest precept in the borough and a very expensive court case they have no chance of winning amongst other things. For too long have these two been allowed to run the show how they want, manipulating the other esteemed members of the PC who quite frankly appear devoid or either moral integrity or intelligence. So now we fInd ourselves in a position where an independent has been excluded, why ? Because he’s rocked the boat, asked perfectly legitimate questions and they don’t like transparency they never have. It’s about time this dross are removed and replaced with a bunch of independent local people who have the local communities interests at heart not the current bunch interested in self gain and troughing.

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  11. Simon copley here apart from getting up labour’s nose by asking pertinent and annoying questions can somebody tell me exactly what Stuart Thornton has done that is so wrong?
    Surely not brought Apc into disrepute? oFrom my rather humble external aspect no one seems to have done more to try to restore apc’s battered reputation than he and CLive JEpson.

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  12. @ Anonymous.
    ‘tell me exactly what Stuart Thornton has done that is so wrong?’
    It depends on how you define “wrong”
    Asking the Chairman of APC questions that need answers concerning either the agenda’s vague outlines or reminding Labour councillors of previous statements he/she has made, questioning the accounts, standing up for Anston parishioners, speaking directly,concisely and without the usual bovine excrement that passes for debate. These are the ‘sins’ Cllr.Thornton has committed.
    Labour councillors take the opposite view;
    Stuart asks too many questions, he does his homework and comes prepared with supporting documentation, he ‘argues’, he refuses to be patronised and told off like a naughty schoolboy.
    Ergo, he must be disciplined because he has no party line to follow and he exposes the double dealings and subterfuge that defines Labour councillors on Anston Parish Council.
    In a few words he is-according to the Labour party- a PITA.
    No doubt a committed supporter of the Labour coucillors will hit his/her keyboard and refute what I post but that will be rather like supporters of the old Communist party claiming everything is OK,just give it time.
    Colour me cynical for once.

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      • Do we have another ASBO Akhar in our mists if the “allegedly” turns out to be true. Can he be trusted to deal with the public without loosing his temper. The best move would for him to be removed for the safety of those who attend the meetings before he lashes out again!

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        • Were you present as a witness to the disgraceful events?
          Perhaps you should not jump to conclusions without evidence of your own eyes.
          The police are investigating, they will uncover the truth! Until then…..

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  13. Having read through the support on here for Cllr Thornton I am left somewhat bemused by the morality of some Anstonians. There is quite obviously a deep rooted hatred of The Labour Party by the majority of the ‘keyboard warriors’ on this site. For the record I am a Tory voter, let’s be clear about that from the start.

    Having regularly attended APC meetings over the last few years I have heard Cllr Thornton, on several occasions question the integrity of his fellow council members and on at least one occasion ask a fellow council member to ‘step down’ due to an alleged criminal act over the sale of 2 bottles of wine. My point here is that no criminal enquiry had taken place, or ever did, but Cllr Thornton still felt that either pending that enquiry or merely because of a misguided accusation the ‘guilty’ Cllr had no option but to stand down in order to maintain personal and political integrity. I am therefore a little surprised that, as an ex-military man, whilst now being under investigation himself he has not found the moral courage to stand down until an outcome is reached, whilst preserving any integrity he may still posses.

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    • I agree with you. A man with a very bad attitude towards procedure. How can we take “Rocky” Thornton seriously . I hope he does the right thing and take time to go on an anger management course at least!

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  14. Martin Crowther: The character assasin’s comments: Stuart did not pass the budget! (is that Cllr Thornton’s total responsibility, does he not have a democratic right to vote as he feels is correct i.e. as his conscience tells him? Didn’t Cllr Thornton say he could not vote for the budget because Labour raised the precept to pay for the “secret land deal” WITHOUT CONSULTING THE PUBLIC.
    Martin Crowther went on – The comments on Rotherham politics are embarrasing – Cllr Crowther’s comments were embarrasing i.e. Stuart did not sit in the ring – For goodness sake, what was he supposed to do sit on someone’s knee, he sat on an available chair. There was more of this apparently well rehearsed attack. Seems Martin Crowther has no conscience.

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  15. Please tell me what is wrong with buying land and preserving it for the enjoyment of local residents. So quick to complain about house building but when something is done to protect land you all scream like babies. I am sure that in your knitting circle people would agree with me!

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  16. I would like to congratulate Rotherham politics for its constant anti Labour propaganda. I am beginning to think that the person behind the mask is a jilted labour lover!

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    • @Graham.

      Why do you Labour party supporters resort to abuse instead of reasoned argument?
      Memorise this:
      The Labour Party Does Not Have The Monopoly On Truth And Wisdom.
      Repeat three times daily until finally understood.

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  17. I do not recall anyone ‘screaming like babies’. Are you sure you post was misdirected here instead of to RMBC?
    You should know there is a vast difference between protected land and greenbelt land and when any land purchase is considered by a parish council then-apart from commercial confidentiality-such a purchase should either be discussed by the parish council at its regular meetings and/or local taxpayers should be informed, it is called democracy; a right to know how, where and when our money is being spent and how much needs to borrowed from whatever source(s).
    You do believe in democracy do you not?

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  18. For some unknown reason Labour members on Anston Parish Council are choosing (ordered?) not to respond to this thread. I have news for these members; we will not go away. The political tide in Anston has turned from Labour and by the time of the next local elections the voters in Anston will be fully aware of everything Labour councillors failed to do, including their failure to practice open democracy.

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    • The subject of this thread is the exclusion of Cllr.Thornton from parish committees.
      Why should I criticise or question the actions of other independent councillors who support him? As for your comment ‘they have better things to do like represent the parish’ what exactly does that mean? Represent the parish where? To what end? If as you claim Labour councillors represent the parish why is there so much negative publicity concerning Anston PC? Why do they prefer to follow their party line instead of safeguarding our environment or take umbrage when closely questioned by both parishioners and Cllr. Thornton?
      I think insulting members of the public at parish council meetings is representative of the calibre of Labour councillors and behaviour like that does not reflect my views or wishes.

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  19. LABOUR – ANSTON PARISH COUNCIL – Failure to abide by their election manifesto – they said they would consult with the public on ALL MAJOR DECISIONS and they would consult with the public over the budget – Did they? – they did not. This rather backs up the secret nature of the Anston Labour party.
    Part of representing the parish is to consult with the parish – BUT THEY DO NOT STICK BY THEIR MANIFESTO PROMISE.

    Elect Labour and have the wool pulled over your eyes

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  20. I don’t think Mr Wilson likes me, notice how he keeps trying to drag my name into conversations that I am not a party to. The truth will be put out to the Public at the right time.
    Could I remind Mr Wilson of the Speakers wife..

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  21. Do I take it that by ignoring my earlier post Cllr Thornton has no credible response? Instead again choosing to argue with a fellow poster on here and threaten legal action, a tactic that seems to crop up more and more regularly. It seems rather hypocritical to accuse the other democratically elected councillors of ‘bully boy’ tactics whilst employing them himself.

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    • H4H are you for real? Pointing out that social media such as blogging can get the unwary into a whole heap of problems, if they persist in making false statements, is not a threat, just a statement of the situation!
      Sally Bercow’s case illustrates what can happen, if you defame someone with the money to fight back!
      That is not the case here and it is simply not right to persist with your rather threadbare point in the hope of getting a rise out of Cllr Thornton!
      Your point would have much more credibility if your identity was known, instead you make your attack from behind a cloak of anonymity which rather undermines your own point!

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  22. Dear H4H
    Regarding the issue of selling bottles of wine, the then Chairman of Anston Parish Council, who happened to be Chairman of the Charity that runs the Parish Hall, sold alcohol at the Hall when the Trustees Deed expressly forbids it. The issue was first raised by a Labour Cllr and other Cllrs were of the opinion that his actions were wrong. I believe that advice was sought from an outside body by the said Cllr but no further action was taken. I called for the Chairs resignation due to the fact he did wrong and he was aware of the rules on selling Alcohol at the Parish Hall.
    On the issue of “standing down” I have done nothing wrong, an investigation is on going and I have been advised not to make any comments at the present time. I note that you have not called for other Cllrs to stand down, yet at least 10-15 complaints have been made against numerous other Cllrs over the last few months. As for integrity, my integrity is fully intact, and will remain so, you cannot say that for some others on the Council, All will be out in the open, and those who know me know I don’t tell lies.

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    • Thank you for your reply.

      Reference the 10-15 complaints made about your fellow Cllrs, I was not aware that any had resulted in a referral to the CPS and did not, therefore, feel they warranted further discussion.

      Please see below my response to Colin Tawn.

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  23. @H4H
    You said “Having regularly attended APC meetings over the last few years”………and…….
    “I am a Tory voter” .You castigate Cllr.Thornton while making no mention of Cllr.Stonebridge abusing members of the public or the stitch-up involving messrs.Beck and Ireland changing places and roles.
    Seeing and observing are two different things and Tory voters do not usually throw their support behind Labour councillors via criticism of an Independent councillor.
    Somethings do not add up, including your posts and preference for anonymity.
    Either raise your head above the parapet and declare your agenda or continue to skulk behind your keyboard.
    Credibility is the issue, are you ready to face it?

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    • This thread is one that pertains to Cllr Thornton and is the reason why I have not felt the need to comment on Cllr Stonebridge. I have merely asked a question regarding the rather serious allegations which Cllr Thornton is currently facing. I was disgusted when Prescott was lauded by the press for assaulting a member of the public. Not because I do not believe in the inherent right to self defence, which I have no doubt will be his defence, but because I believe it is behaviour unbecoming of someone who the public have placed in to a position of authority.

      As for the questioning of my political alliance and my right to anonymity, you can believe and assume what you want. I have no reason to lie about it or to bow to your attempt at intimidation. These are the facts you need to know. I am an Anston man who wants the best for this community and would like to think that political and personal agendas would be put to one side to achieve this. Unfortunately there is a certain group, who I think we all know, that like to orchestrate proceedings from the public gallery, who cannot say that they feel the same. This is not parliament and some of the conspiracy theorists need to realise they are not about to uncover the mother of all scandals.

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      • The Labour councillors on APC certainly will no do what is best for our community.Following the party line takes precedence over residents wishes ,can anyone tell me what outstanding success Labour councillors can crow about? Litter is just as much of a problem as it was 10 years ago,our roads are crumbling, groups of young people still roam the area because ‘they’re bored’,and Caperns Road Community Centre is a damn disgrace.
        Doing what is best for our area? I think not.

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  24. I think H2h is a friendly crime fighter who pursues justice at anston parish council. He obviously knows that Labour are the good guys and some of the independents are the bad guys who are only motivated by the adoration of their followers from the local knitting club 😉

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  25. I think if my PC had bought some land on my behalf with my precept I would want to know about it.
    I also think the lessons of Rawmarsh are not being learned here…

    btw: Anyone know a good florist? and what chocolates does CJ like? I feel a sit com vcoming on. A feud between a Knitting Club (with the wool over their eyes) and a sewing circle (who know how to stitch things up)

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    • It is good to see you have a sense of humour. Again you need to concentrate on your vocation. I cannot see how you have time for politics as the lords work is never done however I am happy for propel to waste their votes on you 🙂

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      • Thanks Graham – we do need to keep our SOH. But oh dear, you spoilt that lovely post by telling me to get back into my little corner and showing what a narrow view of vocation you have. Is it the Lord’s work to help all the meek little sheep live good little lives while the wolves run around scot free? Have you never read any of the Old Testament prophets who told all those naughty Kings where to get off (Nathan, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea etc) not to mention John the Baptist having a very un-meek pop at Herod Antipas? And then throughout history we have plenty of examples of clergymen who “forgot” to do the Lord’s work such as Jesse Jackson, Luther-King, Desmond Tutu, Oscar Romero, Jerzy Popiulesku, Janani Luwum etc etc – Need I go on? Tackling the big structural questions may be the Lord’s work, no? Oscar Romero once said: “When I give bread to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no bread, they call me a communist.” Then they shot him and put him back in his little box too…btw I do the politics in my spare time – I don’t make a penny out of it. If only others could follow my shining and saintly example!!!

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  26. Graham. How often do you attend meetings or are you gaining your opinions through others. I can’t wait for the next Labour ward councillor to be kicked off Anston Parish council by the electorate in 2014. This would be my agenda if I stood for the council: Civic centre for Anston by ring fencing Plaxtons site and ensure it can only be used for Leisure and Retail, Open the train line into Sheffield and the creation of a Comprehensive school in Anston by downsizing the one in Dinnington. Since 1975 services and retail have been decimated in Anston, while the population has risen greatly, Parish councillors have been asleep on their watch for years and have show no vision. Cheers Tim

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    • I will look forward to you standing and like everyone you have a good chance of being successful. Retail and leisure next to the A57? I thought I was crazy, a comprehensive school in Anston? Why when Dinnington and Wales is sufficient! The only party asleep are UKIP (you) (kip) however I guess now they are ending immigration in Rawmarsh we might need less houses built in Rotherham PMSL

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      • With the plans to build even less than 300 new homes in North Anston the existing schools in our area cannot cope with any increases in pupil numbers.
        Cheap shot about Rawmarsh.

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  27. Graham
    Well who knows what might happen in Rawmarsh now we have broken the back of the Labour camel. The tide is turning Brother Graham the Red Flag is now at half mast and slipping down the pole Traitors flinch and cowards sneer the red flag isn’t flying so high here PMSL.

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  28. Graham. The upper school at Dinnington Comprehensive wasn’t fit for purpose when I went there in the 70’s. Rather than replace the upper school, it would be better to reduce Dinnington Comp by 50% and create a new school in Anston. A bit like the creation of a health practice in Anston on Greenlands. Anston is bigger than both Dinnington and Wales, why should Anston people send there children to other villages. Anston has 4 feeder schools, whereas Dinnington only has two and half of the children at St Josephs go to Sheffield schools. My suggestion is common sense and will create a more sustainable community and reduce un necessary congestion. I shouldn’t be bringing this suggestion up, it should have be implementted by our planning authority if they had any vision and common sense. Cheers Tim

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  29. I read an article in the Dinnington Guardian saying the outgoing chairman Dominic Beck! Can anybody expand on this?

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    • Tim, read Firtleberrys post of May 24. What’s the betting that, within the next few weeks councillor Ireland will step down as chair and councillor Beck will be at the helm again?

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