APC – The Farce continues……………………………………..

The Farce continues……………………………………..
Part 2.
I have just returned from what was supposed to be the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting scheduled to start at 7pm.at APC.
In attendance; Martin Crowther (Vice Chair) Michael Gazure (Clerk to the Council) Clive Jepson (Independent) Steve Baker (Independent) and three other members of the public. That was it.
Enough councillors to discuss matters but no resolutions could be passed. Even more embarrassing (For Labour councillors) was the attendance of two gentlemen from Yorkshire Internal Audit Services who were there to answer questions about the audit.
Missing from tonight’s meeting-without prior notice of absence- Part time councillor Dalton, Cllr.Ireland, Cllr.Burton,Cllr. Brindley, Cllr.Stonebridge,Cllr.Beck and Cllr.Wardle.
Cllr’s O’Brien and St.John did give prior notice of absence.
The missing councillors decided not to attend tonight’s performance for the simple reason they knew they would be filmed and held to account by the electorate.
The sheer arrogance of the missing councillors is beyond a joke. These people are elected to serve their community-allegedly-but treat members of the public as a bloody nuisance.
If Independent councillors and members of the public can give their time to attend why can’t these part timers get off their butts?
Beck has screwed up the parish council so he feels he no longer has to show his face, he is after all pocketing £12k+ as a borough councillor and £16k for ‘special responsibilities’. Dalton is pocketing £12k+ as a borough councillor and £10k for ‘special responsibilities’.
What about your responsibilities to the people who pay your salaries?
It seems the Labour councillors have taken Dalton’s viewpoint to heart and have agreed amongst themselves to be part timers.
Absolutely disgraceful behaviour and Shame on You.

Colin Tawn

10 thoughts on “APC – The Farce continues……………………………………..

  1. A while ago at Anston Parish Council’s Finance Meeting I complained about their lack of business and fiscal acumen in respect of their profligacy with our money. I told the Chairman, Martin Crowther “This Parish Council is a train crash waiting to happen, his reply “You are probably right.”

    Has this lot jumped to avoid said crash?

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  2. I attended this so called meeting. Labour Councillors lack of attendance shows just what little respect and regard they have for Anston and those who elected them. What the two auditors must think of the Anston Labour Councillors, having travelled from Knaresborough to be at the meeting for 7pm, one can only wonder at the conversation they had whilst travelling back to Knaresborough.

    Today I phoned the Monitoring Officer, Jackie Collins to draw her attention and complain about the Labour Councillors’ behaviour. Mrs Collins told me there was nothing she could do about it (or would!) however previously she had told me that she was the person who dealt with Parish Councillors, Martin Kimber dealing with Borough Councillors. Councillor Stuart Thornton (Independent) who attends meetings very regularly has been evicted from all other meetings apart from sitting on the monthly PC Meeting for asking searching questions. Mrs Collins has pursued Cllr Thornton (Independent) for over 12 months at the behest of Labour Councillors. Taking their statements as fact and failing to take any comments by people not affiliated to the Labour Party. Where is the democracy in this Mrs Collins?

    If anyone had any doubts regarding the shocking behaviour of the Labour controlled Anston Parish Council – Doubt no longer.

    Anston calls itself A Quality Parish Council – Time for a rethink.

    It seems RMBC only want a Labour run council to do their bidding?

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    • ‘Mrs Collins told me there was nothing she could do about it (or would!)’

      In this instance she has failed to act in accordance with statutory requirements.
      The Monitoring Officer is appointed under Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and has a number of statutory functions in addition to those recently conferred under the Localism Act 2011 and subsequent regulations governing into councillors’ interests and conduct.
      It is not in Ms.Collins-or residents-best interests for Anston Parish Council to be unable to conduct any council business. If she is happy for only three councillors to attend parish council meetings and the parish council fails to meet its obligations she may as well not bother turning up to her office and collecting her taxpayer funded large salary.
      She has not delegated responsibility for this fiasco,she has abdicated all responsibility for the behaviour and conduct of Labour councillors on APC.
      Perhaps she should consider working part time as well?

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  3. I too was at this “meeting”, actually no meeting took place, no decisions were made and the cheques that needed paying were not authorised. The attendance of the Labour Members has been brought to the Councils attention on a number of occasions, but they just cock a snoot at anyone who dares to challenge them.
    The people of Anston Elected them to represent them, and they repay their good will by not turning up on a regular basis. Cllr Dalton recently announced that she is not going to attend anymore Council Meetings, how dare she pick and choose when she is going to represent the electorate, She is summoned BY LAW to attend these meetings, SHE SHOULD GO NOW.
    These Labour Councillors are the very same people that have stopped me from attending any committee meeting, and then they do not turn up themselves. ( even though I cannot sit on the Finance committee, my attendance record is better than most of the Labour Party Members)
    One good thing has emerged over the last two meetings, Cllr St John was absent from both meetings and what pleasant meetings they have been.
    Even when these Labour Cllrs turn up, they don`t represent the Village, their interests lie with, first themselves, then the RMBC Party line, and the people of Anston come a poor third.
    This is more reason for the People of Anston to vote Independent next May and oust these “good for nothings” , its time to bring back the “power ” to Anston.

    Cllr Thornton
    Independent
    Anston Parish Council

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  4. Jacqui Collins has failed to address and resolve every complaint against Labour councillors on Anston Parish Council. Earlier this year I accused her of political bias and in her reply she did not deny my accusation but tried to dress it up with a meaningless phrase about ‘equal merit’ being given to all complaints. This is sheer rubbish because she took no action against Akhtar when he was pretending to be a councillor but she will pursue complaints against non Labour councillors.
    If Jacqui Collins had confessed to supporting either UKIP/Tory/Lib-Dem when she was considered for the post of Monitoring Officer she would not be employed by RMBC. This is another accusation I made against her and one she declined to answer.
    The Solicitors Code of Conduct says (Sec.3 The Principles) ‘not allow your independence to be compromised;’
    http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/handbook/code/content.page
    It is my strong belief Jacqui Collins has-like the Labour councillors she protects-compromised her integrity as well.
    The problems at APC will continue because Labour councillors refuse to accept and believe in open democracy. If Jacqui Collins will not act to protect residents interests then we must find our own solutions and if this includes bombarding her with complaints and forcing Labour councillors to accept change we will do this. Change will happen despite Ms.Collins indifference.

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  5. I understand APC has failed to collect rent from The Football Teams, The Playgroup and
    The Allotments for up to 2 years. These rents amounting to c £8K. So what are they playing at?
    Would the auditors have been pressing questions about these debts. Is that why the Labour lot stayed away?

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    • This point was raised on Monday with both the Clerk and the Auditors.
      The Auditors claimed they had discussed this with the Clerk then proceeded to waffle on on about different ways of presenting accounts. The Clerk shuffled in his seat and looked and sounded uncomfortable because (Quelle Surprise!) the Clerk is responsible for sending statements of accounts and ensuring monies owing are collected.
      It is very unlikely the residents of Anston will ever see or benefit from this money.
      Meanwhile both the Chairman and Vice Chair of the council-Ireland and part time councillor Dalton-have done nothing to make sure APC’s financial procedures are sound and robust.
      No change there.

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  6. I was at the meeting where these uncollected rents were raised and discussed by Independent Councillors. There was a lot of waffle from the Labour Councillors then, I asked “And what are you going to do about it” The clerk’s mumbled reply “We will have to put a system in place” WHAT _ HE HAS BEEN IN POST FOR 14 YEARS and no system in place – so what is he getting paid for?
    One big incompetent mess brought about by profligate Labour and a Clerk who is rarely in the Parish Office. More than time for a clear out.

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  7. Shouldn’t the clerk of the Parish council, attend his office at least 50% of the week, he can’t do the job properly sat at home on the other side of Rotherham.

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  8. At this meeting I was sat in the Public arena. The audit team were invited to attend a Finance Meeting (not a Full Council Meeting). I believe this was a deliberate act in order that I would not be able to sit at the table and express my views (because they stitched me up and stopped me from attending Committee Meetings).
    I pointed out to the audit team, that a recommendation by them, to put a system in place to prevent the issue of uncollected monies happening again, had not been carried out. Despite my request for it to be brought in front of Council, four months on nothing has happened. I further pointed out a “governance document” signed by the Chairman, John Ireland, stating that all recommendations by the internal and external Audit teams had been done. The excuse for the non collection of Allotment fees was put down to “imputing records on the computer”, nonsense, the reason was because the invoices had not been sent out.
    On the issue of the Play Group, it was suggested that the Play Group “could not afford” to repay the money, wrong again, its because the invoices were not sent out. The reply was, and I quote, We sent out one invoice and when they did not pay it, we did not bother with the others”.
    The Independents have done the job of asking the awkward questions, as to why the monies have not been collected. The Labour Party, especially Cllrs Dalton and St john, who both live in Dinnington, don’t give a toss, but there again they have not got a short fall of around 8k to their Council budget.
    It just gets worse

    Stuart Thornton
    Independent
    Anston Parish council

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