Denial, Delusion or Misinformation?

Dear Rotherham Politics readers,

Imagine my surprise when I found this little nugget on Facebook this morning –

About Darren
I’m a Labour Councillor for the Anston and Woodsetts Ward of Rotherham Borough Council.

Is this the triumph of hope over expectation, or just the can’t-be-arrsed-to-properly-inform folks that many RothPol readers and Rovrum active and empowered citizens have grown accustomed to from Dodger’s Corn Fed Grunters, Muppets and Clowns?

Or should the location be changed to Hopeful Dreamer for Rawmish?

Hmm, leading bizniss-man, Porsche-afficionado and champayne commissar to Da Partee, oh really, do parss the Pinot Grigio there’s a left-wing lovey-dovey darling do?

Mind how ya go.
Grald-Hunter

Another pretender?

Rotherham Politics understands that there is another that is a potential ‘pretender’ to the role of Rotherham Member of Parliament.

This brings the total to three local Labour members, who are understood to be very interested. Mahroof Hussain MBE and Emma Hoddinott are joined by the exceedingly ambitious local businessman, Darren Hughes!

Darren Hughes is reportedly, very keen on being the first openly gay something, in Rotherham.

The infantile loser?

Dear Rotherham Politics readers,

Well, ere’s a funny thing, don’t ya think?

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/local/police-post-candidate-pledges-to-take-prompt-action-on-antisocial-behaviour-1-4849290

Shaun Da Sheep, Rovrum’s Laybah PCC candidate, is proudly and vainly bleating about how he will ensure that the public get a response from Police within 24 hours if-and-when he gets the highly-paid PCC post he covets so much.

Hmm, all those weasel words would maybe convince me were it not for the infantile behaviour I witnessed from the public gallery in the RMBC Council Chamber when he held up a piece of paper with “Loser” writ large on it in front of Cllr Peter Thirlwall, who was giving his usual wonderful drubbing to the Laybah Corn Fed Grunters, Muppets and Clowns.

Of course, not one of Da Laybah Bruvvaz-n-Sistaz said they’d seen owt. No surprises there then!

Maybe they were in need of some professional clinical help from the flash chav Porsche optician mucker who lavished champers on them at the Mayor’s Junket?

But still, this oafish Rawmarsh and Parkgate clown and dullard will NOT get my vote.

It will go to anyone but him, however much Dodger’s new Ms Pravda Commissar tries to bullshite the public into thinking that Shaun Da Sheep will keep us all safer abed iffen he gets the PCC job.

You couldn’t make it up, but you sure can here in Rovrum

Grald-Hunter

Shaun Wright’s Supporters – Hidden Agenda?

In the first posting, using information brought to our attention by an anonymous RikiLeaks correspondent, to whom we are grateful, we bring you some interesting information on Shaun Wright’s uber-supporters:

From, www.shaunwrightforpoliceandcrimecommissioner.com/page4.htm

What kind of idiot registers a campaign website with 47 characters in it? Darren Hughes, that’s who! Amazing? The work of an incompetent, or a fool! Little wonder then his campaign was so poor in May’s local election.

Those hailing from Rotherham in bold

John Healey MP – Wentworth & Dearne Constituency
Cllr Steve Houghton CBE – Leader Barnsley Council
Cllr Roger Stone OBE – Leader Rotherham Council
Cllr Jahangir Akhtar – Deputy Leader Rotherham Council
Cllr Jim Andrews – Barnsley East CLP Secretary & Chairman South Yorkshire Fire Authority
Cllr Ken Richardson – Barnsley Central CLP Secretary
Mr Alan Goy – Rother Valley CLP Secretary
Cllr Maggie Clark – Rotherham CLP Secretary
Cllr Neil Hamilton -Wentworth & Dearne CLP Secretary
Mr John Mills – Don Valley CLP Secretary
Mr Jim Smith – Sheffield Central CLP Secretary
Mrs Elizabeth Gee – Headteacher
Mrs Tammy Hayward – Hospital Ward Sister
Miss Jade Mellows – Miss Sheffield & Businesswoman
Mrs Winnie Billups – Chair of Area Housing Panel
Mrs Kath Roden – Branch Secretary Royal British Legion
Mrs Ann Gallagher – GMB Branch Secretary
Mr Ken Curran Chairman of Unison Labour Link
Mr John Cafferty – UNISON Regional Secretary
Karen Reay – UNITE Regional Secretary
Mrs Carol Maleham – UNISON Branch Secretary
Cllr Kath Sims – Labour Group Secretary
Mr Reg Littleboy – District Labour Party Secretary
Cllr Lindsay Johnston – District Labour Party Chair
Cllr Patricia Knight – Don Valley CLP Chair
Cllr Alan Gosling – Labour Group Chair & Wentworth & Dearne CLP Chair
Mick Clapham – Retired MP for Barnsley West & Penistone
Jeff Ennis – Retired MP for Barnsley East & Mexborough
Mr Lee Parkinson – GMB Branch Chair
Mr Mick Stowe – UNISON Branch Chair
Cllr Alan Atkin – Vice Chairman South Yorkshire Fire Authority
Mr Tony Wright – UNISON NHS Branch Secretary
Mrs Rona Helliwell
Cllr Karen Dyson
Cllr May Noble
Cllr Margaret Sheard
Cllr Eva Hughes
Cllr Emma Wallis
Cllr Ann Russell
Cllr Judy Dalton
Cllr Lindsay Pitchley
Cllr Jane Hamilton – CLP Treasurer
Cllr Patricia Russell
Cllr Rose McNeeley
Cllr Jackie Falvey
Cllr Jane Havenhand
Cllr Tracey Cheetham
Cllr Maggie Godfrey
Cllr Denise Lelliot
Cllr Gordon Watson
Mrs Sheila Walker
Cllr Jennifer Whysall
Cllr Joe Hayward – BLP Secretary
Cllr Tim Shepherd
Cllr Robin Franklin – BLP Secretary
Cllr Alan Gardiner
Cllr Martin Dyson
Cllr John Parkinson
Mr Trevor Cave – BLP Secretary
Mr Mick Clegg – Shop Steward
Cllr Tom Sheard
Cllr Graham Kyte
Cllr David Leech
Cllr Bill Mordue
Cllr Barry Dodson
Cllr Terry Sharman
Cllr Shaukat Ali
Cllr John Foden
Cllr Paul Lakin
Cllr Brian Steel – UNISON Convenor
Cllr Dave Pickering
Mr Darren Hughes
Cllr John Swift
Cllr Geb Nightingale
Cllr Keith Goulty
Cllr Dominc Beck
Cllr David Roche
Cllr Glyn Whelbourn
Cllr Alex Sangster
Cllr Alan Atkin
Cllr Richard Russell
Cllr Chris Read
Cllr Peter Wootton
Cllr Alan Buckley
Cllr Andrew Roddison
Cllr Simon Tweed
Cllr Gerald Smith
Cllr Colin Barron

Even when Shaun Wright’s spurious duplicate is removed, this list is perhaps more revelatory than intended? A few random thoughts:

Fifty Two are from Rotherham (at least!) in a list of Eighty Seven, a staggering 59.7% in fact! This does rather lend credence to the information supplied to us, that a conspiracy to get rid of Shaun Wright from Rotherham MBC was afoot!

When the new Cabinet was announced, well before selection for PCC candidates had occurred, Shaun Wright’s name was not among them? Did Roger Stone think he was not up to it after his Children and Families debacle?

Not good enough to be a Rotherham Cabinet Member? Yet foisted on the long suffering people of South Yorkshire as PPC Labour Candidate by his ‘mates’ mounting a campaign not to support him, we are told, but to get rid of him!

Shaun Wright’s Campaign Manager, Mr Hughes and rumoured Rawmarsh Ward successor, is also on this list?

Darren Hughes, would seem to be a strange choice? Given that he was the only Labour Candidate in May’s Local Elections to loose his seat, after what turned out to have been a spectacularly ill-judged campaign in Anston & Woodsetts Ward!

That and the fact that he was trying the impossible, to get himself elected once again as though his duplicitous support for the Exclusive Brethren and swapping sides from Tory to Labour would not have been noticed. Turning up to meetings in his Porshe or Range Rover, does not make him a convincing Labour man at all!

I note that there is only one Member of Parliament listed as a supporter of Shaun Wright John Healey Wentworth & Dearne Constituency. Easily manipulated? It would certainly appear so.

Why was Denis MacShane not on this list, even though he had very publicly backed Shaun Wright? Too embarrassing even for this Labour apparatchik to claim his support? Not very popular in South Yorkshire, is our Denis!

Everyone but Beck!

When Rotherham Politics published the story, Dominic Beck – files new Interests Declaration, we assumed there would be little interest in this beyond a mere handful.

How wrong we were, this post has been well read and commented upon, 373  400 424 and 44 respectively, at the latest count.

The biggest surprise to us was Ex-Borough Councillor Darren Hughes, who entered the fray with a number of attempts at self justification and a defence of his ex-employee, Dominic Beck who was the subject in question. Why?

It is interesting to note that we have had no contribution from Dominic Beck himself up to now. His silence speaks volumes!

All we would wish for would be a little explanation, especially as to whether and how he derives a personal benefit from the Council contracts he is involved with? For example.

Dominic Beck’s latest Declaration dated 4th July 2012.

Darren Hughes – The Return! featuring in a cameo role that star of THT, your very own Cllr Jahangir Akhtar!

The plot so far:

A committed Tory jumps ship to oust long serving Labour activist, having managed to hoodwink the great Leader our Z list star takes on the sham role of an Anston Councillor while all the time in talks with a secret sect.

To avoid detection of his continued Tory allegiances our star avoids any contact with the locals while all the time creaming in the gold coins.

All is not lost!

He underestimates the locals and Darren falls from grace, is this the end for our undercover Tory?

Fear not pantomime fans, waiting in the wings is no other than that man of whispers Cllr Akhtar, yes our so called man of the people, and yes the very same man who now refuses to respond to blogs!

“Darren a safe seat awaits Stone says that it is yours; he has told the Rawmarsh lot you’re the man!”

Keep glad handing those myopic Cllr chumps, go to their events, stick up as many posters as you want and all will be well.

And what do I want in return, your vote for Leader!

It sounds like a pantomime because it is, at the centre of this farce is Cllr Akhtar and his design to become Leader, interestingly when challenged over the decision to award Darren the Rawmarsh seat Jahangir fails to stand up for democracy and goes with the flow.

Don’t fall for it good people of Rawmarsh and Parkgate, select your own candidate.

Cerberus

Fly posting – The Ex-Councillor, Mr Hughes responds!

Rothpol has been asked to give equal prominence to Darren Hughes response in the interests of fairness. I therefore reproduce Darren Hughes statement:

From Darren Hughes

“I would like to make some factual corrections to your posting.

a. Prior to erecting my election posters, I checked what the correct procedure was. Most councils have a policy specifically for election campaign posters ie that candidates may put posters up but must take them down by a week after the election.

b. On checking, I found that Rotherham has no policy on this. I contacted the Rotherham planning department and was told campaign posters were acceptable during election times and that there was a legal requirement for the posters to be removed within a specific time frame following the election. I proceeded to have the posters erected.

b. Following a complaint from an opposing candidate I was contacted by the Director of Streetpride and asked to remove the posters. I asked if this was
correct as there was not a specific policy and there seemed to be some
confusion between council departments. I was advised by Streetpride
that no action would be taken until the situation was clarified.

c. Several days later I was informed that the posters would need to be
removed. RMBC policy for fly posters is to advise and request that the
posters be removed within 7 days. I agreed with the Director of Streetpride that I would arrange for the posters to be removed myself by the
weekend. If I had not removed the posters by this agreed timescale
Streetpride officers would remove them.

d. I arranged for the posters to be removed only to find as we started to remove them (within the agreed timescale) that RMBC officers had already started their removal. Despite this, the vast majority of posters were taken down by my arrangement.

I am a little surprised that Mr Thornton has made this posting as he was one of the people who approved of my posters in a similar fashion in 2008, and who himself displayed posters during his own election campaign.”

Darren Hughes

Readers may need to refer to this post: Fly posting – The Ex-Councillor, Mr Hughes

Fly posting – The Ex-Councillor, Mr Hughes

Rotherham Politics brings you another interesting exchange of E-Mails regarding the fly posting of Mr Darren Hughes Election posters in and around North and South Anston.  I am most highly peeved that MY TAX MONEY has been spent on the removal of illegal fly posters.

From  S Thornton
To    K Battersby
25th May 2012

Dear Mr Battersby,

It has been brought to my attention, both through the local papers and through local “blog” pages, that the Election posters placed in North and South Anston by Mr Hughes were removed by RMBC workers.

Could you please supply the following information:-

Were the posters erected by Mr Hughes for his campaign removed by RMBC staff?
If yes, how many staff were involved ?.
How long did it take for the staff to remove the posters (hours or days)?
If the staff did remove the posters, has Mr Hughes been sent an invoice to cover the cost to the Taxpayer ?.
What was the cost to the Taxpayer ?.
Did the invoice (if sent) cover costs for fuel for Council vehicles ?.

The information you supply maybe given to the wider Public.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future, thank you for your time.

S Thornton

A reply duly came:

From K Battersby
To   S Thornton
CC  (Employee RMBC) (Employee RMBC) (Employee RMBC, Chief Exct office ?)
25th May 2012

Mr Thornton, thank you for your e-mail. I can provide the following initial answers to your questions.

Were the posters erected by Mr Hughes for his campaign removed by RMBC staff.

Yes that is correct.

If yes, how many staff were involved.

I think it is two. (employee) can you confirm please.

How long did it take for the staff to remove the posters (hours or days)

I don`t have an exact record, but I recall that it was two occasions.

I would have said it was in the order of a couple of hours.

If the staff did remove the posters, has Mr Hughes been sent an invoice to cover the cost to the Tax payer.

No.

What was the cost to the Tax payer.

As we have not prepared or sent an invoice, I do not have a cost.
These were staff already employed and funded by the council.

Did the invoice(if sent) cover costs for fuel for council vehicles.

N/A.

Stuart replied to Karl Battersby in the following terms:

From S Thornton
To   K Battersby
30 May 2012

Dear Mr Battersby,

Thank you for your reply, I am very disappointed that RMBC staff have been employed on the removal of “private” Election fly posters.
The Election posters were erected by a private individual, Mr Hughes, who was at the time an RMBC Cllr.
The posters were his private property and therefore if they were removed by your staff Mr Hughes should be sent an invoice for the work involved.
My Tax money and the Tax money of the rate payers of Anston should not have been used for this “removal”.
I dispute your answer in which you say that the removal of these signs took “a couple of hours” by the sheer number of signs put up I think this would have been impossible to do in a couple of hours, the signs appeared to have been erected over a number of days.
Your reply states that “these were staff already employed and funded by the Council”  This is stating the obvious, all staff employed by the Council are funded by the Council.
The point you completely miss is the fact that these two persons were already employed on Council business and had to be taken off the tasks they were allocated to remove private signs put up by an individual who also happens to be an RMBC Cllr at the time.
Are we now allowing RMBC Cllrs (as he was then) free use of Council facilities.

I now request under the Freedom of Information Act the following information (if a cost is either charged or quoted, I request an explanation as to why you are charging me for Council services and not Mr Hughes).

(1)  Exactly how many staff were employed on the task of removing Mr Hughes Election posters.

(2)  Exactly how long this task took in hours.

(3)  Were the staff employed, taken off another”job” to remove these private Election posters.

(4)  Who made the decision not to send Mr Hughes an invoice.

(5)  Do you have any plans to invoice Mr hughes in the near future.

(6)  If the answer to question 5 is no, please give a detailed response as to why no invoice will be raised.

Karl Battersby again responds:

From  K Battersby
To    S Thornton
31 May 2012

Mr Thornton thank you for your latest email. I can provide the following response to the questions you have asked;

(1) Exactly how many staff were employed on the task of removing Mr Hughes Election posters.

One operative, along with a cherry picker

(2) Exactly how long this task took in hours

Four hours, two two hour stints.

(3) Were the staff employed, taken off another “job” to remove these private election posters.

Yes and No, this employee has a substantive role which is to repair lighting columns, however it is within his remit to from time to time remove fly posted materials when required as when they are at height we can only take them down using the cherry picker.

(4) Who made the decision not to send Mr Hughes an invoice.

Current Council policy is to remove fly posting and where the poster can be identified we write to them not to do it again. If they re offend in the future we would then raise an invoice for the cost of removal.

5) Do you have any plans to invoice Mr Hughes in the near future.

No

(6)  If the answer to question 5 is no please give a detailed response as to why no invoice will be raised.

See question 4

Regards Karl Battersby

It was at this point I gave up.  It is quite clear that our Tax money was used to remove illegal fly posters and that Mr Battersby was not going to ruffle any feather by charging anyone.
I suspect, but cannot prove it, that Mr Hughes was called in to the office, told what a naughty boy he was, but don’t worry we will take them down.
Was this because he was a serving RMBC Cllr?.
That it was thought Mr Hughes would win the election, and then nothing more would be said was also possible.
Its my understanding that it took a full four days from the date of the complaint to the removal of the posters, was this just coincidence that it happened to be the last full week before election, Mr Hughes got an “extra” four days publicity. you make up your own mind.
Same old story, ask a question of RMBC, straight into defense mode and fob people off with rubbish answers, dig deeper and all seems not to as appears.
Did you notice that my FoI request did not “attract” the usual line of how much it had cost to process.
If RMBC staff are going to continue to flout the rules and waste my Tax money on their cronies then maybe we need more exposure of this kind.

S Thornton.

Upset in Anston & Woodsetts ward!

For those eager readers waiting for full analysis of this years Rotherham local government elections, disappointment, I am afraid is inevitable! It takes time to do this.

The highlight of the night came at the very end of the counting session, with the declaration of the result for Anston & Woodsetts ward.

Clive Jepson, the doughty Independent, had beaten Darren Hughes!

What the voter giveth, they can take away again!

Selling out Anston’s green belt to the Brethren Cult, was never going to make Darren popular! It’s that kind of place, that and the simple fact, that they wouldn’t be taken for fools! Not twice!

Elections can be wonderful occasions! Revenge of the ‘duped’, perhaps? Or even Rotherham’s very own ‘Portillo’ moment?

More on this story later, when I wake up properly!

The results are here on the RMBC website.

Rocking Horse droppings at Greenlands TARA AGM – tonight!

Greenlands TARA AGM – tonight! Breathless report just in!

Darren Hughes turned up! Now there’s a surprise – he has never been at all in the last four years! Judy Dalton was invited – but “could not come”

Darren spoke with all authority – as if he was doing marvellous things. The audience were absolutely amazed at his audacity, knowing what he is like for never finishing anything or getting back to people.

Darren Hughes spoke on the following subjects:

LDF – The number is now down from 1K and some  to 501.
The new development will be parallel with Woodland Grove – our informant has never heard, of Woodland Grove – probably another lack of attention by Hughes.

Darren went on at length on the subject of the public consultation. Surprise, surprise! Another consultation in August!

Brethren School & Gospel Hall
Hughes has done extensive surveys in Laughton Common and everyone he has spoken to is FOR this. (depends how the question is framed!)
There was only 1 person against!  He said?

He has been in consultation with RMBC and said it did not go through because it was not written up strongly enough. Darren emphasised it is a Gospel Hall and If they word the reapplication to the effect that the Gospel Hall is not on Green Belt, it would go through.
RMBC know if it goes to appeal it will cost a lot of money.
Outrageously Darren Hughes & RMBC appear to be telling the Brethren how to word this application so it will be successful. He confirmed they will be putting in another application.

The fumes/pollution is causing concern from premises on the Monksbridge Trading Estate.
Darren Hughes set up a meeting with both the Paper Factory and Trade B, but never turned up – He has never been to any of the subsequent meetings either.
It is Clive Jepson along with Sandra Wallhead and others who attend.

Summary
Darren Hughes is making out that he does a great deal for the community – despite never getting back to them!

Funny that! Anyone might suspect that he wants the mugs from Anston & Woodsetts Ward to re-elect him?

Naked politicking or what? Nothing for four years, then he waltzes in on his white charger telling everyone how wonderful he is, Not!

Fly on the wall