A letter from Anston’s Tim Wells

A quick letter here from Tim Well, setting out his vision for Anston and starting the New Year off in no uncertain terms, expect to see it in the Guardian.
I always like to read Tim’s letters, he certainly has ideas and a direction he’d like to see Anston take! Wonder what he thinks to my cunning plan to divert the A57 away from Anston centre and the Stones?
Almost sounds like an election manifesto Tim!
****
Dear Anston folk.
 
I wonder if the Parish council can pass a New Years resolution, by ensuring the Parish clerks attends the office 3 out of 5 days a week, so that he can more effectively run the Parish and support and manage the staff there.  We are lucky if he attends one afternoon a week.  How can anybody run a Parish when they don’t get involved in the day to day activities that go off!
 
I think more use could be made of Anston Stones Wood, selling on wood to create an income would boost the coffers of the council, we should ensure that this valuable revenue stream is protected.  Why not have a resident craftsman and his apprentice working there, which would create two valuable jobs.
 
Anston is now a small town of 10K people and needs a Parish clerk who can deliver what the Town requires.  We haven’t even got a decent Civic centre for the town, anybody would have thought the Parish council had been asleep for the last 30 years.  We need decent rail and bus links to Sheffield.  On top of this Anston is due a Comprehensive school, the upper school at Dinnington could be removed to all this to happen.   There is so much more that could be done to make Anston a better place to live and commute from.
 
Hopefully the Parish council will pull out their finger and provide a Christmas tree for next year, I understand it would be easy to tap into the electric supply half way up the Baulk.  I understand somebody is ready to donate the tree.
 
Can I draw attention to the excellent work carried out by the dwindling Parish workers, who do the job more for love, than the money.
 
All the best for the New Year
 
Tim

27 thoughts on “A letter from Anston’s Tim Wells

  1. land tech

    stones wood sssi so you so only remove 3 cubic meters ov wood each year 2nd timber is only sold road side craftperson 25k full time helper 12k full time plus trianing power tools so tim thats 40k up wards dos it cost that now no an school pipe dream

    Reply
    1. lovedinnington Post author

      Yeah I don’t think Anston Stones could be managed sustainably and made to turn a profit, it just wouldn’t work. Maybe if it were the size of Clumber Park it might be possible to look after and make money, even then,,,

      What’s the rules on managing a SSSI wood? Is there a quote for how much you can take per acre per year or something similar?

      Reply
  2. Tim

    Land tech. Can you let me know who you are? or can I guess. I understand the need to allow timber to rot, but I think the stones looks terrible with the amount of wood that has been left around and the SSSI need to change his rules or we need to look at another way of protecting the stones. Oaks from the Stone were used when we had a great Navy and it needs working more. I believe in private enterprise and would look for the Parish council to encourage somebody to set up there, rather than it being a public financed cost.

    Reply
    1. Moonshine

      Hi Tim
      New school
      New rail links
      New bus station
      New shopping centre
      Privatised wood land
      Perhaps the new houses would have been a good for love dinnington’s policy or Would it be a good idea to love sheffield once again where all the facilities are available and leave our village alone xx :))

      Reply
      1. lovedinnington Post author

        I think there’s a balance here, anyone who knows me is aware that I don’t want to see loads of new houses built by RMBC and their developer chummies if the number and locations are unsustainable.

        That said I would like to see a manageable amount, correctly situated, and some new facilities too like a leisure centre in Dinnington and better transport links to Sheffield.

      2. Tim

        Moonshine another one of those anonymous people on the internet. Who said I want to privatise the Stones, but to make it more into a working wood as it was 200/300 years would encourage more diversity. I came to Anston in 1966 and there were less than 3K of people here, there farms and corn fields where I lived. Now that we have 10K of people living here, it is barmy that all those people have to do their weekly shop in the neighbouring Town of Dinnington. Dinnington used to be bigger than Anston, so it would be far more sensible to half the size of the Comprehensive school. When most people work in Sheffield, because that is where all the decent jobs are, it is sensible to provide decent commuter links and reduce car traffic. P.S. Anston is no longer a village, Dinnington is smaller and now classed as a town. But since 1975 we have lost the Rural district offices, Library, Youth club and the Co-ops that used to be here.

    2. lovedinnington Post author

      Tim, I think leaving the timber to rot is creating habitat and adding to biodiversity? Not that I’m an expert on such matters but in Clumber they are constantly explaining to visitors why they try and leave lumber to rot down. It’s all about managing what we have sustainably and Anston Stones just couldn’t be run commercially (I wouldn’t have thought)

      Reply
      1. Tim

        Hi Lewis. I was suggesting that 50% of what is left to rot, was removed and sold on for commercial gain for the benefit of the Parish. I have never seen any where near that amount of rotten matter left in Clumber or anywhere else for that matter. A few years ago they used a couple of Shire horses to remove would from the Stones, to use for other purposes. Wouldn’t it be great to see a couple of working shires in the Stones. I am not into the Stones being run commercially, but I think that encouraging a wood to be used as it was, when Oaks where grown for creating our once great Navy, would benefit tourism and create opportunities. All the best Tim

  3. land tech

    TO get the shire horses in the wood it took 3 months paper work sssi means you work to a plan year to year wood was taken in fact clear felled now its the stewardship field clumber and stones wood are not the same at all as for oaks for the navy they used what was there if they had waited for them to grow you would have been talking spanish by now anston stones wood is mainly ash and there for this means you cannot move any ash from an area under disease restrictions for the forceable furture, in other words stones wood would be unable to become commercial.reasons for this are sssi management no access for commercial extraction top soil must not be disturbed and your quiet right tim your not an expert but feel free to ask if you require any further help on the management of stones wood .

    Reply
    1. lovedinnington Post author

      How is the wood managed at the moment, are new trees being planted and old/dodgy ones being removed on a regular basis?

      We had a walk through today and there are some huge, really impressive trees in there but most seem quite young (to my uneducated eye at least)

      Does the parish council get any grants for the work there or do they have to cough up the money from their funds?

      Reply
      1. Tim

        Hi Lewis. If you search on Anston Parish monthly accounts, you will find the break down of expenditure and income. The files are in PDF format, I have found about 5 months worth. It is quite an interesting read. Cheers Tim

    2. Tim

      Hi Landtech. Thanks for your info. I think you will find that it was Lovedinnington who said he wasn’t an expert. I believe that we need to follow common sense rules, rather than strict dogma. I believe in preserving nature, this has to be balanced against working the land to produce a benefit. Cheers Tim

      Reply
  4. S Thornton

    Hi Tim,
    I can supply you with some of the answers you asked. Land Tech is a local Company run by Kevin Person. Land Tech are regularly contracted by Anston Parish Council to undertake work in the Stones wood. It noteworthy that when you asked the question of “who was Land tech” no reply was forthcoming. One could ask why, and why he chose not to declare that he is a Council Contractor. There has been many questions raised about the closeness of certain contractors and the Parish Council in the past, nothing is ever done. With regards to the cutting of trees, Mr Pearson has been engaged in “coppicing” in the woods, and it has been raised that the Coppiced wood could have been sold on for a small return, nothing, as usual happens at the Parish Council. With regard to the larger trees, the possible sale of timber, again on a small scale was raised, and yet again nothing happened. Yes leaving some trees in place is good for wildlife, but if it is not managed correctly, invasions of Ivy and Brambles occur and this “kills” other plants. Re grants, the Parish Council currently pay for all the work in the woods, this year, according to a consultation, they are intending to spend an EXTRA £10,000 on cutting down/maintaining trees, that’s on top of the £15,000 or so they spent last year. (until recently, the bill for yearly work in the woods was running at around £20,000 a year).
    Finally Mr Pearson says ” But feel free to ask if you require any further help on the management of the stones wood”. Is Mr Pearson now the “official” spokesperson for the Parish Council, it seems so. With regard to the “close relationship” between contractors and the Parish Council, I would like to ask Mr Pearson if he thinks it appropriate, that as a contractor, he sits in Parish meetings and discusses the cost of work he is to be awarded later. Again the Parish Council do nothing.

    Reply
    1. Tim

      Hi Stuart. I did a search on Landtech and it brought up various monthly Parish accounts and payments, which I found interesting. A friend who has a local landscaping business (4 seasons) was interested and wondered how he could tender? He confirmed who was behind Landtech.

      Who’s moonshine, can I take an educated guess on that?

      You agree with me on the issue of selling on some of the wood and coppice, rather than letting it all rot, which is making the Stones look very run down in the last 10/20 years. It looks like something out of Jurassic Park.

      I would love to see Red Squirrels returned to places like the stones. I believe we have to strike the happy medium between conservation and working the land for a profit, where advantageous to do.

      All the best

      Tim

      Reply
  5. land tech

    i was just pointing out the management plan to tim as i am on the stones wood group i sit in parish meetings as a member of the public and a tax payer as you well no . and no iam not the official spokesperson but you seem to be as for contractors being to close to the council isn’t that a good working relationship and how things move forward some thing you still have to understand as for appropriate ask your self

    Reply
    1. lovedinnington Post author

      So coppicing (sp?) is being carried out regularly in the Stones? Do new trees get planted and others felled on a regular basis, also what is being done to maintain and improve the biodiversity and footpaths?

      Very interested in this subject as a walk through the Stones is one of my favourite pastimes.

      Reply
  6. land tech

    no carl very well at 4 seasons went to school with him but now you passing on our payment s to a contractor you made the tender s un fair so now i will contact the council and make them aware off this o by the way tim you must be anaproved contractor

    Reply
  7. S Thornton

    I think a few facts need to be put out in the public domain.
    “Mr Land Tech” as he correctly states, does sit on the Anston Stones Wood Group. At those Meetings he has been observed discussing repairs to the footpaths, work he is employed on as a Contractor by the Parish Council. He has also been observed in the same Meeting discussing how much he will charge for the work. ( in this particular instance, the value of the work was in the region of £2000). I ask, is it appropriate to discuss contracts like this, by discussing future work he is to be given and then quoting prices, he is in effect eliminating any other contractor from having a chance at the work. In my last post I asked Land Tech if he thought his actions were appropriate, he did not reply. I think the quote ” being too close to the council, isn’t that a good working relationship and how thing move forward”. I would suggest that the Public may see it very differently. I will leave it up to the Public to judge his actions. (interestingly the Parish Council, including the Anston Stone Wood Group Chairman, Cllr St John, don’t seem to think that this is wrong !!).
    “Mr Land Tech” then goes on to “have a go” at “Tim” in relation to his posts, (quote) ” but now you passing on our payments to a contractor you made the tenders unfair so now I will contact the council and make them aware of this (unquote). For “Mr Land Tech” `s information, the figures that Tim is quoting are on the Parish Council`s Web page, and thus “Public information”, so he can do what he likes with those figures. BUT HERES THE BEST BIT, You know that the figures he has quoted are “Public information” because it was not that long ago that you approached a Parish Councillor and asked him to question the Parish Council as to why your contract figures were published on the Councils web page. You were afraid that the competition could see your figures and quote lower prices. (strangely, I don’t recall any complaints when figures of other companies, that do similar work, were quoted).
    Finally “by the way Tim you must be an approved contractor”, Wrong, any contractor can contact the Parish Council and ask to be considered for work, you do not have to be on the approved Contractor list. By quoting such information, is this another way of “eliminating the competition, let the Public decide.
    I look forward to a factual response.

    Reply
  8. Tim

    Hi Stuart. Too right, the information is already in the public domain. If anybody searches “Landtech Anston parish council” or “Anston Parish monthly accounts” on google, they will find a break down of monthly expenditure and who was paid for the work. By law this information has to be public knowledge, so that the rate payers can scrutinise matters. The only disappointment is the information is only kept on the web site for a few months however, google stores this information once available. All the best Tim

    Reply
  9. Tim

    Stuart. I would be interested to hear your view and the other Independents about the Parish clerk only attending his office one afternoon a week. When my dad had an allotment, he couldn’t even get to see him on the nominated afternoon. Cheers Tim

    Reply
    1. Moonshine

      Tim on January 7, 2014 at 9:21 am
      Funny because they were talking about increasing the speed limits to 80mph. I think we need to look at why our roads are so full, couldn’t more people work from home. Can’t we get more people into our town and cities, using the bus and rail. The rail line through Anston could be opened up to the public for little cost and run Hybrid trams into Sheffield. We could transport more of our goods by rail and then distribute locally.

      Reply
      Tim on January 7, 2014 at 9:21 am
      Funny because they were talking about increasing the speed limits to 80mph. I think we need to look at why our roads are so full, couldn’t more people work from home. Can’t we get more people into our town and cities, using the bus and rail. The rail line through Anston could be opened up to the public for little cost and run Hybrid trams into Sheffield. We could transport more of our goods by rail and then distribute locally.

      Reply

      Reply
      1. Tim

        Moonshine, rather than saying things anonymously on the internet, can you declare your interests in the Parish council. There is nothing wrong with Michael working from home 2 days a week, but to be a Parish Clerk he needs to attend the office 3 days a week, so I haven’t contradicted myself. I know that HSBC in Sheffield let their staff work from home 50% of the week, but they have to attend the office 50% of the week, everything in moderation. Why can’t he live in Anston and then he would see the issues we have to deal with on a daily basis and have no issues with travelling.

  10. S Thornton

    Hi Tim,
    With regard to the information only being held for a few months, if you wish you can contact the Clerk and ask for previous copies. If they are reluctant to “share” the information then contact the clerk and ask for the documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
    To be fair, when it comes to giving out financial information, Anston are pretty good compared to others, take Dinnington for example, nothing financial seems to be discussed there in public session ( it may well change in the near future).
    My personal position on the issue of the Clerk being available at the Office, has and continues to be, that the office should be manned all week, not necessary by the Clerk, but at least by someone who can answer everyday questions. Face to face contact with the Public gives an impression that they (the Council) actually care about their concerns. We should not be hiding behind webpages and computers, and most of the concerns that the Public may wish to raise, could be answered and sorted in a quick five minute conversation. The Council is there to serve us, the Community. I would guess that most of the Independents would support the Office being manned all week, the stumbling block is how the majority Labour Party would vote on this issue, put out the challenge to them to state their position. They have the power to make the change.

    Reply
  11. Tim

    Stuart. To be honest Stuart I don’t believe the Council is going to be run any better if the Independents get control, as opposed to the current Labour controlled council. People are too bothered about the small concerns, rather than the major issues that are ignored. It will be just like George Orwells Animal farm. Cheers Tim

    Reply
  12. Tim

    Stuart. I am disappointed that you don’t believe that there is a requirement for the Parish Clerk to attend the office at least 50% of the week. I also don’t see much changing if the Independents take over the Parish council. We are now a small town, however we have less facilities and shops than we did in 1966 (3 x population increase) when my family came here. I have never heard anything from Independents that make me feel really positive about the future for Anston. Cheers Tim

    Reply
  13. S Thornton

    Hi Tim,
    The point I was making about the manning of the office was that there should be someone there all week. I am quite happy to have the Clerk there all the time and If I had a choice I would support a motion to make that happen.
    With regard to you comments about the Independents. At present the Parish Council has a majority of Labour Cllrs (9) and 6 independents. Of the independents two of them Cllrs Ireland (the current Chairman, who was put there by the Labour Party Members) and Cllr Brindley, always side and vote with the Labour Cllrs. Their so called “independence” has been questioned at Parish Meetings. Of the other 4 independents I can assure you they are the only ones who are actually working on behalf of the People of Anston. They are constantly challenging the way that Labour spends our Parish Tax money.
    The independent Cllrs were the ones who were pushing for a proper Consultation on the purchase of the Land at Rackford road. The land that has cost the people of Anston about £245,000. A sum you and all the rest of us will be paying at £12,000 per year for the next 20 years. On top of this the Labour Majority will push through the vote of the budget, that will put ANOTHER £12,000 on top of the same rise last year, Labour have constantly put up the Parish Tax year on year. The independents were also the ones that were fighting the plans to build thousands of houses on the Green Belt around the village. ( it succeeded, in the short term = no houses)
    The problem the people of Anston have at the moment is the Labour Party are out voting the independents, every time a reasonable idea is put forward, they vote it down. Not because its a bad idea, its just because certain long standing Cllrs don’t like loosing control. The Parish Council is in effect being run by Two people who live outside the Parish at Dinnington. These two Cllrs, St John and Dalton do not pay our taxes, yet vote every time to put up our Council Tax ( if you don’t believe me come to the Parish Council Meeting on the 20th Jan and witness it your self)
    The only solution to get real sensible changes and sensible projects completed, is to vote for more Independent Candidates in May 2015. This will stop the situation we currently have were all the Labour Party Members put up their hands to vote when told to do so by those who don’t pay our Tax.
    I know you have been critical about how the Parish Council works ( and quite rightly so) but the only way to change things is to stand for Election in 2015 and put your ideas into action. WE NEED MORE INDEPENDENTS TO BREAK THE LABOUR STRANGLE HOLD we can then begin to make a real difference to OUR village.

    Reply
  14. Tim

    Stuart. I didn’t want to be draconian and make the Parish clerk attend every day, 50% of the week would allow him to make contact with the Public, but also ensure that he can keep an eye on what is going off and support workers when he is there. I realise there are days when he needs to sit quietly and deal with issues off line. However if he finds it an issue travelling to Anston, I suggest he moves here or finds another job. I wonder if there is anything I can personally do, if I stand for a Parish councillor in 2015, due to the neglect of Labour and RMBC here since 1975. If I had a few million to spare I would purchase the Plaxton’s site and gift it to the council to use as a Civic centre for the village. My biggest concern is that the Plaxton’s site will be bought to build more houses on and we have lost a massive opportunity. However the Parish council and RMBC could ring fence this site, through planning laws, to prevent it being turned into housing, that is what responsible local government is about. Cheers Tim

    Reply

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