From RikiLeaks ‘snail mail’ inbox – Question for Darren?

RikiLeaks ‘snail mail’ inbox contained today this interesting question and observation on Anston & Woodsetts Tory Labour candidate Darren Hughes:

Question: Why is Darren Hughes standing at Anston & Woodssetts and not at Brinsworth & Catcliffe where he belongs?

Answer: An all women shortlist!

Darren Hughes makes an ass of himself!

We have to give Darren one thing, his single minded determination to con the voters of Anston and Woodsetts Ward into re-electing ex-Tory boy, this time, as a Labour candidate!

Darren Hughes campaign materials up to now are consistent in containing mostly deliberate half-truths, inaccuracies and frank deceptions!

We at Rotherham Politics were very surprised to learn therefore, that Darren Hughes lodged a Police complaint about the nature of statements made in his Independent opponent, Clive Jepson’s, election address!

The complaint took issue with Clive’s assertion that Darren Hughes had been, I quote:

“Working to get a private religious school built on green belt land at Anston.”

We though the reports to be a joke when we first heard them, but they proved to be accurate.

Is Darren Hughes on the same planet to the rest of us? These are his own words on the subject in an email reproduced in this post:

“I’ve been working with the proposed applicant at all stages of their planning over the past year or so.”

The ‘fair comment defence’ is more than necessary to put paid to this ridiculous and spiteful complaint from this odious man! That or the ‘Arkell vs Pressdram’ defence! Scroll down a little way, we should warn you in advance that base language is present.

If ‘Wonder Boy’ Beck gets it wrong?

RikiLeaks ‘snail mail’ inbox*, the Royal Mail to you and me, has been busy this week.

Rotherham Politics brings you the first, received on Monday, concerning Borough Councillor Dominic Beck the member for Wales Ward and Anston parish councillor who lives South Anston.

A while ago when Rothpol was idly surfing the RMBC website and started to pay closer attention to the Interest Declarations made by RMBC Councillors, it was realised that the existing system was woefully inadequate and poorly administered! A fill in and forget it attitude seems to be the case amongst Councillors and the Monitoring Officer in our Town, this is especially disappointing in view of the time limits for amending records is only 28 days not the years it takes most members of the Council to update theirs!

I am very grateful therefore to my anonymous informant, for taking the time, trouble and expense to inform readers of just such a fine example in Dominic Beck:

Dominic Beck Councillors Interests Declaration of 10. 05. 2011.

Dinnington Guardian Published on Friday 24 June 2011 Career in politics Beck-oning

My informant highlights the following issues, Dominic Beck does not include his membership of the Labour Party nor Trades Union Membership as required under Labour Party Rules. Dominic Beck claims ’employment’ by Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce and RMBC simultaneously and points to the resulting conflict of interest!

My informant is entirely correct about their first two points but the third is an example of a mistake by Dominic Beck, he is not an employee of RMBC, but an elected member, as employment by RMBC would disqualify him from membership of the Council! RMBC should not have been mentioned in an answer to question 4.

One for pedants, where the answer does not apply to him, the only permissible answer is none, not the Blank or N/A answers given by Dominic Beck in his declaration of  10th May 2011.

One wonders why the Monitoring Officers counter signature was applied to this incomplete and incorrectly filled in declaration and indeed the fact that this particular example exists, does not inspire one with confidence that the rest of the declarations by other Councillors are any better.

Further questions, when did Dominic Beck’s contract of employment with Hughes & Hughes expire? As Hughes & Hughes is a company owned and run by Darren Hughes surely there must be some omissions from other declarations? What is the nature of his employment by B&R Chamber? Did it change? When did he cease being a student? we should be told!

* ‘Snail Mail’ inbox address available upon request.
Darren Hughes – Declaration of Interests
Thomas Fenoughty – Declaration of Interests

Councillors and Co-opted members code of conduct.
Officers code of conduct.

Green Belt consultation – Feedback report.

A Rotherham Politics reader brings us news on the feedback resulting from the consultation on the LDF:

I’ve just found out that the consultation process of 2011 feedback report has been published: link,

I’ve had a quick look and it is obvious that the majority of points raised for Dinnington East (Page 17 onwards), if not all, come from the ‘Save Our Greenbelt Dinnington and Anston Action Group‘ letter of objection (of which over 1700 were handed in) but with two omissions (must be considered too trivial to include, perhaps) viz:

“Pressure will increase on emergency services, schools, doctors’ surgeries and local hospitals” and

“In the unfortunate event of Yorkshire Water’s pumps failing (as happened in Goole on the 3 August 2011), the traditional pond will no doubt form, as now, in the bottom of the fields LDF216 and LDF220 with potential flooding to homes in Birkdale Avenue, Wentworth Way, Turnberry Way, Moortown Avenue and Belfry Way”.

The objection letter of the group can be found here:

Silence from Darren Hughes – His constituents deserve an answer!

Last week Rothpol brought you, Darren Hughes & the Exclusive Brethren – ‘Useful Idiot’ or something more?

Rothpol sent an Email to Darren asking him this simple question:

“The readers of Rotherham Politics are bewildered at your support for the Exclusive Brethren School proposal.
Perhaps you would like to let us all know what on Earth you were doing supporting these proposals?”

A simple enough question for a politician to answer, you might have thought?

Darren’s answer? Silence as yet! Your constituents are waiting!

Darren Hughes & the Exclusive Brethren – ‘Useful Idiot’ or something more?

Darren Hughes, RMBC Councillor for Anston & Woodsetts Ward who actually lives in Catcliffe, has been reported to have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to facilitate this locally unwelcome application for development, in part of Rotherham’s precious green belt at Anston.

Why did he support the Exclusive Brethren’s planning application?

Perhaps it was for the following reasons, in no particular order:

  • It will provide much needed education for the children of his Anston & Woodsetts constituents?
  • It will enhance the site by destroying valuable wildlife habitat?
  • The local roads are under used?
  • It will advance Rotherham’s equalities Agenda?
  • Labour’s own national education policy supports this?
  • The education on offer will be fully compliant with the National Curriculum?
  • Science teaching will be excellent?
  • There will be many jobs for local constituents of Darren?
  • LGBT isues will be dealt with sympathetically?
  • The Exclusive Brethren are not a ‘cult’ that splits up families?
  • The local community will benefit and welcome this development?
  • The school will not be engaging in ‘brainwashing’ amounting to ‘child abuse’?
  • Local businesses will benefit?
  • Information Technology and computer science teaching will be ‘World class’?
  • It will provide Rotherham citizens a new place to get married or enter a civil partnership?
  • It will provide another place of worship, welcoming to all Christians?

This by no means exhaustive list of questions can only be answered in the negative, so why has Darren Hughes been so supportive of the Brethren’s proposals? We have a right to be told!

Useful Idiot‘ is one possible explanation, there are others much less charitable to Darren Hughes. Darren Hughes’s, Anston & Woodsetts constituents are waiting for answers! See comment below.

That application to remind readers what the Exclusive Brethren want:

Application Ref – RB2011/1568
Date Valid – 03/11/2011
Case Officer – Leanne Cain
Applicant – Elsworth Acres Ltd
Proposal – Erection of 2 No. buildings to form independent school, convention centre and gospel hall including associated car parking, landscaping and surface water retention pond and erection of ancillary caretaker’s dwelling including detached double garage
Property land at – Todwick Road
District – North Anston
Consultation_Period – START 11/11/2011
Consultation_Period- END 02/12/2011
Provisional_Decision- Date 02/02/2012

Planning Documents Make Reference To The Following –

Full application, for the erection of an Independent School, Convention Centre and Gospel Hall. Car parking, area for coach parking, informal play areas, caretaker’s dwelling, surface water retention pond and associated landscaping. Provision For 186 Cars and 8 Coaches. Provision For 4 Bedroom House

Not just a school then but a whole complex!

A reader writes (as dictated over that wonderful invention the wireless telephone):

“No wonder he was prepared to sell us out on this! This loathsome local politician won’t be affected. He should be ashamed of himself. Can’t wait for May so we can tip him out!”

Thanks to Trambuster for the planning link, much appreciated. Rothpol.

A question less random?

Did Anston parish council exceed their legal powers, when involved in litigation?

This rather nasty little episode of the abuse of power may still come to haunt those involved, Robin Stonebridge and Iain StJohn, to name just two of them!

A very interesting question indeed!

In football parlance, Resident 7 Anston parish council 0

Another question at random………

Wonderful news for Anston’s green belt!

It can be reported that the plans to build a school off Todwick Road with Common Road, Anston have been withdrawn!!!!!!


The advice from officers was for rejection. The decidedly unwelcome application was being fought by the the local community.  The  planning application, made on behalf of a religious ‘cult’ has now been withdrawn ahead of the planning meeting scheduled for next Thursday. Hooray once again!!!! The rejection advice should be interesting, bring it to you when we have it.

Is it too much to hope that the Brethren have forsaken Rotherham for good? Wherever they turn their attention to next, perhaps they will do it without destroying more of God’s wonderful World and certainly not on Rotherham’s precious green belt!

This must be a disappointment to Darren Hughes, as he was assiduous in their cause assisting them everywhere he could! Darren Hughes is a RMBC Councillor for the Anston & Woodsetts Ward and was prepared to destroy important green belt land for a bunch of rather undesirable religious ‘cultists’, they are not called the Exclusive Brethren for nothing!

Darren’s constituents should remember this, when it comes to casting their votes this May.

A few random questions?

Rotherham Politics poses the difficult questions:

Why are the Conservatives in Rotherham so poor at providing opposition?

Why did the independent remuneration panel only take evidence and advice from Council Officers, before recommending more? Rotherham Politics thinks that ordinary people should have had an input!

Where was Iain StJohn, when he was unaccountably missing from meetings of Anston parish council last week? And the linked questions, why were the usually rowdy and domineering Labour members so polite and quiet? Will this spread to other parish councils? No one should hold their breath whilst waiting, leopards do not change their spots!

Surely, when the Council nods through Councillors allowances, aren’t they actually setting the total sum to be paid, not with extras like a pension or NI payments? Councillors are not employees! Are these extra payments actually legal? Interesting question at least!

When will all Rotherham’s citizens be able to view meetings over the internet? This is an equalities issue as well as an outrageous deficit in Rotherham’s democracy! The cameras are not just for Mayor making, they are for every day!

Aren’t ‘special responsibility’ payments supposed to be paid for ‘special responsibilities’? Why then, are most Labour members in receipt of these ‘special’ payments? There’s nothing ‘special’ if everyone gets them!

What does RotherFed actually achieve? Beyond providing employment opportunities for at least one ‘favoured son’, it would appear?

When will the RMBC website actually let the public view what is being done in their name? The search function is a waste of time, just when you think you have found the document you seek, it’s invariably missing! There is some evidence that the search functions work an awful lot better if you are logged on through the Council’s own servers.

Is the Great Firewall of Rotherham, Up or Down?

Section 106 Agreements, aren’t they just legalised extortion?

Did the community champion wear himself out with his recent magnum opus in the Advertiser? Or has he realised that you cannot defend the indefensible?

Why exactly does Chairman Ireland of Anston parish council, want a chain of office?

Why has ‘Darren the Defector’, been the most common search term for over a month now?

Are there any Liberals left in Rotherham?

How much does the Mayoralty cost? Isn’t it just an expensive anachronism? Why did it become a political reward and part of the Leader’s patronage? Why have all been Labour?

Time for Rotherham to bite the bullet?

Rotherham Politics suggestion for savings No Two.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council elected members have had for years the highest allowances in South Yorkshire!

Is Rotherham one of the largest authorities in Yorkshire?

Definitely not! Rotherham is by any stretch of the imagination a small authority and the Councillors have been taking the mickey for many a year! All 63 of them!

For Rotherham Borough Councillors to achieve their appropriate level by comparison with Authorities of similar size and complexity a reduction of a third would be required!

Rotherham Borough Councillors must ‘bite the bullet’ this year and implement reforms of this magnitude, if they want to convince us that they are up to the challenges to come! Now would be a good time for them to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ and implement significant reforms as their greed is becoming distinctly embarrassing for ‘The Peoples Party’, and their leader, Ed Miliband a local Doncaster MP!

How much would this save in this ‘age of austerity’? A cool £400,000!

Together with our previous proposal to save money, see Rotherham Politics suggestion for savings No One, the grand total comes to £550,000! A not inconsiderable sum of our money!

Further postings in this series to come. If you have your own and want to add them to our list, please email Rothpol.