Exclusive: Ex-South Yorkshire police tsar could face new perjury inquiry

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Confirmed: Watchdog mulls criminal case against ousted Yorkshire police tsar A POLICE watchdog has confirmed it has now begun a fresh consideration of whether there could be a criminal case against former South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright … Continue reading

Police watchdog to reconsider case against former Police and Crime Commissioner

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Police watchdog to reconsider case against former Police and Crime Commissioner The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to reconsider whether there is a criminal case against South Yorkshire’s former police and crime commissioner. It comes after the IPCC admitted … Continue reading

Diamond geezer donates jewel to Mayor’s ball

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They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend and for the Mayor of Rotherham this is certainly true, as a special donation signs her time off with a sparkle. A flawless diamond worth over £2,000 was gifted to Cllr Lyndsay … Continue reading

Kazuko Case: Ellen MacAllister – Guilty!

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Justice at last! Ellen MacAllister – Guilty perverting the course of justice! Sentence 2 years suspended jail. That leaves Ellen’s dad Ian, who I understand will be sentenced at Rotherham Magistrates next Thursday, in respect of a racially aggravated criminal damage … Continue reading

Insights from a recent meeting

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At a recent Labour meeting Many heads were troubled Suspicion and mistrust is everywhere A vote for a new Mayor was a must Two names threw themselves into the ring Councillor Currie of Valley And ex-Mayor councillor Foden Foden won … Continue reading

The Things We Can Afford?

In an age of austerity there is always the question of what we can afford, councillors have to make choices often difficult ones about what services need to be cut affecting services to local people and as in Rotherham this year cutting jobs.

Below you will find the response to an FOI request regarding the cost of the Mayor’s Banquet.  For everybody who is either paying more for a local service or seen cuts affecting their local area you’ll be pleased to know Rotherham MBC can still find £8,937 to spend on their feast.

That cost as well is just what Aston Hall Hotel charged you also need to add onto this the amount of time spent by officers organising as we say in Thrybergh t’do.

Now councillors will argue t’do is important for helping raise money and the profile of the mayors charity.  Last year the charity raised £47,000 so basically for every £5 raised it cost the tax payer a £1.  So why not boost the charity raising a bit by scrapping t’do?

They will also argue in the scale of the council budget its not a great amount, but these little things keep adding up and ultimately its a question of leadership by example, if you can afford a shindig for the towns high and mighty you can afford a youth centre in Thrybergh, you can afford to provide bus passes for children attending Blackburn school and you can afford not to scrap Kimberworth Park or any other library under threat.

Michael Sylvester

From: FreedomofInformation <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>
Date: Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM
Subject: Response to your Freedom of Information request

Dear Mr Sylvester

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information 156

I refer to your request for information dated 5th June 2012.  Please find our response below.

1. The cost of the Civic Dinner held at Aston Hall Hotel on Friday May 18th 2012?

I can confirm the charges made by Aston Hall Hotel in respect of the Civic Dinner were £8,937.

2. The numbers of persons attending?

221 people attended.

3. The number of elected members attending plus their spouses, partners or other guest attending on the same invitation?

55 members attended with a guest.

This figure includes retiring members plus newly elected members.

In accordance with the procedures of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC), I am advising you that the cost to the authority in responding to this request has been £28.27 which reflects the staff time and administration costs involved. RMBC however does not currently make any charge to customers for processing Freedom of Information Act requests.

If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to an internal review by the Council.  Please contact us via the above email address or by post to Sarah Corbett, Information Governance Manager, Legal Services, Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham, S60 1AE.

If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner.  Contact details are: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF. Telephone 01625 545700. Alternatively go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Yours sincerely,

Christine Hotson
Access to Information Officer
Information Governance Unit

Legal Services, 1st Floor, Riverside House

Resources Directorate
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Rotherham’s very own ‘Call me Dave’ Sworn in as Mayor, Today!

Rotherham Politics published this amusing story about Dave/David Pickering:

Rotherham’s very own ‘Call me Dave’ in name confusion

Rotherham’s very own ‘Call me Dave’, has difficulty remembering his own name correctly, it would appear! I speak of  Councillor Dave Pickering, who is currently Deputy Mayor and therefore next years, Mayor of Rotherham. Our story starts in March 2007, … Continue reading →

Thanks to the growing band of Borough Councillors using Twitter, it was possible to follow events as they unfolded today in the Council Chamber.

The new Mayor? Dave Pickering, the new Deputy Mayor? John Foden.

Mayors Dinner tonight, a few tweets to give us a flavour of events, would be most appreciated.

Shaun Wright – Mayor of Rotherham, Parking Outrage – The questions begin

Dear chiefexecutive@rotherham.gov.uk

Further to our previous conversations about the unlawful and irresponsible parking of RMBC vehicles on the paved pedestrian area outside the Town Hall and the response from your subordinate employee that vehicles would no longer be parked there when not in use, I am attaching a photo taken this afternoon around 1630 hrs which clearly shows another RMBC vehicle, registation number ET1, to be parking in contravention of the specific statement issued to me by your employee Karly Battersby, and copied for your information below.

I would be grateful if you can supply me with –

(a) details of the specific legal instrument by which this RMBC vehicle is authorised to park on the said paved pedestrian area otherwise than in accordance with local parking regulations.
(b) specific details of today’s journey log for this vehicle, including destinations and times.
(c) who within RMBC has authorised this vehicle to park on the paved pedestrian area.

I look forward to your prompt and complete response to my enquiry.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

The response duly arrived:

On Thu, 19/4/12, Battersby, Karl <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk> wrote:

From: Battersby, Karl <Karl.Battersby@rotherham.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: FURTHER RMBC VEHICLE PARKED ON PAVEMENT TODAY OUTSIDE TOWN HALL
To: Don Buxton
Cc: “Hatton, Lesley” <Lesley.Hatton@rotherham.gov.uk>, “Kemp, Liz” <Liz.Kemp@rotherham.gov.uk>
Date: Thursday, 19 April, 2012, 9:50

Mr Buxton, the Chief Executive has asked me to respond on his behalf. Your previous complaint regarded the vehicle that is used in the main by the leader YM08 DZP, which is no longer parked outside the Town Hall, as confirmed by my last email. There is no contravention of my previous statement.

The vehicle to which you now refer is the mayoral vehicle ET1, which is parked there when required to take the mayor to and from mayoral duties, as it has been for some time. We can of course provide you with the vehicle log, mileage and destination information in due course.

Regards

Karl Battersby
Strategic Director
Environment and Development Services
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

A response was duly sent:

Dear chiefexecutive@rotherham.gov.uk

Thank you for your partial response.

I did not submit my previous communication as a “complaint”.

Please inform me why it is referred to as such.

Also please respond to my specific points (a) and (c).

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

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?