Anston Parish Council Meeting Mar 18 2013

It’s that time of the month again, the parish hall is calling and the great and good descend for another fantastical parish council meeting.

Mr Beck kicks off reading apologies for absence, Stuart Thornton straight on the attack asks where the absent people are? Do they have better things to do? He is shot down by Cllr Saint-John with the accuracy and ruthlessness of an SAS sniper.

Not deterred Stuart asks why minutes do not reflect the reasons he left a meeting early, i.e. that he felt the chair at the time was not doing his job. Move on says Mr Beck!

Again Stuart pops his head above the battlements to suggest that the prices paid for emptying bins seem on the expensive side. There is general agreement on this, but not on what to do, a motion is passed to vaguely look at it in some way.

Mr Beck answers a query and confirms tweeting is allowed in meetings! Huurah, move on!

As the main session starts a few familiar faces drift in, most notably Mr Lewis in a provocative t-shirt. 3 Police PCSOs also troop through the door and are not so subtlety questioned by the public as to why they are there.

The main event kicks off with a question about repair jobs on the Green outstanding from three years ago. Cllrs Burton and Baker promise to progress, no one can remember that far back.

A greenbelt question on what arrangements will be made for schools when the new houses planned by RMBC are built. Cllr Dalton says the planners will this into account at the time, Cllr Thornton disagrees saying the infrastructure plans offer no money for improvements. It’s a complex subject but I happen to know he’s right and she’s wrong.

Another question along similar lines, saying Anston needs a civic centre, all present broadly agree but the feeling is it is now too late for such things, it should have been done in the seventies and the time has gone. They have obviously not seen my plan to divert the A57 and reclaim Anston for the people. It’s a plan as cunning as a bag of foxes, but we move on to……

Why don’t we cut Dinnington Comp in two and bring half of it to Anston? Then kids won’t have to go as far…. Hmmm no one touches this with a big stick.

Cllr Burton asks why are we discussing this, it’s all in the hands of private developers, demoralized we move on again.

Mr Lewis asks SJ what he was playing at when he spoke up for the Brethren at the planning board. It’s an old theme and is greeted with sighs, SJ tells the questioner to get bent in a nice way.

Clive Jepson gets a similar reply when he asks SJ about his contact with the Brethren prior to their planning application. No further comment…

We turn to the worst kept secret in Anston next, the top secret land deal the Council is involved in. Apparently there is an update but we can’t be told what it is because the thing we all know about is secret. This is getting boring…!

It is pointed out that if the deal is not kept secret the Council may lose the land. That’s it knackered then, because by now even the flippin Martians must know.

A letter next asking Cllrs to declare whether or not they are for building on greenbelt. Cllrs Thornton and Baker are against, SJ says it’s not that simple, folks have to live somewhere. Beck and Ireland say wait for next Save Our Greenbelt meeting, Stonebridge says RMBC have been screwed by the route of HS2 so couldn’t do as much on brownfield as they’d like, Burton says as a last resort she’s for it.

Stuart says we can’t blame central government for things like this, RMBC decide where to put the houses, and they just gave Dinno another 200. No, it’s 40 says Cllr Dalton, ignoring the fact that RMBC themselves say it’s 200, sorry Judy 0/2.

A letter from Mr Beck to Kevin Barron is denounced as misleading by Stuart, he’s a terrier this man! “You’ll not get rid of me Stuart” laughs Mr Beck as the audience applaud. The applause was in favour of binning Mr Beck I must report.

A letter from the independent monitor who attended last months pensioner bashing meeting, he wants a public meeting with himself and the public only, no councillors allowed. This sounds interesting and is welcomed universally, although no one actually knows why he wants a meeting or what it’s for. A vote is taken to invite all Anstonians to a public meeting for some purpose no one knows. All we do know is some councillors have been complained about but we don’t know who.

I can’t help noticing the Council have brought their fan club again this month, all 3 of them in fact. They mainly snigger and quietly use the F word between themselves, booing the odd member of the public who dares to get frustrated at the slow pace of progress.

How better to consult with the public is discussed, along with the possibility of working more closely with Dinno Town Council. Councillors say they are keen, but it’s all a bit wooly, and no concise action is promised.

Stuart goes down in flames for daring to suggest the Council consult before buying any more land, he picks himself back up to ask where the 1500 quid is coming from for Anston Day.

Not sure says Judy, we can decide at the time says SJ. Move on! Says Mr Beck.

It all gets slightly shouty as Cllrs discuss various standing orders, Stuart loses again and heckling starts to break out  as we progress towards the end of the meeting.

A vote is taken to keep the land purchase secret, this provokes an exclamation of “yes” from the fan club, don’t know what’s going on there.

A residents asks when they can expect a reply to a letter, they are told the letter is acknowledged as received but not to hold their breath.

A resident tried to sneak a second question and get a cruise missile of a telling off, some wag suggests the councillors pay for Anston Day themselves, yes, it just got silly.

A final question to the independents accusing them of being on the fence over greenbelt, protecting the countryside will stop our children from having affordable homes apparently. Clive points out that there are many affordable homes not selling at the moment, and that the gentlemen in question supported the brethren so is hardly unbiased.

I wonder when people will stop talking about these new homes as if they are going to be council houses or something, they will be private, expensive and profitable comrade.

It’s been two and a half hours and there is a feeling of relief as muck rakers, the Police and general public leave the councillors to their private session.

This meeting has shown what a paralysed body this Council is, no real issues are debated with any great zeal or openness, the common good is sacrificed for infighting and the Labour Party line.

I despair.


22 thoughts on “Anston Parish Council Meeting Mar 18 2013

  1. UKIP Anston

    A very good account of proceedings and what a waste of time. It was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I would like to expand on the building of a comprehensive school, the upper school was decaying when I went there in the 70’s. Anston has 4 feeder schools while Dinnington only one and a half. As per the creation of a health surgery in Anston, I would like to see a school along the same lines, which should reduce traffic considerably. Regarding a civic centre for Anston, this would relieve a lot of pressure on the road system and create a more sustainable village. They are quite happy to release land to build houses, but not to provided services for the existing houses, we should have had 30 years ago. Very disappointed there was no vote on rejecting the core strategy, but it looks like the only two against are the two Independents.

    1. lovedinnington Post author

      Interesting, it would be good to know how full dinno and wales are now, if they are under pressure it would make the case for Anston comp. Maybe we.could build it on the new boulevard?!!

      1. UKIP Anston

        I don’t think Dinno school is that full, because when I was there in the 70’s 2500 children used it, whereas only 1600 now use it. My concern is that the upper school is now very poor and I understand has big issues with asbestos. Rather than rebuilding the upper school, it would be a good time to relocate to the new Boulevard. This would create a more sustainable Anston community and reduce congestion etc. The lower school in Dinnington would then suffice and is a modern purpose built building for the remaining Dinnington children. Couldn’t Anston be one of those new free schools. Thanks for adding to my debate, as many opinions create the perfect solution.

  2. Pingback: Anston Parish Council Last Night | Rotherham Politics

  3. trambuster

    Er, are these the minutes for the meeting, because they’re very good if they are.

    It’s just that I’m used to seeing the usual council standard of minute taking i.e. hear nowt, see nowt and say nowt

  4. Colin Tawn

    It was me who asked the question about schooling if the proposed housing developments go ahead. I have looked at the plans and nowhere is there any mention of schooling. I like to drip feed my questions to APC and I have more questions for them at further meetings including two I know they will not be able to answer. Let’s not get carried away though, even if by a miracle Anston PC reject the house building plans RMBC will still go ahead and build on our greenbelt. Local democracy? What’s that then?
    Thanks to ILD for the speedy and concise report.

  5. rothpol

    Absolutely brilliant! Many thanks for extending the reach of scrutiny by the public to both Anston and Dinnington.
    When the report and Twitter feed are read together, it leaves me feeling I’d been there!
    For those of us, more or less confined to barracks, it provides entertainment and more than a little enlightenment, I dare say.
    Why won’t RMBC broadcast their meetings in the Lubyanka? It’s an equal access issue and should be addressed soonest!

    1. lovedinnington Post author

      When you put it like that RothPol makes you think, many people cannot easily access these meetings, what about the lone parents who are stuck at home with the kids?

      Wouldn’t it be nice to send in questions via email in advance and watch a broadcast answer?

  6. UKIP Anston

    I think we missed a massive opportunity to force a vote on the core strategy at the last meeting. I was extremely disappointed with the people on the Parish council who went back on their word to hold a vote at this meeting, but at the same time the public didn’t turn up and voice their feelings.

    1. trambuster

      The raison d’etre of a Parish Council is to understand and represent the feelings and views of local people, so there is no real need for the public to attend.

      They should have discussed, voted and minuted the item.

      1. Tim Wells

        At the end of the last meeting the chairman confirmed there would be a vote at the next meeting on either rejecting or agreeing to the core strategy. However at the next meeting they just walked around the point, no wonder nobody trusts anybody in politics.

  7. Hilary Estrada-Haigh

    Why did Dominic Beck lie to the meeting when asked if he spoke to the three “security guards/heavies” present at the “follow on” meeting of the 25th February – Beck said he did not speak to these people – WELL NO – As I pointed out at the Meeting of 18 March – HE DID SPEAK TO THEM – HE WENT UP TO THEM AND SAID “THANK YOU FOR COMING” Too many lies, far too many and him on the Standards Committee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. lovedinnington Post author

      I don’t know the answer to that, Hilary, maybe its worth emailing him directly and asking the question? I have been making some enquiries of the Police regarding the incident with Mr Lewis and they have advised me that they would never physically remove a member of the public from a meeting for simply being vocal, only if a breach of the peace occurs. They are going to formally respond soon so more on that soon hopefully.

  8. Hilary Estrada-Haigh

    What and get more lies or indeed The Anston “Bum’s Rush” Time this Parish Council was disbanded


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