Dinnington Town Council Under New Management

Last night Dinnington Town council held it’s co-option process because we were six councillors short, we already had six independents and three Labour. We now have twelve independent councillors, independent chairman and vice chairman; all fifteen councillors are now determined to make improvements to our area.

It is new territory for Dinnington which like most town and parish councils in the Rotherham area have always been Labour controlled. It is now down to us to show that we can make a difference.

It has to be said that three of the people who had put themselves forward for co-option were three Labour councillors who had stood down at the election; one was the chairman another the vice chairman and the other a long standing councillor.

The ex-chairman was some what miffed at not being co-opted so accused me of rigging the vote, he said that I had stated on Rotherham Politics that he would not get elected. see Note*

I would suggest he needs to learn to read, I did write on here about the duplicity of these Labour councillors in not having the guts to stand for election and trying to circumvent democracy; I also said I hoped they would not get selected; I am pleased to say they did not.

We now have fifteen people with a good cross section of ages, gender and experience and as chairman I look forward with great confidence to working with these great people who really care about Dinnington. The future of Dinnington is in safe hands, so watch this space.

Dave Smith

Note: *https://rotherhampolitics.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/co-option-of-parish-councillors/

34 thoughts on “Dinnington Town Council Under New Management

  1. Well done that man!
    The sheer gall and hypocrisy of Labour ex-councillors never ceases to amaze-and amuse-me.
    If ex Labour councillors ( In Dinnington and Anston) really want a serious debate about about ‘rigging’ elections, elections to committees and ‘rigging ‘ agenda items then I suggest they bring a comfy chair and a decent supply of food.
    It could take some time.

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  2. I and the people around me couldn’t understand the way they elected the co opted members onto the council. At the same time I believe that all those in attendance at the meeting and those on the council should have been involved in the electing of the additional candidates, in a simple voting system that all in the room could understand. If this is democracy in action from our newly elected chairman and council, I see little hope for the Town of Dinnington. I am very anti Labour, but this wasn’t the way to go about removing them, it reminds me of Animal Farm by George Orwell.

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    • Tim, think you are a bit confused there as to the law and procedure. Are you seriously suggesting all those present, Town Councillors or not should have had a vote? I would suggest some serious study is necessary on your part.

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      • As you might remember, I was there last night and also put myself forward to be co-opted.
        In Tim Wells’ comment above, I read it as he suggests that the process be understandable by all, NOT that all of those in attendance be allowed to vote.
        Personally, the process was NOT clear to me, but I blame that on my lack of knowledge of the procedures; The reason that I knew there was something considered to be untoward was thanks to the ex-chairman’s attempts to raise the matter (I found the way in which he was shut down quite objectionable, to be truthful; regardless of what he was trying to say).
        I have asked for clarification of the system and would ask again on here. Until it is made clear to me, I shall continue to wonder if any kind of democratic process WAS actually followed – or if it was made up as you go along.

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      • Rick if you had been there and seen the debacle with the voting system, you may have commented differently, it is funny how the meeting wasn’t recorded on video for all the public to see, as it was when the Labour party controlled it. I would never vote Labour if it was the only party in the Universe.

        The way I see it, not one of the people on the Town council were voted in and they then chose who they would co opt onto the council. It looked to me that the voting system they used wasn’t very transparent. It appears that we have nothing different to what has happened with the Labour party, who then co opted their own onto the council in the past.

        Not everybody wants to be on the Town council, but what is the point of attending Town council meetings, if you have no say in the democratic process when there. I believe in a fair democratic process that members of the public should have been invited to choose who they preferred to be on the council, through a show of hands, once the candidates had stood forward and made their case. Each candidate should have been voted on and the top (x) number of them selected.

        Even though x number of councillors make decisions for us, it should also be possible for direct democracy to over ride their decisions. This should start at the top of our democracy and filter down to the Parish councils. This will then never allow one group of people to think they know best. while in office.

        What was done to Cheryl last night was pretty disgusting in my eyes and not unexpected, I think she is better off out of it. I could have stood to be co opted last night, but I don’t believe the new group will be any better than the old, we need a whole new level of democracy that is inclusive and not exclusive, the system needs changing.

        In my eyes the law last night behaved like an ass.

        Cheers

        Tim

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      • Tim, It’s not funny that the meeting wasn’t videod last night, the person who usually does the videoing wasn’t in attendance, as you would know had you been attending previous Council meetings. He did, however, turn up later but without his video camera, why..? You’ll have to ask him. As for the voting system, I’ve detailed it earlier while you were typing your reply.

        Again, I can only speak for myself, and have stated elsewhere why I voted the way I did. To suggest anything otherwise (especially after I’d been out of the country for two weeks, arriving back at 01:25 on the 18th) is both scurrilous and wrong…

        You couldn’t have stood last night to be co-opted as the deadline had passed and to suggest that the new Council is the same as the old Council (without having been at previous meetings) after just one meeting is preposterous….

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    • Tim, the procedure was suggested by the Yorkshire Local Councils Association (YLCA)… As there were more candidates than seats available, they had to have a proposer and a seconder, IIRC one candidate didn’t make it past that stage… Next came the voting for the seats available (seats 1-6). The winner of the seat was the candidate with the absolute majority, if there was no absolute majority then the candidate with the lowest vote was removed for that seat and the votes recast until a candidate achieved the absolute majority. A very democratic way of doing it. The procedure was nothing like Animal Farm, speaking as one of the Independent Councillors I voted for those I knew from Dinnington who I thought would do the job that is required…

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      • Cllr Milner –
        Could I ask how the second part of the process works? i.e. the assigning of a name to seat?
        Again, pardon my ignorance (heck,if Sarah Champion can own up to knowing nothing, then I suppose I can…..) but, in words of few syllables please, how did/does
        “Seat [1] : [name] : vote” actually work?
        I don’t fully recollect but it seemed that the number of the seat is announced and then a name put forward….
        Feel free to correct me if I am wrong or misremembering.
        Thank you in advance for clarification.

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      • In the case of Seats, the Seat number was read out and Councillors requested to nominate a candidate(s) for that seat and then votes were taken. The candidate with the absolute majoirty won that seat.

        In the case of Seat 6 the vote had to be re-taken as some Councillors had voted twice (once for candidate B and once for candidate C)… Feel free if you need more clarification..

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      • One technique is to get a new council bogged down in the details so decisions are delayed then complain about inertia. Just get on with the agenda you were elected to do and do not be diverted.

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        • This may seem to be questioning the “details” but I have yet to hear a full, clear explanation; it seemed a little like “jobs for the boys”.
          I hasten to add, I am not particularly sorry to have missed such a wonderful opportunity…. but still believe it to have been an unfair process and am not alone in thinking that it should have been done differently (regardless of outcome).

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  3. It is not uncommon for a party that has been in charge unchallenged for decades to be real sour losers. This reads a little like a Tory parish council in the South West after the 100% Tory council got replaced by a 0% Tory council. They used all this repertoire of trickery including calling the winners of elections “undemocratic”. The big parties with their party machines have absolutely no place in parish politics. Stay strong and keep an eye on the car park during meetings!

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  4. Tim if the ex councillors who were carping about the democratic process had stood for election then an election by the electorate would have taken place where you could have all had your say, that not being the case co-option by the sitting councillors took place. The public have no part to play in this, it is obvious that you have little understanding how local government works. The method that was used to co-opt was explained before the process began. We would have been quite within our rights to hold it in private session, we chose not to do that because we wanted the process to be open and transparent, as it was. The people of Dinnington will not fall for the ridiculous accusations being aimed at me and the other councillors that the vote was some how undemocratic, no meetings had been held between councillors before the council meeting we all had the same information about the potential candidates for co-option so we could make our own minds up. You should all understand this, Dinnington council will succeed, we will all work hard to make Dinnington a better place to live, you can either help or just sit on the sidelines and complain; the choice is yours; I know where I will be.
    Dave Smith

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  5. Don’t you feel like moving to Dinnington? Seems like Jeremy Kyle, meets Jerry Springer meets Bruce Forsythe…a lorra, lorra laughs in soap land.,,oh,that’s Cilla, isn’t it?

    Am I right in my interpretation that a number of would be Labour candidates chose not to stand, but are now miffed that they weren’t welcomed back (as they expected through a potential procedural loophole), by the people they had previously slagged?

    The world awaits the answer.,,or should I say the next instalment. My advice to Labour is go gracefully.

    MaryB

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  6. Mary B you have it exactly right, the chairman, the vice chairman and a councillor who had been on for ten years. The pathetic excuse the chairman came up with when asked why he had not stood for re-election was; I was trying to save the council money by not having an election. Which then begged the question how did you know how many candidates were standing for election, answer came there none. The long standing councillor says he did not get his election papers, he did not know why he didn’t, which again begs the question why did you not contact the election office to get them to send you out another set. This is the calibre of people who have, until now been running Dinnington Town council. When the chairman did not get co-opted on he accused me of getting all my friends to vote against him then compounded the lie even further by saying I had posted on this blog that he would not get on. Now we have the spectacle of Tim Wells dreaming up some kind of idealistic method for co-opting members on to the council that we are not allowed to use. And a sore loser of the co-opting attacking me for demanding that McIver the engine desist from making false accusations against me.

    After spending a number of years chairing meetings of miners these kinds of accusations are like water off a ducks back, if Tim likes I could recommend some books for him to read that I had to read whilst getting my politics degree.
    Dave Smith

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    • I am NOT a sore loser Mr Smith; far from it.
      And to say that ANYthing I have said on here is “attacking” you is ridiculous and shows a thin skinned-side that I am sure you would not admit to. The tones and attitude so blatantly expressed – including by a rather vocal newly-co-opted member – were a surprise, although they probably should not have been.
      I have still to hear any kind of reasonable explanation why a fairer process was not used – but am growing weary of this malarkey.
      I can honestly say that I – even though I had been warned – did not expect the machinations of local government to be quite so petty and personal. And unpleasant.

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  7. If any one wants to question the process used for co-option please contact the clerk, whose instructions we followed. These instructions were received from the YLCA, who you can also contact if you so wish. Here endeth the discussion.
    Dave Smith

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    • Mr Smith – I emailed Alistair for an clarification of the process yesterday – no reply forthcoming as I have already stated on here.
      To “poet morgan” – earlier in this comment thread, you were the one who said to “get on with what you are elected to do” and yet, take the words out my mouth with your statement that “co-option is not election”.

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      • Some councillors are Elected and they may if they choose co-opt others. This seems to be a standard across England but there may be local differences based on local custom and tradition.

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  8. With regards to co-opting, I never noticed the same level of outcry from Labour supporters/ ex councillors etc. when Labour councillors on Matlby Town Council were co- opting family members onto MTC, did you? Is it a case of “one rule for the Labour Partyand another rule for everyone else”?

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  9. If there was suddenly enough people for an election process, everybody should have been up for the election and the public of Dinnington should have made that decision through an election system that was understandable. I am sure that those on the Council could have called for such an election. I must remind Dave of his recent election result, where he came after the Labour party, UKIP, Conservatives and just ahead of the Greens, not exactly a massive endorsement from the public of Dinnington.

    http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/info/200033/councillors_democracy_and_elections/979/borough_council_election_results_7_may_2015/4

    I have two goals which will benefit me and the people of Dinnington, one is helping to facilitate the clearing up of the land where the allotments are as this attracts vandalism and other anti social behaviour and a hybrid super tram link into Sheffield via the old coal transportation line, I will progress these through various local bodies, people and South Yorkshire transport, where my time will be better spent.

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  10. Don’t attempt to make out Tim that you are trying to benefit the people of Dinnington with the facilitating the clearing up of the allotment area other people were dealing with this long before you moved to the area; that is why some have been cleaned up. As for your pie in the sky scheme that some how the mineral line can be transformed into “hybrid super tram link into Sheffield” keep on dreaming. They couldn’t even get the super tram from Sheffield to Rotherham. Just what votes did you get Tim, oh I forgot you only talk about things whilst I and other people try to change things, that is why I am chairman of Dinnington Town council whilst you and the others just bleat from the side lines. Also if you and the others had done your research properly all you needed were ten signatures of people living in Dinnington to force an election for the six places, so sorry mate you have missed the boat, or should that be the coal train?
    Dave Smith

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  11. can not believe the audacity of the three ex Labour Cllrs. why on earth did they think it was right not to stand for election and then “creep” back on through the back door. But there again we are dealing with Labour Cllrs. It is also very interesting that the three Labour Cllrs who actually stood for election did not put “Labour” next to their names on the nomination sheet, why was this ??. Was the Local Labour Party reluctant to endorse them. At the next meeting someone should ask if they are card carrying Members and if so why did they not stand on that ticket. Reading through the above comments, its quite clear that the Co option process is not understood, Miss/Mrs Kay should contact the Clerk again, so he can explain how the system works.

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    • The only thing I would say at this point is Thank You for at least half-replying to me directly, as to this point, no-one has
      I think there were far more “interesting” and devious things going on than I would care to know about and I had obviously not done my homework fully, naive soul that I am; I really did just want to help to,as the saying goes, “make a difference” and had no idea of the way things actually “work” (or don’t).
      I wish the person who suggested that i apply had also directed me to the youtube videos that I have since tried (albeit half-heartedly) to watch – but, as above, I am weary of it now. I do not believe that I should have to contact the Clerk AGAIN, I am sure he is very efficient and there is a deliberate decision to fail to reply to my question and have no doubt that is would be very low on any To Do list to respond to a “sore loser” (again, far from it).
      I am inclined to be believe that unless there had only been been six people apply for co-option to six seats, I would not have had an earthly chance and maybe not even then.

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      • I’ve already explained the procedure to you earlier… As I’ve stated before, the procedure came from The Yorkshire Local Councils Association (YLCA)…

        As an FYI, the Clerks position is part-time and I believe he is on leave for the rest of this week… There is no conspiracy theory as you seem to be implying because of his non reply… I’m sure that he’ll reply as soon as he gets back to work… TBH I don’t know how I can make the process any easier to understand…

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        • :o) I was not implying there is any kind of conspiracy theory, there is also no need to tender your Clerk’s schedule.
          I have already taken a portion of the blame myself and appreciate your offering your explanation. I have also expressed some wry humour and in turn been referred to in derisory terms and as a sore loser when I am anything but.
          I should have researched the co-option process more fully. I had an inkling that it was a process that really just meant that elected council members brought their loyal supporters/family members etc on board. I think I was in part right.
          It had to be pointed out to me that it SEEMED a bit fishy and it is only by staying to the end that I found out that I would have regretted my submission HAD I been co-opted, when I saw the way these meeting can play out.
          It is no place for me – I shall, to use Mr Smith’s much-repeated phrase, stay happily on the sidelines.
          There is no need to respond to or refer to me further.

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  12. I may not be the only person reading the latest news on child sexual abuse ( better described as torture by high profile elites) who feels despair. The decline has reached such proportions that ordinary well intentioned people are completely impotent to resolve it. Still haggling over mole hills when there are , as yet , mountains to climb.
    The nation of Britain is in such spiritual and moral decline that it may have passed the point of no return. Something cataclysmic must happen for change. Repentance for the massive national abandonment of Britain’s spiritual heritage could be a start for healing. But perhaps it’s already too late for even that.
    All British immigration borders would do well to proclaim in every language “Abandon hope all ye who enter here”

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  13. At last some one who has brought up a real subject if people watch the past recordings of not only Dinnington Town council meetings but also Rotherham Borough meetings; they will see how much I fought to gain answers from our councillors about what they knew about the rape of our children. That is why Jane Havenhand her sister Jaquie Falvey did not stand for re-election to Dinnington Town council. I also changed the illegal way in which the Dinnington Town council was conducting it’s business, that is why the public can now stay and watch the council conduct all of it’s business. This is also the reason that the co-option process, unlike other councils in the area, was conducted in public so that it was open and transparent. I can assure you Linda that we in Dinnington will not abandon the CSE victims we will still be demanding answers and demanding that those responsible, not just the perpetrators, but those in responsible positions who turned a blind eye are brought to account.

    I have no intentions of carrying on the pointless discussion over the way we conducted our co-opting process; we have far more important things to deal with in Dinnington and the super tram is not one of them. The last point on this our clerk is on holiday till next week so you would not get a reply.

    Dinnington has one of the most deprived areas in Europe, on one street we have ten empty properties owned by absent private landlords that have been empty for two years. Rotherham does not have a empty homes officer so we will have to put pressure on Rotherham housing directors to do something about this. We have three times as many empty houses in Dinnington than the average Rotherham figure, the life expectancy is twice as low as the Rotherham area norm. Unemployment is higher than the rest of the area norm, education has worse results than the area norm; we have people using a food bank that the last council left the whole of the funding of to the Salvation Army These are the type of priorities we will be dealing with in the next five years, So forgive me if I find the pathetic arguments put forward by Tim Wells and Cheryl Kaye as the least of my worries The councillors we have on now, and I don’t care if they are card carrying members of the Labour party, are all determined that their main focus will be the people of Dinnington; and improving if we can the lives of those people. I urge everyone who believes as we do to come and take part.
    Dave Smith
    Chairman of Dinnington Town Council

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    • Best of luck Dave, I wish we had more of your ilk over here in Barnsley, I only come on this site to see how you and the likes of cllr Thornton hold the self serving labour councillors to account.

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  14. Maybe its a good job you weren’t co-opted, the process has been explained 3 times and you still don’t get it. Who knows what would happen if you were handed a piece of legislation or a balance sheet. From my limited experience in watching the meetings dinnington and anston meetings the labour lot didn’t seem to understand much in terms of finance, procedure or how the democratic process worked, unless of course they were nodding dogs to a labour led vote.

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    • I “get” what happened and you are quite right that it is just as well I wasn’t co-opted (as if that was ever going to happen), although not for the reason you infer. Thank for your comment though.

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