Anston Parish Meeting 29 April 2013

Monday night and off we trot to the Parish Hall, but it’s NOT a Parish Council meeting as such. It is a public meeting called by Cllr Thornton and the room is split into two areas. Outsiders like me who don’t live in Anston must sit at the back, Residents sit round in a big circle. Any councillors attending tonight do so as members of the public, except the chairman Mr Beck and the clerk.

The local plan for house building in Rotherham was raised straight away  no house building planned in Anston says Mr Beck. Hmm not sure that’s right, after all once they have tarmacked their way across Dinno East to the Butterfly House they will be in Anston then, technically. Oh and were they to build a massive new trading estate over near Todwick some of that would be in Anston, still details, details, let’s move on.

Mr Beck was also criticised for reading out a statement before clearing it with fellow Cllrs, and also asked by a resident about what he would do should a conflict arise between his post here and the one at Wales where he is borough Cllr? Mr Beck pointed out that the meeting was not about him and to be fair he has a point.

He was also asked about times he may have dropped the ball, but picking the ball up Mr Beck moved the meeting onwards.

Questions also asked about the upkeep of the hall and grounds which costs thousands upon thousands per year, however it was pointed out that there are many bills to pay and much work to be done.

RMBC were slagged off for the rather poor standard of service that residents experience, cuts were blamed until one resident pointed out that the services were poor before the cuts. Move on!

A vote proposed by Stuart for the automatic exclusion of any non-Anston resident who interrupts a parish meeting by speaking.

Hmm, we’re in a personal bug bear type place here for me, I have no idea why it is seen as a good thing for Dinno residents to be forced to keep silent at Anston Parish and for the same to apply to Anstonians at Dinno Town Council.

Anyone who actually thinks that what happens in one village does not affect the other is frankly kidding themselves. The two places are joined at the hip, and this is one rule which really doesn’t need reinforcing.

But vote they did and yes surprise, surprise sanctions will now apply to anyone from over the border who dares to speak!

The greenbelt issues were raised once again, with Cllr Burton telling everyone greenbelt land will not be used straight away and not while there are empty houses in the area. Quite how she thinks this would happen is not clear, government planning inspectors have been allowing developers to ignore brownfield for a year or more now, but I’m guessing that wasn’t in her briefing from the borough.

One of the fan club members at that point asked Cllr Thornton why he was objecting to building on greenbelt. This would mean his children couldn’t afford houses in the area apparently, as building on brownfield is too expensive. This is the old myth that the new houses in the area will be affordable or social houses. They won’t, no developer is going to waste the lovely countryside locations in Dinno East and Throapham with affordable cardboard boxes when they can build 4 and 5 bed exec homes instead.

BUT people still peddle this old myth, even though the government is now telling developers that the old deals which meant a certain proportion in new developments had to be affordable is now off.

I have to say the fan club comments were a little better than usual, but this was in part due to Judy Dalton being perched on their shoulder throughout I’m guessing! She’s no fool when it comes to following the Labour party line from the borough.

Stuart Thornton did dare to ask if the fan club members heckling had anything to do with the contracts they had with the parish council. This provoked a threat of a solicitors letter from fan club member #2.

The vote in the end was headed off by Jo Burton, who I can only assume was being remote controlled by someone with a brain. In the end the public fell for it and voted to insert her amendment to urge Cllrs to oppose greenbelt development unless brownfield and all other sources of housing were exhausted. It’s actually impossible to do that, but details, details, move on!

The top secret land deal was raised once again, I say secret, but bacteria on the planet Mars have heard what and where it is by now, so let’s move on.

One resident said that the A57 divides Anston and Mr Beck agreed. Have they seen my cunning plan to divert the A57 and allow Anston to begin a glorious new age? No, and I’m not allowed to speak…

By now Cllr Burton had changed the meeting to love-in by inviting all present to tell her what they loved about Anston. It’s a long list and I love the place having spent the first three decades of my life there, but isn’t this just a distraction really?

It is and from this point on the meeting got very shouty, with poisonous comments being literally spat from one corner of the room to the other. Mr Beck had finally had enough when he closed the meeting and had gone so red as to resemble beetroot.

It was at this point that events went pear shaped in a major way, no doubt you will have read various versions on other sites and in the papers as well.

I do not intend to add to these comments, at least not yet.

Thank you and good night.

4 thoughts on “Anston Parish Meeting 29 April 2013

  1. Tim Wells

    Another good post. I agree when Anston and Dinnington are joined at the hip, sometimes it is important for Dinnington people to voice their concerns at Anston meetings. I do have a concern with the way that the question was reworded to challenge building on the green belt, because I feel there will be little done to look at empty homes and brownfield sites. The new homes won’t benefit the children of the people concerned about future housing for them. There is nothing in the plan for new housing, to upgrade roads, schools, shops and services. I believe as usual the Rotherham Labour party are pulling the wool over peoples eyes, I look forward to the day they are replaced by Independents, who truly represent Anston. I also found it so strange that there were many individuals at the meeting, who have never attended previous meetings. There were an awful lot of people from south Anston who voted at the meeting, I believe they are quite happy for green belt to be built on around North anston, because it won’t effect them in south anston. I bet they won’t be so happy when the A57 is upgraded and rerouted around the back of their village through their green belt. They won’t get the support of North Anston people.

    Reply
  2. S Thornton

    Can I point out yet again the Meeting WAS NOT A PARISH COUNCIL MEETING. It was a meeting of the Electors of Anston. By Law only the people who appear on the Electoral Roll for the Parish of Anston are allowed to speak and vote. In a Parish where there is a Parish Council, the Chairman of the Parish Council must preside over the meeting. The Chairman of the Parish is the only Official there and has no other powers other than to run the meeting.
    The reason I put the proposal forward was to stop Mr St John from interupting OUR meeting again, Cllr St John, who lives in Dinnington, decided that the rules did not apply to him last year, and dispite knowing he could not speak, he saw fit to ignore the Chairmans previous instructions and interupted the meeting. Note he did not turn up this year.
    My own feelings on persons speaking at Parish Council meetings who live outside the area is , why not, as long as the questions are related to Parish issues. Its in the power of the Parish Council to resind the Standing Order that prevents this, but as long as the Labour Party have majority control they will not do this, they dont like being held to account by those that elect them. Consultation over the purchase of land !!, I rest my case.

    Reply
  3. Tim Wells

    Stuart thanks for clearing this up. I voted for your proposal at the time, but after wondered if I had cut my own nose of to spite my face, but know you do things for a good reason and trust you. I believe with the green belt or other such issues, these matters effect things that are going off in Dinnington. Your question to object to the greenbelt was good, the amendment by Jo Burton has created a Trojan horse. I can imagine very little investigations will be made of building on brown belt and using empty houses. But then again could this vote be used to object against the core strategy? and be a Trojan horse in our favour. On the matter of the land purchase, the chairman said to me that it wouldn’t be a burial ground, but when pressed further by Hilliary, I heard it couldn’t be ruled out.

    Reply

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