Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Sometimes, a Parish Council needs an associated Community Group to access funding. Collaboration is vital to avoid another Parish Council Civil War.
No mention of a Community Centre in the Council for a year? Councillors kept in the dark? An independent Group with Parish Council Members? A privately registered Company? Are these related to the attempt to unseat Chairman Strelczenie? (to follow ....)
Chairman Strelczenie - It’s up to Councillors, especially those involved with the ‘Hall for Hemingbrough’ (???) to ask Julie (Parish Clerk) to put it on the agenda for the next meeting.
Councillor Procter took the opportunity to tell Councillors what he had been doing for the past few months: :
“I can speak to that.
I am quite happy it goes on the agenda.
It’s in the very early stages of .... (mumble mumble mumble)
Just doing a feasibility study
No concrete proposal as such .... (mumble mumble mumble)
The Group is up and running and working .... (mumble mumble mumble).”
Not very illuminating!
He would have another opportunity later in the evening.
Would he mention the other two Parish Councillors, Liz Carstairs and Forbes Davidson, allegedly part of the independent Hall for Hemingbrough Group; his discussions with the Selby Council Community Engagement Forum; his discussions with local landowners; his privately registered company, ‘Hall for Hemingbrough’; the proposed Community Interest Company, etc?
Would he mention the independent Group’s announcement pinned up in the bus shelter by the Church, but never mentioned in Council? Would he invite all the Councillors to discuss and exchange views about the Community Centre in public?
Monday, 23 May 2016
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Thursday, 28 May 2015
Belligerent, curmudgeonly Chairman Drew returns to the ranks as Councillor Jan Strelczenie takes over the Chair, and the legacy of Drew, McCann and their ‘Mute Newt’ Mates - Senior, Pickering, Harrison and Sedman – aptly described in the Internal Auditor’s report.
Monday, 25 May 2015
Friday, 22 May 2015
Thursday, 21 May 2015
I changed the colour scheme of the Bear Garden Blog after the election results were declared to match what I thought was a new mood of optimism. Tonight’s Parish Council was exactly how it should be, with courtesy, consideration and the promise of progress.
The experienced Jan Strelczenie was unanimously elected Chairman of the Council with Bob Proctor also unanimously elected as the Vice-chairman.
You could hear the sucking in of breath when the Clerk revealed the past Parish Council chaired by Richard Drew and Kenny McCann had left +£54, 000 in the bank (31 March 2015). As one person muttered, the ‘Mute Newts’ did nowt for residents, so spent nowt!
"Those who play the game do not see as clearly as those who watch."
I would like to reassure Councillors, especially the new ones that my cameras are not meant to embarrass or inhibit you and that when honest mistakes happen, you will not be blogged.
They can carry your good work into local homes, and that is to your benefit. I hope you will forget the cameras are there, but do remember the Councillor who gave his partner self-serving versions of what goes on at Council meetings, then she saw differently when watching YouTube.
The cameras see far more than you can. They see, for example, the numerous interventions of the visiting Councillors without the Chairman’s invitation, especially when sensitivities flourish. They highlight people playing silly buggers and deviating from the well-known national rules, and are a public record of fact and continuity. They can improve the quality of meetings for Councillors and residents.
Watch a smart-mouthed Chairman http://bit.ly/1HtOoKL and a Clerk with years of ‘experience’ still not sure in April 2015 of a basic ‘Named Vote’ rule http://bit.ly/1FBiI8A she has used many times before! This is unacceptable.
Hemingbrough Parish Council became one of the first Councils in England to experience the new arrangements when I walked into the meeting on 21 August 2014, after a two-year absence, with a camcorder, camera, voice recorder and tripod.
The silly games of previous years were over! If Councillors want to bugger about, their antics can be blogged and broadcast on YouTube and Twitter before they go to bed that night. Thankfully, the new arrangements started a new era so everything that had gone before can be ‘water under the bridge’, if people are so inclined.
One experienced old warhorse was sufficiently concerned by my camcorder he told a local meeting how inhibited he felt. There was no need, as long as he acted reasonably and accepted that Council Meetings are for the benefit of both Councillors and Residents.
It is unacceptable, for example, for residents wanting to hear the session on local planning applications to be confronted by a cacophony of chatter and laughter from Councillors when they must keep quiet themselves. It is even worse when visiting Councillors wander round making tea and chatting to their mates and the odd resident. They would not try that in Selby District Council meetings. Why did the Hemingbrough Chairman and Clerk allow it?
Our Parish Council meeting is not a drop-in cafe. It is the first tier of local government spending our money. A competent Chairperson and a knowledgeable Parish Clerk should be there to guide and help - if they do not, they will be on YouTube and Twitter.
Sunday, 17 May 2015
Hemingbrough promises to be a better place with a new Parish Council team pledged to be of strong moral principles and better communication with residents and council having the opportunity of working together.
The first time to meet the team will be at the open Annual Residents Meeting next Thursday evening at the Village Institute at 7.00.
The new team will not have completed the formalities that make them Councillors by then. Parish council rules will not apply so they can talk informally, as individuals, about their busy and interesting programme and answer questions.
National events have overwhelmed this week’s national Press - no coalition, Miliband, Clegg, Farage, Murphy, McCluskey, Carswell – and our village grapevine has been busy too.
8 to 3! What will the 3 do? What do the voting numbers mean? Liz Carstairs 545 votes, didn’t she do well, shows the strength of the ‘schools’ vote; Roland Chilvers 460 votes for his knowledge, experience and commitment, he’s still working on the Memorial Rose Garden at his age; Keith Terry, Les Stebbings, Forbes Davidson, new council faces, a new approach; Bob Proctor, an ‘incomer’. Maybe we will get things done now. What is Glenis going to do? Wonder who will be the parish chairperson? Should get rid of the squabbles. Maybe we should not have been so complacent. At least they have some ideas. (And some unmentionable comments!)
Was it only seven days ago when Mary Weastell, Selby District Council Acting Returning Officer and Chief Executive, Assistant Chief Executive at North Yorkshire County Council, Governor of Selby College, Chair of the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership (the speed camera people?) and the lead North Yorkshire District Chief Executive representative on the sub-regional Housing Board, woke on the Sunday morning to find her name on Twitter and elsewhere because Hemingbrough Parish Council results had been ‘declared’ at 3.45 on Friday afternoon, so she said, but they wouldn’t be announced on the Selby Council website to the candidates, their supporters and the residents until sometime on Monday? That must have prompted a flurry of activity to get them published on Sunday afternoon. There is nothing quite like Twitter to encourage those in the public eye to do the job we expect of them.
So what about the 3 - Harrison, Sedman, Drew? They campaigned on a platform of ‘You voted for us before, Vote for us again. We want to run the council.’ They offered no plan. Their election leaflet sounded like small ideas from small people.
Although the Parish Council is the first tier of local Government, there should not be any Opposition. Yes, there are different views to be honestly debated, collectively decided and then implemented for the Community with our money. No local feuds, no ingrained petty squabbles or tit-for-tat voting based on past arguments and sleights in the village.
It is not as simple as that. The core of the new council Team is five Councillors from the Parish of Hemingbrough Historical Heritage Society. They may take part in discussions about the Memorial Rose Garden and the ‘Oldways’ but may not vote on resolutions. That leaves the voting Council Members for such issues balanced at 3-3 each.
So what will Harrison, Drew and Sedman do? Will they join the rest of the Team that received resounding support from residents, or will they continue with the ’Opposition’ of the past four years? Will they do what we expect of them? The camcorder will be there to observe.
Perhaps they could start with an act of reconciliation. How much would it have cost the Council to remove and clear the site of the old filling station? The Council has bloated funds from the four years they were in power. Surely, they know what to do!
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
I recognise a blocked email when I see one.
Never mind, James 'Jim' Deans. I left a copy at the ‘Access Selby’ office this afternoon to ensure you get it! Remember you are one of my two elected representatives in Selby District.
(Click this image to enlarge it.)
Monday, 11 May 2015
Democracy is alive in our village.
CONTESTED PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS (6)
Brayton, Hambleton, Hemingbrough, Selby (North), Selby (South) Selby (West)
UNCONTESTED PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS (63)
Parishes where there were fewer Candidates than available seats so everyone putting forward their name was ‘elected’ without a contest!
4 Year term. 11 Council Seats. 15 Candidates
CARSTAIRS, Elizabeth 545 Votes
CHILVERS, Roland Bernard 460
TERRY, Keith William 443
STEBBINGS, Leslie John 442
HARRISON, Glenis Mary 414
PROCTER, Robert 397
DAVIDSON, Forbes Thomas 395
STRELCZENIE, Jan 393
SEDMAN, John Stephen 376
KINSELLA, Edward John 375
DREW, Richard Haldane 370
McCANN, Kenneth William 350 (Not Elected)
SENIOR, Martin Gregory 342 (Not Elected)
PARKIN, Victor William 323 (Not Elected)
PICKERING, Neil Charles 285 (Not Elected)