Mystery deepens!

Rothpol can bring news of a mystery concerning the qualification for service on Aston cum Aughton parish council of a Labour member, Derek Corkell.

Remember when the last round of parish and Town council elections took place, Gerald Smith the Labour agent, was found to have broken electoral law and ended up accepting a formal Police caution, counts on criminal record, for an outrageous leaflet, distributed during the campaign. This incident caused Michael Elmer to coin the term ‘scum labour’ to sum up their outrageous and fundamentally undemocratic behaviour!

At the time much was made about the qualification to serve, residency qualifications, of at least one Aston-cum-Aughton Independent candidate.

Imagine my surprise then, when it has emerged, that a serving Labour member, Derek Corkell may no longer be qualified to serve on Aston parish council?

The facts appear to be these, Derek’s published telephone number no longer seems to work. Neighbours report that he now lives in Swinton! Quite a stretch, even for labour, of the residency qualification? He was vice chair of the council and at the last AGM should have become chair, but without explanation a labour substitute was elected!

Assuming the above is correct and Derek is no longer qualified, then the Clerk should automatically have initiated the vacancy procedure, why hasn’t this happened? We should be told! Anyone would be forgiven for thinking, that a by-election was being avoided?

If nothing else, this will give the two Independent members, something interesting to ask questions about, at the next meeting of Aston-cum-Aughton parish council. The people demand, that these questions be answered!

Register of Members Interests: Councillor D Corkell

10 thoughts on “Mystery deepens!

  1. No, Corkell hasn’t attended a single meeting since 21st January this year even though he is vice-chair, and in May he wasn’t even mentioned as tendering his apology so what is going on here? Are the Labour dictators on Aston-cum-Aughton PC afraid of an election or will Smith use his usual excuse, ‘elections cost money so why have one.’ This is Smith’s idea of democracy of course, Labour rules OK. I am the Chairman. As usual, wherever and whenever he is involved, it stinks!


  2. Local Labour Parish Councillors will not alter their behaviour until and unless they receive guidance from RMBC Standards Committee however the ineffective Ms. Jacqui Collins, (The Director for Legal and Democratic Services is Jacqueline Collins, who also acts as Monitoring Officer to the Council. The Monitoring Officer has the duty of reporting to the Council in various circumstances, particularly on actions or proposals in contravention of the law.) is about as useful as an handbrake on a canoe.
    Part of her remit includes: Scrutiny Services: The Council’s Overview and Scrutiny function plays a vital role within the council by reviewing issues of local concern, examining existing policies and practices and making recommendations to Cabinet and external bodies on matters which affect the borough and its residents.
    If the Labour dominated Borough Council does not set and adhere to high standards-as per the Nolan report- why should we expect their puppets at Parish Council level to behave differently?


  3. I agree Colin, but doesn’t the clerk to the parish council have a legal duty in such cases as well. When such a vacancy arises, doesn’t he have a legal duty to “Put up a notice of vacancy forthwith.” There has to be some collusion between the councillors and the clerk in this case to supress this action, otherwise why hasn’t the vacancy been brought to public attention?
    Is it because the clerk to the council at A-c-A Parish Council is an ex-labour councillor from a neighbouring Derbyshire authority and attends all meetings of the A-c-A labour party prior to each parish council meeting where parish business is dealt with before it is put before the non-labour councillors and the public.
    This has come to light before and the clerk to the council initially denied it then tried to justify attending these meetings by saying he was invited to attend by the labour group as an advisor. (See his letter in the Rotherham Advertiser dated 8 March 2011)


  4. Good point.
    The Clerk is required to give clear guidance to Councillors, including the Chair, before decisions are reached, even when that guidance may be unpalatable. The Clerk has a key role in advising the council, and Councillors, on governance, ethical and procedural matters. They must also liaise with the Monitoring Officer at the district/unitary council on ethical issues and the Councillors’ Register of Interests.

    This section is interesting IMV:
    It should be noted that Councillors may not be paid employees of their council (as there is an unacceptable conflict of interest) and may not become employees of their former council until at least 12 months after ceasing to be a Councillor (Sections 112(5) and 116 Local Government Act 1972).

    The points you make reinforce my views that local Labour councillors are devious, dishonest and lack integrity. Several residents in Anston including myself have put Anston PC under scrutiny so perhaps A-c-A should also be investigated. It needs concerted efforts from parishioners who are concerned about the lack of transparency and openness from their PC to take action.
    Unless of course they’re “not bothered” and content to let corruption and dishonesty dominate local politics.


  5. You are absolutely right Colin about the deviousness, dishonesty and lack of integrity of Labour councillors and unfortunately, you are right about the “not bothered” syndrome of many of the electorate. However, The Labour councillors do cash in on this syndrome and purposely withhold information from the public to take advantage of any situation they can. Councillors like Smith, have in the past, carefully concealed from the public facts regarding taking land out of the green belt and re-designating it as building land. They then tell us that all procedures were correctly followed in order to do this. (Yes, procedures which were never published) We must all then ask the question, why do they do this? To me the answer is obvious and I once asked the District Auditor to investigate one of our councillors. The first thing he did, without making any enquiries whatsoever, was to pass the complaint to that councillor for his comment! What kind of investigation is that?
    Standards in RMBC with regard to the Labour group do not exist!


  6. I believe he attended the July council meeting chaired by G Smith and other then a comment about this illness nothing else was said (also there are 3 Aston cum aughton independentes on the council)


  7. I think you will find when that he attended the July meeting chaired by G Smith (as a stand in chair) & apart from a comment about his illness there was no talk from himself the Labour Party members or the Clark of this matter.


  8. Of course there was no talk of this matter at an open meeting, no doubt it will have been discussed and decided on in the Labour party meeting prior to the P.C. meeting. Why didn’t the Independent councillors take them to task then, is this another case of bullying by the great Grald Smith?


  9. The biggest problem with ‘Local Democracy’ is that it isn’t.
    Labour party apparatchiks follow the party line, not what the residents and electors want.
    Meetings behind closed doors to the detriment of parishioners, secret deals and agreements and ignoring the Nolan principles whilst the so-called Monitoring Officer for RMBC ignores complaints and pretends everything is OK in Labour land. Ms.J.Collins is a (Labour) political appointee despite her protestations to the contrary.
    Two questions: What has the Labour PC done for Aston-cum-Aughton to improve their local environment and the lives of residents? What has the Labour PC done to encourage new businesses into the area to provide employment? Answers on a (small) postcard please.
    Until and unless local residents attend Parish Council meetings and voice their dissent and discontent with the conduct of their Parish Councillors matters will not improve and Labour dominated parish councils will continue to obfuscate and deceive.


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