Thursday, 21 August 2014

Smoke and Mirrors, A Pack of Lies, or Same Old, Same Old McCann?


January minutes.  “It was agreed that the quotes received for the land valuations would be discussed at the March meeting and the Parish Council would look into the funding for this.”

February minutes. “It was agreed that the Parish Council would apply to the Community Engagement Forum for a grant towards an assessment of the potential allotments sites. It was then proposed by Councillor McCann, seconded by Councillor Drew and unanimously agreed that subject to receiving a grant from the Community Engagement Forum the Parish Council would part fund the assessment.”

March minutes. NOTHING

April minutes. NOTHING

May minutes. NOTHING

June minutes. NOTHING

July minutes. (I bet it was Nothing)

McCann has been ‘managing’ the Allotments project for a couple of years!!!  (Three exclamation marks were introduced by the previous Clerk to convey a particular meaning – ask Brian)

Now, let see what the present Clerk declared to the Auditor this year about the Council reserves, of which more later.

Can anyone show me where the Council has passed a resolution to fund allotments?  They haven’t even completed an assessment of possible sites after two years plus, and they can well afford it!!!

‘Deep Throat’

With an intimate knowledge of affairs and records at Hemingbrough Parish Council someone, perhaps a serving Councillor, fancies them self as a purveyor of allegations of questionable Council events unless that  individual is just living out an elderly, frustrated, sexual fantasy complete with ‘anonymous’ letters. 

So far, whatever information I check appears to be true.  I have not yet checked this particular allegation, but I will, with the help of the VAT office.     

Thank you, Eric Pickles (2)

Open and accountable local government: plain English guide

A guide for the press and public on attending and reporting meetings of local government

Transparency and openness should be the fundamental principle behind everything councils and other local government bodies do, and new rights have now been introduced by the Openness of Local Government Bodies 2014, which will enable members of the public to know how decisions are made.

These rights allow members of the public including citizens and professional journalists to:

•           use modern technology and communication methods such as filming, audio-recording, blogging and tweeting to report the proceedings of the meetings of their councils and other local government bodies

•           see information relating to significant decisions made outside meetings by officers acting under a general or specific delegated power.

The national rules have been changed to make councils, including parish and town councils, more transparent and accountable to their local communities.

Part 1 Your rights to attend and report meetings

We now live in a modern, digital world where the use of modern communication methods such as filming, tweeting and blogging should be embraced for enhancing the openness and transparency of local government bodies.

Who do these rules help?  These rules help any members of the press and public who want to know about, view or report the work of local government bodies. The “press” is defined in the widest terms – including traditional print media, filming crews, hyper-local journalists and bloggers.

The new national rules have increased your rights to film, audio-record, take photographs, and use social media such as tweeting and blogging to report the proceedings of meetings that are open to the public.

Councils are required to allow any member of the public to take photographs, film and audio-record the proceedings, and report on all public meetings. While no prior permission is required to carry out this activity, it is advisable that any person wishing to film or audio-record a public meeting let their local government staffs know so that all necessary arrangements can be made for the public meetings.

Do I need to have advance permission to report the meeting?  No.  Whilst we would encourage people to contact staff in advance if they want to film or record, equally, we would discourage any system which “vetted” journalists or restricted reporting to “approved” journalists. Councils should support freedom of the press within the law and not seek to restrict those who may write critical comments.

It is a legal duty for the local government body to follow the new provisions. If a local government body’s existing Standing Orders are not fully in line with the new legislation, in the short-term, we recommend they simply waive the relevant provisions of those old Standing Orders which could be taken to inhibit the new reporting rules, and then take steps to update formally its Standing Orders.

Thank you, Eric Pickles

Dear Mr Markham,

You may be interested to know that Parliament now has approved the draft Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, which the Government intends to make on 5 August. These Regulations will therefore come into force on 6 August, giving the public new rights to film and report council meetings, including meetings of committees and subcommittees, using digital and social media.

Regards, Eleanor Smyllie, Democracy Division |  Department for Communities and Local Government Zone 3/J1, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU 

Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014

Dear Parish Clerk

I intend to exercise my rights from time to time under the “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014” as a Member of the Press as defined  in the Department for Communities and Local Government publication ‘Open and accountable government’ publication so when I attend tonight I would appreciate you making available the “reasonable facilities to facilitate reporting. This should include space to view and hear the meeting, seats and ideally a desk” as defined in the publication.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Scraping a dirty barrel

The Parish Council minutes for June 2014 note Councillor Jan Strelczenie has been re-appointed as Chairman of the Selby Branch of Yorkshire Local Councils Associations (YLCA) which includes over 500 local councils in Yorkshire supposedly working “to support councils by giving members legal and technical advice, information and training relevant to their work and generally to support their work and governance.”

While acknowledging their democratic right to appoint their own Chairman, you must wonder if Members knew what they were doing, or does Councillor Strelczenie represent typical Parish Council leaders?  

If Strelczenie stands for any elected public office other than Hemingbrough Parish Council, his opponents will have a heavy barrel of materiel to work with, including the probable record of being the only local Parish Council Chairman to be the subject of a complaint about lying to residents signed by more than 10 people.

Excerpts from ‘The Collected Unbelievable Works of Councillor Jan Strelczenie’ of The Labour Party.

·         Parish Council Minutes.  ‘The Chairman (Jan Strelczenie) read out a statement of advice he had received from Selby Council Solicitor regarding United Charities.  He stated that it would be adviseable (sic) to reduce the number of trustees to 3 non-prejudicial trustee’s.(sic)’.  When Selby District Council was asked under the Freedom of Information Act for a copy of the advice given by their Solicitor to the Hemingbrough Parish Council Chairman, THEY COULDN’T FIND IT IN THEIR FILES!  When the Hemingbrough Parish Clerk was asked for the same, she said it wasn’t available as Strelczenie said it was a ‘personal’ communication, he wasn’t willing to share it with his Council colleagues and she had never seen it.  PURE FANTASY LAND!!!

·         ‘They are the bad guys’ Strelczenie told the public when three Councillors declared an interest in a planning application and left the Council meeting room while the plans were discussed.  Councillors who declared personal and prejudicial interests MUST leave the meeting room for the discussion and vote. In fact, Strelczenie was THE BAD GUY for lying to the public and characterising the three Councillors in that way.  Previously, Strelczenie had refused to accept the experienced Clerk’s advice that he should not stay in the Council meeting room to take part in the co-option of his wife onto the Parish Council.  She was voted in by the ruling Gang who added another close family member to their Gang.
When speaking to residents as the Parish Council Chairman, Strelczenie said, “We  (Parish Councillors) haven’t seen anything to do with Yorkshire Water’s plans”  Yorkshire Water’s Director, Environmental Business Unit contradicted that: “At the meeting, Yorkshire Water staff showed Councillors copies of the plans.  What was given to councillors to view was: A full site plan, a side elevation, a zoomed-in detailed site plan, a computer-generated graphic image of a side elevation, a computer-generated image showing an elevated view.  Some Parish Councillors not in Strelczenie’s Gang publicly rejected his statement. 

        To a Press Representative at a Parish Council Meeting.  The Tenant passed his Charity cheque to the Parish Clerk to pass on to the Charity "in the usual way".  Another lie. C) Note receipt of cheque for £340.00 payable to Hemingbrough United Charities for rent of land to be held until United Charities conform with the constitution.  Strelczenie told the public that the independent charity was nothing to do with the Council even though the Council admitted it ‘administered’ the Charity without legal rights to do so, and he had been discussing it with Selby Council. The Charity Commission did not like this one little bit, and said so!!!

From a Hemingbrough Parish Council Chairwoman about the bullying behaviour of Councillor Jan Strelczenie at a Council meeting  

Dear Jonathan Lund, Monitoring Office, Selby District Council

During the Parish Council meeting Councillor Strelczenie made repeated accusations, directed at me, that I had given a copy of the Structure License for the siting of the village entrance sign to a resident which was a complete untruth.

Despite my telling him more than once that this was not the case he continued shouting “I don’t believe you.”  His manner throughout was extremely aggressive and bullish and resulted in other Councillors telling him he was being disrespectful and that his behaviour was unacceptable.  He took absolutely no notice of me or his fellow Councillors and continued with his rantings.  I personally found this insulting as he was in effect calling me a liar.

I told him to stop being rude and insulting towards a member of the public. Again he took no notice.  As a result of this incident the meeting was disrupted for such a period of time that we had to call an additional meeting to finish our business.

I view Councillor Strelczenie’s behaviour on this and on many other occasions as disgraceful.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

“Moley Mk. 2”

Thank you for your “information (facts)” about the incestuous relationship between Hagg Lane Green and Hemingbrough Parish Council.  

I dug up my information by Freedom of Information Act request that was handled professionally by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Be careful, some Councillors will be starting another Hemingbrough Mole Hunt and I guess neither of us want You to be known as ‘Moley2’.       

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dear JAS

Any suggestion that the ‘Cenotaph’ photograph in the Post below was taken to suggest an obscene hand gesture known as a finger wave, the middle finger, flipping someone off, flipping the bird, shooting the bird, the rude finger or the one finger salute that communicates extreme contempt for the Hemingbrough Parish Council faction (Councillors K McCann, N Pickering, G Harrison, M Senior, R Drew and K Wilkinson.) that voted “Against the Village Cenotaph becoming a Parish Council Initiative” to commemorate the start of World War 1 without consulting residents about their wishes and then ignoring the 450 signatures in favour of such a memorial is only a figment of your imagination.   

It is not your duty to conspire with Councillors ....

Dear Parish Clerk

It is more than twenty working days since I enquired about the Hemingbrough Parish Council accounts.  On 9th July you responded in your usual fashion (below) which I know from an identical reply in response to a properly worded Freedom of Information Act request can mean you have no intention of providing the requested information.

“I acknowledge receipt of your email and will respond to yourself in due course.”

I want you to provide me with the information now or send me the contact details of the Council’s External and Internal Auditors.

“Dear Parish Clerk,
In the last fiscal year did Hemingbrough Parish Council insure the whole or any part of the boardwalk installed around the Hagg Lane Green Ponds, please? If a part, what percentage of the boardwalk insurance did it pay?  How was the ‘first phase’ boardwalk accounted for in the Council’s assets and liabilities last year as it was initially funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund after a joint submission from the Council and the ‘independent’ Conservation Group. Thank you”

It seems you need reminding that you are paid with public funds and have an equal responsibility to serve Hemingbrough residents and Councillors.  It is not your duty to conspire with councillors to help them avoid answering what they may think are awkward questions. 

At today’s date, you have not posted any minutes on the Council’s Notice Board since those of 15th May 2014 despite a pledge by the majority faction on the Council at the last election to put residents “at the forefront of its intent”.  This is not the first time I have reminded you and you undertook to rectify your performance.

Monday, 4 August 2014

York Commemorating 100 Years

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

Blog Visitors go through the roof

The more who know of their disgraceful antics, the merrier

A Once in a Hundred Years Opportunity

4th August 1914 - 4th August 2014 - 100 Years since the beginning of World War I

 With a majority of 6 to 4 it was resolved that the Village Cenotaph would not become a Parish Council Initiative” 

(No explanation! – see Post below)

Councillors Bygrave, Chilvers, Kinsella and Strelczenie proposed and supported a Hemingbrough civic initiative to mark the centenary.

Maybe the Parochial Church Council of St Mary the Virgin, Hemingbrough would have looked more favourably on Councillor Chilvers’ appeal to have a Cenotaph in the Church Yard if the Chilvers family had not involved the Church in disgraceful Parish Council affairs by writing to the Archbishop of York about having to answer difficult questions in Council*, and Mrs. Chilvers writing to the Parish Council to formally but confidentially** advise, and demand that her letter be read out in Council, that the Chilvers family had decided to divert monies intended for St. Mary’s Church because of criticism of Council antics, which turned out be justified according to Council and Hemingbrough United Charities documentation.

I didn't get a call from Buckingham Palace so don't know if Her Majesty was contacted by the crazy councillors or if her secretary ignored it.   

Hemingbrough needs a new, younger, healthier generation of candidates for the parish elections in 2015.  We deserve what we get, but nobody deserves this bunch of .........!  Any volunteers?          

  **‘She’ forgot about the Freedom of Information Act covering almost all communications with a Council.  Not everyone believes Mrs. Chilvers wrote the letters, they think it was her husband, and it was certainly Mr. Chilvers that was touting a retaliatory letter signed by his wife around the local Press.

*Councillor J. Strelczenie wrote to the York Diocesan Secretary along the same lines.  You could hear the derisive laughter from the Church authorities all the way from Bishopthorpe Palace and York to Hemingbrough.