Lets have a party!

Gallery

Stuart Thornton gets a response to his Freedom of Information request and makes the following observations. It seem as though Dazza gets the Town hall for free to run the interviews for the Labour Party selection process. Dazza is not … Continue reading

Anston Parish Council – Councillor is censured over breach

Gallery

Dinnington Guardian’s report on the latest meeting of Anston Parish Council, you really couldn’t make it up! Councillor is censured over breach Parish councillors in Anston voted to censure one of their fellow councillors at a meeting this week. The … Continue reading

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.

Mrs Overall’s Acorn Antiques 19 March 2012

ACORN ANTIQUES 19 MARCH 2012  
JOTTINGS FROM A “QUALITY” PARISH COUNCIL
WHAT A NIGHT IT WAS – IT REALLY WAS

THIS IS A DARK AND X RATED PRODUCTION
Little comedy  – just gloom
Read and despair

Finance Meeting
Last Meeting of the Financial Year:

Councillor Thornton asked if the budget was over or underspent
Computer says aka (The Clerk, Michael Gazur) Don’t Noooooooooooooooooooo

Joyce Brindley also known to us as Poison Ivy-  Asking whose turn it was to do the audit checks
Q   Was this a loaded question
A    Of course
Q   Why
A   Because Councillor Thornton refuses to do the audit check, having asked on numerous
occasions for a breakdown of transfer of monies, between the Charity and the Parish
Council.
Q   Did she trip up
A   Oh yes, she ensnared the “illustrious” chairman who never does an audit check!
MEETING ADJOURNED by Cllr Dalton
Q   Was a vote taken to adjourn the meeting
A    Don’t be ridiculous
Q   Did she declare the items for which this meeting was adjourned
A   Don’t be silly
Q   Was a vote taken to put items into secret session
A   Don’t be so very silly

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

Chairman Ireland opens the meeting with more obfuscation e.g.
Regarding the guest speaker from Groundwork who had been invited to talk about litter picks (child labour!)  A councillor asked who invited this lady.
The chairman replied “We invited her at the last Parish Council Meeting”
WHAT A WHOPPER! – Councillor Dalton invited the lady unbeknown to the clerk or the chairman or indeed councillors.
THE LADY WAS NOT INVITED AT THE LAST PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
Q   Does the chairman know which end of him is up?
A   No but he knows where the Trooper is!

Skate Park
In Attendance – School boys of the local area who are users of the Skate Park.
They attended to bring their observations to the attention of the Parish Council of the poor and unsafe condition of the Skate Park.

An eloquent young skate boarder pointed out that rivets were sticking out of the ramps and this was dangerous.  Also the mud on the tarmac was a danger.
After all the normal excuses the Chairman invited the boys to attend the inspection of the Skate Park on a week day i.e. school day!
Q   Is it the Chairman’s policy or that of the Parish Council to encourage truancy?
A   Looks like it

Mrs Wallhead – Who has been campaigning for this Skate Park for many years and is now campaigning for it’s safety, asked:
Q  Have any of the councillors been to look at other skate parks
A  In jumps Iain St.John “Yes is the short answer,
I was cabinet member for skate parks etc., The major problem with skate parks maybe     the day to day use.  What you are wanting is something like Clifton Park we think or   Maltby.”

The eloquent young skate boarder replied:  “The point is we have got other skate parks round the area.  We are not asking for these amazing skate parks  “WE JUST WANT THIS TO BE SAFE.  IT IS TOO DANGEROUS FOR US TO USE.”
At this point the whole of the public applauded this eloquent and perfectly controlled young man and called Hear Hear
If Iain St.John  was Cabinet Member and Parish Council Member – HOW COME WE END UP WITH CAST OFF EQUIPMENT AND END UP WITH THE WORST UNSAFE SKATE PARK IN THE BOROUGH?

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting 20 February 2012
Untrue recording of above Minutes:
Now for the truth (a foreign land to many Anston Parish Councillors)
Q   Was Councillor Thornton evicted from the previous parish council meeting 20 February
A   Yes
Q   Did the Minutes record the events truthfully
A    No
Q   Did the Chairman take a vote to evict Cllr Thornton
A   Yes TWICE!
Q   Why twice
A   Because the Chairman made a Bugger’s Muddle of this
Q   Was he complying with Standing Orders
A   NO

A proposal was made to amend the Minutes to record the true events
This was put to the vote
RESULT  –  7 Abstentions    1 For    6 Against

NOTE:  The 6 Against  – These had been present at the 20 February meeting and therefore knew that the events recorded in the minutes were untrue!
Q   Is it acceptable for councillors to cover up and lie
A   NO certainly not

However untrue recording of minutes amounts, at Anston Parish Council to:
Record not what took place but what you would have liked to have taken place.

Hey here comes Boy Wonder giving us his wisdom – convoluted though it is!

The Chesterfield Canal Trust

Q   Why did Staveley Town Council  write to request Anston Parish Council to grant monies
to The Chesterfield Canal Trust?
A   Surely the Chesterfield Canal Trust should write on their own behalf?
Q   Why did Boy Wonder press so hard for this grant
A   Surely not to impress the Chairman of the Chesterfield Canal Trust (Robin Stonebridge)
Q   Did Boy Wonder speak against donating to our own stretch of canal
A   Yes – it is a linked up project  (Clang – medal struck for stating the b……g obvious)
Q  Later did he report that 3 areas, including Rotherham had donated to their own stretch of the Canal
A   Yes he did – Well let’s have it straight Boy Wonder  (Clang – another medal struck)

10i  Agenda Item -To discuss bullying of Councillors

Q   At the previous month’s meeting, did Cllr St.John accuse another councillor of bullying
him.
A   Yes
Q   Did Cllr St.John make a complaint about bullying to the Standards Committee
A   No
Q   Did Cllr St.John make this accusation for effect
A   Of course – He can’t resist being on a stage
Q   Did the accused councillor read out a statement in order to prevent himself being
evicted once more
A   Yes
Q   Why were Poison Ivy and Boy Wonder sitting smirking with each other
A   Obviously they think bullying is funny but then Poison Ivy does have a certain record

10ii Agenda Item – To discuss Councillor Thornton being evicted from the previous council meeting

Q   Why did the chairman strike this item off the agenda
A    Too near the knuckle
Q   Did the chairman allow any discussion
A   None whatsoever
Q   What powers was he acting under
A   Maybe he will let us know – when he finds out!
Q   Did Cllr Thornton stand to make a point of order
A   Yes
Q  Why was Boy Wonder jabbing his finger at Cllr Thornton saying “You need to state the
rules, You need to state the rules”
A   Because he is infantile
Q   Why did Poison Ivy stand to show a copy of Councils Direct regarding bullying
A   Who knows why, this from a councillor who has assaulted another member 3 times
At this point Robin Stonebridge said to Cllr Thornton this is a platform for your paranoid fantasies – the tone of which can be imagined.

10iii Agenda Item To discuss the position of RMBC Members in relation to their role as Anston Parish Council Members.

This item was withdrawn due to the councillor not being given a fair chance to speak
At this point Cllr Stonebridge came in again and said “YOU ARE A WASTE OF LIFE”
The reaction from the public was one of understandable horror.

The meeting then descended into chaos with Poison Ivy shouting Shut UP to Cllr Thornton. Poison Ivy then turned her spleen on a member of the public and said in a threatening manner “I will see you later”
Outside in the playground –
YES
Behind the bike shed –
I am not that childish   –
Well you could have fooled us all, firstly she is striking councillors, then making untrue remarks, in a meeting, re a member of the public’s personal life and now issuing threats to a member of the public.
No wonder the meeting was in uproar
AND WHAT DID THE HAPLESS AND HOPELESS JOHN THOMAS IRELAND DO – BUGGER ALL!

The young skate boarding spokesman knew how to handle himself with maturity beyond his years –
He and his friends must certainly have been appalled at what they observed from certain councillors.

This Parish Council has plumbed the depths – it is an utter farce – is not fit for purpose – spends our money wantonly and should be disbanded immediately.

This type of base behaviour is not acceptable in any way to the people of Anston.

A DARK NIGHT INDEED – A VERY DARK NIGHT

Goodnight All
Mrs Overall

Mrs Overalls latest play – The Farce which is Anston parish council

ACORN ANTIQUES

JOTTINGS FROM “A QUALITY PARISH COUNCIL!!”

Tell the children that the pantomime season is now well and truly over.

Our theatrical performers have now moved into a new genre. THE FARCE.

THE FARCE – which is – Anston Parish Council

Scene 1. Act 1

Question: Why did Cllr.Liz O’Brian do a cover up job for Iain St.John?
Answer: Maybe she practising to be a magician!

Question: Did she blush beetroot red whilst telling her very elaborate story – That Iain St.John did leave the room after he declared “An Interest!?”
Answer: YES – BRIGHT RED

Question: Did she turn round 180 degrees to see him leave the room?
Answer: NO: she had her back to the door.

Question: Did Iain St.John leave the room?
Answer: NO NO NO – Members of the public emphatically state – He walked over and stood looking at the map which is by the door but in the meeting room.

See Pantomime post of December 2011.

Lying, covering up, dissembling? – All part of the tatty tapestry that is Anston Parish Council.

Scene 1. Act 2

TOO MUCH INTEREST Councillor Joyce Brindley

Question: When did it become acceptable for a parish councillor to comment, in a meeting, about the private life of a member of the public, who was present?
Answer: Never – Cllr Joyce Brindley’s behaviour has in the past, been less than professional and she continues her spleen venting, this time on a member of the public.

Question: Should Cllr Joyce Brindley avail herself of some standards?
Answer: Yes she should – and that goes for the majority of this less than trustworthy lot.

She has been buying into false information – She should ask for a refund!

Scene 1. Act 3

Anston Village Green:

Question: Did a member of the public ask when the track on the south side was going to be repaired?
Answer: Yes

Queston: Did The Clerk, say it had been repaired?
Answer: Yes he did

Question: Was this contested?
Answer: Vehemently

Question: Did Anston Parish Council allow this track to be deliberately damaged & destroyed?
Answer: Oh yes, despite being advised, repeatedly.

Question: In the past did Robin Stonebridge say that he personally would not do any repairs on the village green until hell froze over?
Answer: Absolutely he did – discrimination again.

Question: Has not the Clerk, said in the past, the council have no obligation to repair this track?
Answer: Oh yes he has.

Question: Does Anston Parish Council have a duty to protect & maintain the Village Green which is vested in them?
Answer: Most certainly they do

Question: Then why did they allow a resident of Anston Village Green to systematically destroy the area?
Answer: Good question.

Watch this space good people and learn much more.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

This is Anston Parish Council’s repair!

End of Scene 1.

Scramble to the bar. We need a drink to fortify ourselves for what is to come.

Lights down, Curtain up.

Scene 2. Act.1

Litter:

Question: Did The Clerk say the Green had been litter picked that day?
Answer: Yes he did

Question: Then why is there still a substantial amount of litter on the perimeter that has been there for a very long time?
Answer: Because we are waiting for the wind of change! This then will blow it away!

Question: Did Chairman John Ireland say to the effect “There’s more to Anston than the Village Green. Would that be the Loyal Trooper public house by any chance?
Answer: Make up your own mind audience.

Scene 2. Act.2

Boy Wonder – Booming Beck

Question: Who is this young person trying to impress by booming out unimpressively loudly and aggressively?
Answer: Probably Iain St.John, It does appear he has donned his mantle, shame it’s not the cloak of invisibility.

Question: Does this boy not realise he is emulating Yesterday’s Men?
Answer: Does not care?

Question: Is it appropriate for Booming Beck and Judy Dalton (Vice Chair) to sit sniggering in a pathetic congratulatory way when Booming Beck has delivered one of his tirades?
Answer: NO – but then who cares about decorum – it is Anston Parish Council!

Scene 2. Act.3

The Hapless & Hopeless Chairman Ireland

Question: What on earth or moreover what planet, any planet, is he on?
Answer: Who knows – the only hope for Anston is that he will be sucked into a black hole!

Questions: Did he remain in his seat as Chair during a complaint against him?
Did a member of the public point out his error?
Did the Chairman refuse to take note of correct procedure?
Did he fail to ask for a seconder before evicting Cllr Thornton?
Did he say he didn’t need to?
Did he then realise he should have done so?
Did he then say he already had – and it was Joyce Brindley!!!?
Did he then over look Joyce Brindley “co-operating” with Iain St.John to say she had?
Did he then………………

Oh well – you get the picture

Answers: YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES & YES

Question: Who had planned the ambush?
Answer: Surely not Iain St.John!

Question: Did Joyce Brindley just happen to have her Standing Orders before her and open at Section 50?
Answer: Oh yes – You bet she did

And why – Because Cllr.Thornton was, yet again, pointing out the errors under which Anston Parish Council was operating.

To quote Corporal Jones – “They don’t like it up em sir.” Should that be cur?

SO HERE WE GO AGAIN – YES WE DO – YET AGAIN – yawn – and again

Voting to evict Cllr.Thornton from the meeting.

Question: Did Iain St.John turn in his chair to face Cllr Thornton as he was leaving?
Answer: Yes

Question: Was he grinning and gloating?
Answer: As a child might after a playground spat.

Question: Did Cllr St.John then become very full of himself and start showing off in the meeting?
Answer: Well what do you think

Question: Do we need to know he has been out on his bike?
Answer: Don’t give a twopenny toss – Not relevant to the meeting, like so much of what comes out of his mouth.

(Fado would have had endless material from this lot of “under” performers!)

HOW VERSATILE THIS LOT ARE! Now from Farce to Tragedy

THE TRAGEDY

That Anston has this majority of under performers, playing to and for benefit of The Master Puppeteer.

Question: Has Chairman Ireland admitted to being Ian St.John’s puppet?
Answer: Oh yes, on a number of occasions.

Well we will see how Anston Parish Council is themed at it’s next performance. Come, come and see, if you can stand it. Why should we suffer alone? A good night out! Entrance free.

Lights up – curtain down – NO THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE AND PLEEEEZE NO ENCORE

To paraphrase Rogerson:

If drama were a person (St.John)
He would be a stern and noble fellow (Not)
If it was a comedy (St.John)
He would be a jovial chap (Not)
But if it were a tragedy (Most definitely)
He would be like a solemn girl. (Sure thing)

If drama were a tree (St.John)
He would be a grand old oak. (What a joke)
If it were a comedy (St.John)
He would be the merry beech (Nut)
But if it were tragedy (Most definitely)
He would be a weeping willow. (Surely Twisted Willow!)

Goodnight All

Mrs Overall

The Players:
Michael Gazur – clerk
Martin Crowther
Joyce Brindley
Liz Bridges
Liz O Brien
Clive Jepson
John Ireland
Judy Dalton
Dominic Beck
Steve Baker
Gordon Jarvis
Stuart Thornton
Iain St John

Supporting Cast:
Mr D Smith and his Professional Heckler Mr Brian Lewis – Dave Smith did not speak.
Bill Brindley husband of Joyce Brindley. At odds/verbally aggressive/confrontational with Brian Lewis.
The Chairman allowed Bill Brindley to speak at will, despite not being a parish councillor, his status at the meeting was that of a member of the public. He certainly should not have had a go at Stuart Thornton.
The Chairman – Ireland, as you might expect, did bugger all about it!

Representatives of The Brethren were there!! But did not speak!

All quiet on the Anston front!

Rotherham’s Labour apparatchiks like to conduct their business without benefit of public accountability for the decisions ‘made in their name’.

When local citizens take an interest in the goings on at their local Parish Council, abuse from Labour members is the usual result. For quite some time now, Anston Parish Council has typified this tendency and serves as a powerful example of the frankly tyrannical behaviour that can result!

The three worst offenders on Anston Parish Council? Iain StJohn, Robin Stonebridge and also Borough Councillor Dominic Beck, who are known to us now at Rotherham Politics, as the ‘three wise monkeys. Judy Dalton and Chairman Ireland have also lent a hand in this shameful record at times, with outrageous behavior tolerated by the Chairman on a routine basis!

Labour’s untrammeled power in Rotherham, has engendered an unwillingness to accept any form of accountability at all, to those they ‘claim to serve’.  Even the Labour Party, that chooses them as candidates, has seemed unable, or unwilling, to ensure their performance, abilities, behaviour and conduct was of an acceptable standard!

Readers of Rotherham Politics will be familiar with this litany of woes as it has afflicted Anston Parish Council, so it will come as a pleasant surprise for us to report that at recent meetings of the Parish Council standards of behaviour and conduct from the Labour PC members was exemplary! All Rotherham Politics hopes, is that they can keep it up in the future? Hence the headline, All quiet on the Anston front!