John Poulson – now there’s a story?

Gallery

I am researching John Poulson, the Pontefract-based architect who was jailed in March 1974 for corruption. It was estimated that at least 21 local authorities had been drawn into his web of corruption as he bribed councillors and officers to … Continue reading

Wonder why TUSC Won? Last weekend leaflet!

Maltby by-election: TUSC’s final push

It’s the final weekend before the election to the North ward of Maltby Town Council, and TUSC are making a last big push before polling day on Thursday. A new leaflet is being distributed to residents through the week and another stall was done today (Saturday) on the High Street, which, as with previous stalls, was popular with the general public.

In the new leaflet there is a Q&A in response to questions received on the campaign, addressing questions about TUSC’s stance, agenda and Joe Robinson, their candidate. A new addition has been added to the ‘local issues’ section, about the state of Maltby’s High Street. To quote: “I propose that MTC seeks additional funding for a second street cleaner/community warden… as well as look into measures to stimulate local shops rather than more take-aways/throw-aways!”

MALTBY TOWN COUNCIL MEETING – FRIDAY 22ND FEBRUARY

During a Town Council meeting last Friday the council discussed issues such as the proposed play area on the New Estate. Whilst having a large unused budget councillors offered to fund a measly 10% towards the project. Councillor Christine Beaumont mentioned the sale of the former Tarran estate (Newland Avenue) for private development, despite the fact it was meant to be replaced with social housing – a TUSC campaigner plus a member of the public backed up this, while Beaumont insisted “there is not enough money for full social housing,” and “a mix of private and social housing is better”.

When a member of the public brought up issues to the town council, such as corruption, unspent money and failure to maintain notice boards, they were quickly shouted down and looked at with contempt. When discussing the failure to maintain and update many notice boards in Maltby, Cllr Beaumont’s response was – “they are the responsibility of Rotherham borough, not Maltby Town council” (despite being Maltby’s responsibility). For asking a few simple questions in a polite manner, a rude response filled with false information was given back; in true MTC style.

Musings on election candidates May 2012

So who might stand for Maltby in May 2012 ?

Word is that Will Blair is standing down and a Mr Rounds is ready to take his place.
Waiting for news from Labour Party on who is hoping to stand for them (or who is being told to stand for them …)
At present we have 14 Labour Councillors out of 18 on Maltby Town Council,- 4 from the same family.
One of the 14, is currently RMBC cllr … for Hellaby Our new RMBC cllr is conspicuous in her absence from MTC meetings this year, so maybe she is pulled out with work for the borough. Cllr Amy Rushforth will I am sure, be backed wholeheartedly by the Labour Party whilst she draws breath. (That might be ‘whilst her Father draws breath’ Rothpol)

So, who will be running for the other seat?

Chairman of MTC, Cllr J Carratt has been turned down as a candidate by the Labour Party for the second year running.
Now, what if Ms Godfrey, Labour Group leader for Maltby and Hellaby Ward (who lives in Hellaby) were to be elected or Cllr L Astbury (newly elected and very inexperienced but of the Stringer family using her grandfather’s email address!)

Did I hear something about Labour wanting/needing more women as councillors … or am I being cynical or sexist or both?

Representing the town, the people … or something else ?

Update on Rotherham Borough Councillors representing Maltby :

(from RMBC website)

http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/councillors/specificWard/21/maltby

Councillor Amy Rushforth

Ward : Maltby  Party : Labour

Biography : Councillor Rushforth has been a member of the Council since 2000 and is currently Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning and Culture.

Councillor Will Blair 

Ward: Maltby   Party: British National Party

Biography: Councillor Blair has been a member of the Council since May 2008 and is a member of the Health Select Commission

Councillor Chris Beaumont

Ward: Maltby  Party: Labour

Biography : Councillor Beaumont was elected a Councillor on 5th May, 2011 and is a Senior Adviser for the Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Developing Learning Opportunities for Children, Vice-Chairman of the Wentworth Valley Area Assembly and a member of the Improving Places and Health Select Commissions.

This seems reasonable enough – 2 Labour and 1 BNP sounds about ok from my knowledge of the views of Maltby electorate.

Apart from not  getting my head and understanding around the new cabinet members titles and responsibilities (yet) there are another couple of things that don’t feel quite right to me.

Why does anyone stand for election as a  Rotherham Borough Councillor when they have never stood for Maltby Town Council ?  Surely if being a councillor is to represent the people, then it’s logical that you would want to represent them at all levels. A sort of ‘working your way outwards’ rather than upwards. Amy Rushforth and Chris Beaumont are both currently serving on MTC and (despite them both being Labour party members) this appears to me that they have the interest of Maltby at heart. Our BNP councillor does and always has donated generously to local causes and events, but apparently doesn’t want to have his say too locally.

Secondly, if you are a member of Maltby Town Council (past chair, in fact) why would you stand for election for a neighbouring ward and not your own ?

 Councillor Jenny Andrews

Ward: Hellaby  Party: Labour

Biography : Councillor Andrews was elected a Councillor on 5th May, 2011 and is an adviser to the Cabinet Member for Culture, Lifestyle, Sport and Tourism and a member of the Improving Places Select Commission and Licensing Board.

One view might be that this was party politics working at it’s fullest (and worst) – or would that just be cynical ?

Maltby’s New Councillors – from maltbyblogger

Maltby’s newly elected councillors

Today’s Rotherham Advertiser comments :

“A Town council dogged by a four-year battle of costly conflicts is hoping for a smoother future after last week’s election results. Maltby was won back by Labour after being outnumbered by Independent members before the local election.

The well documented problems led to last year’s mediation report  – paid for by Rotherham taxpayers – which said that unrest would continue until there was a change of personnel.

Current Chairman of Maltby Town Council  John Kirk, one of four independent councillors said “It was an interesting outcome. I have mixed feelings about how the next four years will be. I hope I’m wrong but it looks like the council was eight years ago when we had four years of inertia and led to the independents coming in 2007. It’s a difficult situation, with so many Labour, four from the same family, and I hope that the dogma does not come through.”

Labour member Carol Stringer said, “We’re hoping for more stability and to achieve more for the people of Maltby than was possible in the last four years.”  ”

Maltby Town Councillor Jenny Andrews, has narrowly taken Hellaby ward as borough councillor. She says that she has had a “magnificent response” to the campaign which was run jointly with Maltby.

Christine Beaumont, elected to RMBC and MTC said, “We knew we were going to win, it was just a question of by how much. It’s been enjoyable and now I look forward to meeting more people, trying to meet their needs and just being more fair.”

It’s a very interesting situation for Maltby, with both the borough and town council results. John Kirk, the current chair of MTC , defeated by Labour in his bid for RMBC is already talking about the dynamics of MTC with regard to Labour members. I am sure that the majority of people want to move forward to better management and better community relations. But the “us and them” mentality seems difficult to break through, whether from councillors or the general public.

The new Maltby Town Council holds it’s first meeting and Annual Meeting on Thursday 19th May. Hopefully, the councillors will  show that they want a new start and have a clear purpose in carrying out their roles as representatives of the public.

http://www.rotherhamparishcouncils.gov.uk/Home/Maltby/maltbyHome.aspx

Welcome to a new contributor to Rotherham Politics – maltbyblogger.

Maltbyblogger writes for Rotherham Politics for the first time, a huge thanks to her for new insights from the South of the Borough, Welcome.

Who is standing to represent you in Maltby ?

It’s difficult to know where to start in debating the issues that Maltby Town Council have had over the past four years since the elections in 2007 and in particular during 2008/2009.

(More here http://wwwrite-place.blogspot.com )

With voting beginning tomorrow for  Town /Parish Councils  as well as Borough I hope that we can gain a better understanding of what we can expect from our elected members in the future.

So, Maltby’s candidates for Rotherham Borough Council, 2011 :

Michael Burke (BNP), Michael Conlon,  Christine Beaumont (Labour), Derek Johnson (Conservative), John Kirk (Independent).

Michael Burke was in 2010 hoping to follow fellow BNP member Will Blair, who was elected to RMBC in 2008. Last year he said he’d been getting a good reaction from people and had been asked for more leaflets. In The Dinnington Guardian he says that “People everywhere are concerned about immigration” I have never seen Mr Burke at a Maltby Town Council meeting, which to me is a gauge on whether there is an interest in the town itself. I didn’t get a leaflet on behalf of him at the last elections and and so far haven’t had one this year either. I feel that a little more than a concern about immigration is needed to develop Maltby’s community.

Michael Conlon
Apparently independent, though he has reserved his right to not state on the ballot papers what he represents, leaving me (and I am sure many others) wondering about his real intent. Has attended one MTC meeting last year and one meeting of the unanswerable to the public ‘Maltby Forum’ group where he announced a stream of mis information. He writes abusive language on his Facebook pages and makes false accusations and threats about members of the public. His brother signed his nomination papers yet claims he didn’t know Michael was standing for Borough Council. Michael’s latest,  a few days ago before he deleted all his comments and blocked me,  is that if he doesn’t ‘win’ he hopes Christine Beaumont will. Strange that he would prefer Labour, who he berates constantly, over an independant like him.

No campaign leaflet through my door as yet.

Christine Beaumont
Has lived and worked in Maltby most of her life and is governor at 2 Maltby schools. She has served two terms on Maltby Town Council and has always been active in the community. She attends MTC meetings regularly and other local events. She is standing for town council as well as RMBC. Have had two campaign leaflets about Mrs Beaumont.

Derek Johnson
Mr Johnson has I understand, stood for election to RMBC since 2007. Unfortunately this is all I know of him. I’ve  never received any literature from him and haven’t seen his name mentioned anywhere else except on the candidate papers.

John Kirk
The current recently elected Chair of Maltby Town Council after the last chairperson Cllr Karen Usher didn’t attend council meetings for more than six months.
http://www.rotherhamparishcouncils.gov.uk/Home/Maltby/maltbyHome.aspx
Mr Kirk has served on MTC for a number of years and is active in the Maltby community. Haven’t see any campaign leaflets for his election to RMBC, as yet.

And there we have it. Five candidates standing to represent Maltby on RMBC, yet only two of them appearing to have Maltby’s interests completely at heart.
Opinions and views highly welcome before and after election day.