Courteous welcome & constructive dialogue at Conversation Group AGM. Noble and Hails explained Group had consented to spreading shreddings so don’t accept Fly Tipping allegation. Real issues agreed. Three Conservation Group Members playing SILLY BUGGERS at Parish Council. See 14 April post.

STOP BUGGERING ABOUT Posts appear below the election items. The Church Clock Memorial. The Vegetable Plot (not the Allotments!) Part Time Duty. The ANNUAL ACCOUNTS. The MAY Agenda.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

We get the Parish Council we deserve.

Please, do not leave it to chance.  Vote for one of the two Groups offering itself for election.

A Team of experienced and new faces brimming with ideas that has to raise money from residents and local businesses to get things done outside the Parish Council for four years, or .....

..... a Club of negative, almost silent Councillors with a majority voting bloc that has achieved virtually nothing but banking our taxes even though its Members have appointed the Council Chair and Vice-chair for the past four years.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Election of Parish Councillors

Selby District Council has told me their Voting Papers Supplier could not include the Parish Council Election Voting Papers in the same envelope with the General and District Council Election forms that arrived this morning.  They will be coming out later.  They could not explain why the Parish Council Election Forms have not arrived at the same time as the others.  

Sounds like typical S.D.C. FUBAR. 

Don’t blame Sophie on the S.D.C. ‘phone, she was very helpful.

It is like picking the whole Football Team.  You can be Mourinho, Wenger, Redknapp or your favourite Team Manager. 

You get to pick all eleven players for the next four years.  

Some people think they have to pick only one or two names from the lists of candidates, as they must do for the General and District Councils Elections.  This is much more fun - picking 11 from 15 names – but just as serious.

Personally, I am starting with the Members of the Hemingbrough Historical Heritage Society who have demonstrated they can work together for the good of the residents. 

They have worked hard to remove the Old Filling Station eyesore, initiate a Memorial Rose Garden, sort out the "Oldways" Picnic area and a new Community Pathway and they manage the flower arrangement at the Hemingbrough Cliffe boundary. 

They have demonstrated they can raise funds from residents and local businesses in the absence of the shameful lack of any financial support from the present ruling clique on the parish council.

Their Newsletters and Open Briefing at the Methodist Chapel by Bob Proctor and Jan Strelczenie was just what we needed.  Not one member of the majority voting bloc on the parish council  bothered to turn up.

When I looked at the names of Assentors, Proposers and Seconders on the ‘Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll’ I could see the names of residents that the Group thinks will support their efforts.  That gave me My Team, but like any good football team list, it might not be yours.

PARKIN, Victor
TERRY, Keith

Monday, 20 April 2015

Exposed by the Truth from their friends

There are good people in Hemingbrough who would not stand for election in the Parish Council election in three week's time because of the sour interaction between Councillors and the Council’s tainted image.

After much filming and recording the Council, I will never support Senior, Harrison or McCann of the Hagg Lane Green Steering Group who carry their long-held prejudices against other Councillors into council meetings. (See Post 14 April.  Exposed by their friends) and with their clique members ‘Part-Time’ Pickering and Drew turned down the Strelczenie and Chilvers proposal for a civic project that became the Memorial Rose Garden because it was one person’s whim!



Drew has since told Councillors the resident’s request that the Council makes a donation to the Memorial Garden project was not be to treated like an end-of-year charity donation as the initiative had already had significant benefits for the village - the removal of the old petrol station eyesore at the village entrance.  The five Councillors who control the Council voting with their friends have still not made the requested donation from the Council's bloated funds.  (See Post 10 April. Parish Profile Chairman Richard Drew).


"We haven’t agreed what we are going to ask him!" Councillor Chilvers.
(Him = Lund, What = Formal Investigation of Parish Council behaviour, Cost – up to £1,500

Here is a More Buggering About YouTube Video  No wonder this Leadership doesn’t get much done.

True to form, Chairman Drew wanted to hurry through the business and did not want to consider “Items for next Month’s Agenda” as there will be an election in May!   Neither Drew nor McCann had thought of any 'Terms of Reference' for “the Investigation”.

Councillor Chilvers wants an item listed for discussion in May and did not want the subject to disappear in a puff of smoke, just like McCann’s Allotment Project.  

In Hemingbrough, under the majority rule of Drew, McCann, Senior, Harrison, 'Part Time' Pickering and Sedman an item can vanish from the agenda – Puff!!!!!  

Vice-chairman McCann could not resist poking his nose in while Chilvers was speaking and trying to explain his point of view; maybe McCann did not want the item to be discussed.

I would like the next Parish Council to behave as it should with a conciliatory Chairman and Councillors who DO SOMETHING FOR RESIDENTS and stop acting like Turnips and Mute Newts so the Bear Garden Blog can compliment them.

Sunday, 19 April 2015


On 29th April 2014, the Parish Clerk certified the PARISH COUNCIL FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS for the year ending 31 March 2014.  She certified the Accounting Statements were approved by the Council led by Richard Drew and Ken McCann on 15 May 2014.  Drew approved them personally on the same night.

Tucked away in the Accounts, in a place where sun doesn’t shine very much, is the Clerk’s “Explanation for high reserves”*.  In other words, the Parish Council’s explanation why £49, 892 held in cash and short-term investments is more than twice as much as the Council’s Annual Precept, the money raised by taxing residents.  Or in other, other words, what the Council hasn’t spent on projects for the benefit of residents and has tucked away in the bank at virtually 0% interest!


Would Drew and McCann like to explain why I could not find either ‘Lighting Scheme Upgrade” or “Allotments” in the Parish Council minutes in the twelve months since that declaration?  Where are the Council records confirming the approved Motions to set aside money for both projects?  Where are the discussions for each project since 15 May 2014?


In a recent Council meeting, Council Strelczenie denounced THE CUMULATIVE HIGH RESERVES THAT MIGHT HAVE REACHED +£60,000 BY THE END OF MARCH 2015. 

·         NOTE.  Residents do not usually see such detail, but last year I exercised the Residents’ Statutory Right to inspect and copy the Council Accounts.  They do not like that at all!           

Saturday, 18 April 2015


“Part Time” Pickering!

 If you can't attend meetings to do your Duty, don't offer yourself for election!

When Residents stand for election to the Parish Council they must know they have a Duty to attend meetings when summoned to do so; the Clerk’s Notice to attend the monthly Hemingbrough Parish Council meeting is, in law, a Summons, because they have a duty to attend.

“Part Time Pickering” has offered himself for re-election in May 2015 despite failing to turn up for NINE of the THIRTEEN Meetings in 2014.  

When a Resident's evening job requirements regularly interfere with the Duty to attend and transact business on behalf of all residents then I think he or she should not take a Council seat that can be used by another more able to do their duty.


No, I don’t mean the Village Allotments Mirage, not yet.  The ‘Vegetable Patch’ was coined to describe the row where silent Councillors sit - where their only job is to wait for a vote, watch how their Leader (McCann) votes and raise their hands in unison.  Some people say Councillors Senior, Harrison, ‘Part Time’ Pickering and Sedman might as well send cardboard cut outs to the meetings for the little value they contribute to proceedings. 

I think of them as Carrots and Turnips.   
Senior is an unusual vegetable - he fruits just once at each meeting - when residents’ planning applications are being poked, prodded and pawed over.  Then he becomes dormant again before he and Harrison are asked by the Clerk to report to the Public and other Councillors so they can “HEAR” what is going on at Hagg Lane Green, which they refuse to do despite accepting the Committee responsibility to do so.  

By then, the carrots and turnips are dead to the world again.

Friday, 17 April 2015


Last night, Councillors under the Leadership of Drew and McCann discussed a quotation for repairs to the Church Clock face and hands to prevent further deterioration.  

Residents couldn't conceal their scorn when the Parish Clerk revealed the quotation was dated September 2013


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hagg Lane Green Annual General Meeting - Public Forum - 13 April 2015

Reply to JAS:  If Senior, Harrison or McCann had told the other Councillors and Public that the Steering Group had invited and approved one of their own to deposit shredded tree cuttings on the Village Green there wouldn’t have been allegations of fly tipping or a misleading statement that could be fairly interpreted as lying, and much acrimony.  Their Steering Group colleagues readily offered that Truth at the Group’s AGM although they never explained why their normal business of managing the parish council registered green was closed to the public and shrouded under a cloak of secrecy as thick as the shreddings that have caused so much trouble.

So much animosity, so much disruption of council business, so much deterrent to good people to volunteer for public service.

Went with Vic Parkin, Parish Council candidate and Whistleblower who exposed the Rats problem and initiated the clean up at Hagg Lane Green.

We received a courteous welcome and constructive dialogue from Secretary Denis Hails and Steering Group Members Sarah Noble and Neil Pickering.  Chairman Martin Senior, Glenis Harrison and Ken McCann kept very quiet.  Mark Bell, Tree Surgeon Member of Steering Group was absent.

Noble and Hails explained two areas of the village green had been carpeted with chippings, one by the Steering Committee with no conifer waste, the other area “by invitation” of Conservation Group to Group Members.  The two accepted the proposition that the Group had given permission to the Member licensed to transport shreddings but balked at descriptions “trade waste” and “dumped”, and did not dispute that Tree Surgeon Member Bell provided shreddings.

As the Group had consented to spreading shreddings then they did not accept the act was Fly Tipping.
We agreed the real issue is acidic effect of conifer shreddings on soil and possible pollution of adjacent water at the village green surrounded by only broad-leafed trees that is harmful to habitat and wildlife.
The Conservation Group does not know extent of conifer shreddings in “invitation area” and will investigate in light of residents’ fears of contamination and pollution, black water and effect on wildlife especially protected Great Crested Newts.  Scraping top layer off shreddings reveals extensive black, acidic layers beneath.

The issue is that simple.  The main issue and way to progress were sorted in fifteen minutes.

The Parish Council row when Group Chairman Senior told Council Chairman Drew he did not know the  identity of person depositing shreddings now justified as Senior answering very narrowly to ‘Fly Tipping’ allegation even though Drew “missed off” ‘Fly Tipping’ description in his question!

Once Senior had said “No” at the Parish Council, neither Harrison, with Council duty to report Hagg Lane Green developments to other Councillors and public, nor Vice-chairman McCann explained the real issues.

The three Councillors allowed the Parish Council business to be distorted by not explaining the simple issue that Hails and Noble so readily described.  Lack of openness and unwillingness to do their Council duty is a major issue surrounding the dual-hat Conservation Group Parish Councillors.

In protective mode, Steering Group Member Mrs. McCann asked if the issue was a Council vendetta against the four dual-hat Conservation Group/Parish Council Members.  She was referred back to the main issues of habitat and wildlife described above!  

Council Chairman Drew was not present at the Conservation AGM to hear how his electioneering colleagues allowed a simple issue to distort Council business.

Has the Conservation Group Tree Surgeon recommended for Council business by McCann and Senior provided his credentials as requested by the Council some months ago?

At the end of the AGM, we gave the Conservation Group the advice that playing “Silly Buggers” at the Parish Council was an issue, but they did not seem to understand we meant Councillors Senior, Harrison and McCann.      

Monday, 13 April 2015

It’s kicking off .....

Today, the Parish Clerk posted the Agenda for Thursday’s Parish Council meeting showing an item about ‘Fly Tipping on a Village Green’ (Hagg Lane), 

a resident sent me a picture of the latest dump at Hagg Lane Green which comprises shredded materiel transported by vehicle so the Dumper must have a licence to transport such waste, and tonight Martin Senior should chair the Annual General Meeting of the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group that gets an annual grant of public money from the Parish Council so he can, if he chooses, repeat his denial about knowing the identity of the Dumper, and so can the other Members of the Steering Committee, or they can make it a Closed Meeting, exclude the public and maintain a shroud of secrecy over their actions on the Parish Council registered Village Green where residents are concerned about the fate of the wildlife.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

What’s happened to the Great Crested Newts and other wildlife around the registered village green?

Pressure continues to mount on a Council Trio to come clean over the Hagg Lane Village Green where trade-waste conifer shreddings are turning the soil acid.

Disbelief has been growing since Martin Senior, the Chairman of the Conservation Group, told the Parish Council in March he did not know the identity of a person dumping the trade waste on the village green.  His two fellow Councillors, who are also on the Conservation Group Steering Committee, Harrison and McCann, did not divulge the identity of the person.       

 Scrape off the top layer and the black, acidic nature of the lower layers is soon revealed at the Hagg Lane Village Green today

Allegations fuelling the disbelief include a resident who challenged the conifer shreddings dumper and was told he had “permission”, presumably from the Conversation Group; a vehicle registration number of the local contractor sent to Conservation Group Steering Committee by a resident; a local contractor getting help from a Conservation Group Member to drag his van out of a ditch on the Green; the Conservation Group spreading vast quantities of the trade waste on the Green.

Was permission given by the Conservation Group?  So far they have not responded to written requests.  It’s likely the trio of Parish Councillors will face more questions at Thursday night’s Council meeting either in the Open Public Forum or in the formal Council meeting.   

Residents fear the green and wildlife have been damaged by the trade waste.  They ask, why has the topsoil rich in nutrients and minerals been covered by the acidic trade waste?  Why is the adjacent water black?  Where was the Frog spawn in February and March?  What has happened to the protected Great Crested Newts?  Will their breeding be affected?  Does the new acidic soil result in fewer foraging opportunities and refuges leading to their greater exposure to predators?  Does the ‘tidying up’ of a natural habitat for recreational reasons like Santa’s Grotto cause habitat fragmentation?

The appearance of the trade waste has caused some residents say that more damage has been to the habitat of the resident wildlife in recent years than had been done in the past 100 or so years.

If the Parish Council Trio and the Conservation Group can’t answer local concerns or maintain they have no knowledge of the identity of the conifer shreddings dumper then the issue may become one of Fly Tipping when environment and police authorities may become involved.

Note: Councillors Senior and Harrison have a duty each month to report to the Council so all Councillors and the public can HEAR of developments at the registered Hagg Lane Village Green.  Councillor McCann is the Council Vice-chairman and shares the responsibility with Chairman Drew to ensure they do so.  Which they don’t.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Now the fun begins.

Fifteen nominations for the eleven Hemingbrough Parish Council seats received by the Selby District Council Returning Officer by the closing date yesterday afternoon.  

Delighted to see some new faces, some faces from the active Parish Historical Heritage Society and also local farmer Keith Terry.  Four of the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Steering Group are standing including three of the Mute Newts and one who is frequently absent for evening working commitments.  

I look forward to a less active 'Bear Garden Blog' as I hope the 'new' council will benefit from a complete change in Leadership and a style more in keeping with that I associate with the Historical Heritage Society. 

Hemingbrough Parish Profile (1) Chairman Richard Drew


This profile concerns only Drew’s Council position which he won after campaigning with seven friends to control the eleven seats on the Council.  It does not review the excellent work he has done for the ‘Age Concern’ charity for many years.

Share a drink with Drew and he may tell you about his first ten-year Parish Council stint.  He often does.  He says he left because he couldn’t work any longer with (Councillor Roland) Chilvers.  Fair enough, people are people.   But why go back when the vastly experienced Chilvers would probably be re-elected?  Why go back with a deeply ingrained predisposition to counter anything Chilvers wants?  Council rules have changed since Drew’s last experience; there is more public scrutiny, especially at Hemingbrough.  Was it safety in numbers in an expected majority voting bloc or settling of old scores?

Drew wasn’t slated to be the Chairman.  That was reserved for Denis Hails, the brains, the Secretary/Treasurer of the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group and all-round nice guy.  It was openly talked about - how the Greens would rule the Labour Party Reds after the shoe had been on the other foot.  The ‘McCann Letter’ made the Green’s entrenched attitude toward Chilvers and Strelczenie quite clear.

The Conservation Group and the Parish Council had been at loggerheads (Councillors against Councillors not wearing their Council hats!) ever since the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations had shocked Council Chairman Chilvers with the news that a group of Councillors had converted a Council committee into a private organisation over which the Council no longer had control and was hidden from public scrutiny.  Since then, Councillor Chilvers and his supporters have advocated bringing the Council's registered village green back under full Council control and subject to public scrutiny.  

 Drew claims he has never been a Member of the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group.  I am certain he is right.  He was never “in” the Conservation Group but he was “of” the Group.  Here he is at a Conservation Group publicity event organised to announce to the village at a Flash Mob celebration another lottery handout.  He is lined up with the Group and wearing the same badge that distinguishes the Conservation Group Gang from the residents.

Here he is with five of the Conservation Steering Group Members who wanted to rule the Parish Council. 

Election Day in 2011 was one of mixed fortunes for the Conservation Group.  The Hemingbrough declarations came late in that anxious day.  First up was David McSherry, the promoter of that eight-person Group, as you can see from the Group’s election leaflet. 

Someone at Selby Council was having a tiring day’s counting.  McSherry’s votes for Selby District Councillor were shown correctly, he lost, but was described on Selby Council’s web site as the winner.  The Conservation Group was ecstatic; they saw the words and didn’t stop to examine the figures.  Their plan was working - they would rule the Parish Council and have their Mate as a co-operative, tame District Councillor.  It didn’t take long for Selby Council to fix their mistake – McSherry really had lost.

Then it was the Parish Council declaration.  The Greens had won two seats from the Reds, the arithmetic worked, Greens 6 seats, Reds 5 seats, and the Greens would appoint a Chairperson with a second, deciding vote in case of a tie if one of their Councillors was absent.  BUT!  But Denis Hails was not elected.  He didn’t campaign very much and always seemed to be above such things, hence he was not as well known as the others.  The Greens were in shock.  Who would face down Chilvers and Strelczenie at the Council meetings?  It was panic stations. 

From that moment Drew was a marked man.  Marked by his friends!  The four Conservation Steering Group Members, McCann, Senior, Harrison and Pickering – or McCann and the Mute Newts as they were referred to – wouldn’t do it so that left only the feisty Kristina Wilkinson and the irascible Richard Drew.  Wilkinson took the Council Chair with alacrity and Drew the Vice-chair.  Bad feelings ensued from the start of the first so-called ‘Community Parish Council’.  Wilkinson had already had a run-in with Chilvers.  She and her husband and a mate had been to the Chilvers’ house where they upset his wife and were sent away with fleas in their ears and Chilvers reported them to the Parish Council.

As the bad feelings, arguments, rows and group voting continued, Wilkinson fell afoul of the Council rules in her enthusiasm and it wasn’t long before the inexperienced Councillor was complaining about the desertion of her “friends on the Council” and her Vice-chairman’s (Drew) constant, nagging advice to ‘move on’ with Council topics and get the meeting closed as quickly as possible.  She gave up eventually and Drew was appointed Chairman and McCann stepped up as Vice-chair.      

The Council’s voting records and minutes, and from August 2014 the video and sound recordings, show what a disaster that became.  Neither Drew nor McCann have sufficient skills to chair a Council meeting, especially not one with a ‘Vegetable Patch’ full of Mute Newts (you have to watch the Council meetings to appreciate that!), its national rules and regulations and an ‘experienced’, unbelievable Parish Clerk who in March 2015 still didn’t know, according to the video record, the rule governing ‘Named Votes’.

The lack of action - Allotments, for example and the tale told to the Auditor – the lack of project spending, the lack of communications with residents, the failure to understand even written instructions for Plan Selby, the failure to do their duty after sorting out Committee places between themselves, etc., are often detailed in the Bear Garden Blog.

The most extreme example of the long-term, continuing prejudice and predisposition of the Greens Conservation Group Gang, whether Members were “in” or “of” the Group, remains, in my mind, the disgraceful Gang Vote against the proposition for a Civic Project that eventually became the clearing of the old Filling Station from the village entrance and the establishment of a Memorial Rose Garden because it was deemed to be a WHIM of Councillors Strelczenie and Chilvers and their colleagues on the Council and in the Parish Historical Heritage Society.  How did that negative vote based on long-held personal prejudices benefit residents?

It is not a legacy of which to be proud. 

As this Council draws to a close with next week’s meeting. I guess Drew and his Green Conservation Group Gang were just not up to Council leadership and duties during the past four years. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Notice is given that ....

.... the Annual General Meeting of the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group (the Group that should manage the Parish Council registered Village Green and provide monthly reports that Councillors and the Public can “HEAR”, that counts 5 Parish Councillors and a Councillor’s wife among the Members of its Steering Group, that receives a yearly grant of £600 from the Council and doesn’t give copies of their accounts to Councillors or lottery grant applications and correspondence, and votes in Council as a Group, that is strictly against protocols, and blocked the civic project that has become the Memorial Rose Garden, and still hasn’t given funds to the Parish Historical Heritage Group that is raising funds from residents and local businesses for the Memorial and the removal of the old Filling Station) will be held on Monday 13th April 2015 at 7.00 p.m. in Hemingbrough Institute.

Why is their AGM Calling Notice on the Parish Council Notice Board?  The Playing Fields, Bowls, Cricket, Netball and Football Group AGM notices aren't posted on the Parish Council notice board, are they?   Presumably so the public can attend.  I think I will go and ask if Parish Councillor Martin Senior was telling the truth when he told the Parish Chairman he didn’t know the identity of the person (or people) dumping all those conifer cuttings on the village green where there aren’t any conifer trees growing nearby. 

I wonder if they will chuck me out.  I’ll let you know.