Category Archives: Anston Parish Council

Early Election Results! Labour Party Legs it in Dinnington and Anston!

Yes we know the elections are in May, but all candidates have now declared and there are insufficient numbers for Anston Parish Council and Dinnington Town Council.

What does this mean? Anyone who nominated themselves is now a Councillor and the big news is that the Labour Party has done one in Dinnington and Anston, they have vanished!

Labour big guns like Iain Saint John, Judy Dalton, Jo Burton, Dominic Beck and Simon Tweed have stood down leaving the field clear for a mass of mainly independent candidates.

Ralph McIver has also chosen not to continue as Dinnington’s chair, is no longer on the Council and no longer a member of the Labour party.

Indeed as has been pointed out even former Labour Cllrs who have re-joined do not seem to be describing themselves as Labour.

Anston Parish Council will be John Ireland (current chair and Borough candidate), Gordon Jarvis (current Cllr) and Philip Matthews for South and Clive Jepson (current Cllr and one of the few independent Borough Cllrs in South Yorkshire), Ivan Machin, Myles Manship (campaigner for Anston Skate Park), Christine Sadler, Drew Tarney, Stuart Thornton (current Cllr) and Paul Vernon for North.

Dinnington Town Council will be Leslie Clarke (Salvation Army), Pauline Davies (Former chair), Brian Lewis (Political agitator crossed with a flying picket!), William Loftus, Andrew Milner, Roy Mugglestone (current Cllr), Paula Russell (current Cllr), Steven Scott (Current Cllr) and Dave Smith (current Cllr, former NUM President and politico at large for Dinnington).

Why has Labour rode off into the sunset? A few theories doing the rounds:

1. After the CSE scandal in Rotherham the knives were out (metaphorically) for certain Labour councillors who had held responsibility in the past for child protection. Possible.

2. Shame? Never stopped them standing before?

3. Parish and Town Councillors don’t get paid? Probably the favourite explanation for the withdrawal of former Borough Cllrs! Many Borough Cllrs used the Parish and Town as a platform to drive their personal priorities and fiefdoms, now with these people stepping down from the Borough due to the problems in Rotherham, Parish and Town level does nothing for them.

4. They just got tired. There has been a lot more scrutiny of their actions over the last few years and many of them were conscripts and not battles hardened. Basically they ran away.

If anyone else has further theories, however wacko just leave a comment.

Anston Councillor Judy Dalton Steps Down

After just one term in office Judy Dalton of Anston and Woodsetts Ward will step down as a Councillor.

Judy and Dominic Beck trying to get a pensioner thrown out of Anston Parish Hall. Happy Days.

Whether you regard this as retirement or resignation it comes against a background of strong criticism for her past roles in Rotherham Council’s failure to protect children and failure to keep criminal elements from working in Rotherham’s taxi trade.

“Louise Casey’s report uncovered serious weaknesses in the council’s taxi licensing where sufficient steps to ensure only fit and proper persons are permitted to hold taxi licenses have not been, and are not being undertaken.

There can be no confidence in the council’s Licensing Committee.

I am thus minded that the commissioners will take control of all the council’s licensing functions.” Eric Pickles

Her Career to date:

DALTON Judy    (Councillor from May 2011)

(a) committees

Vice-Chair of Health Select Commission (May 2012 to date)

Health Select Commission (May 2011 to date)

Licensing Board (May 2013 to date)

Licensing Committee (May 2013 to date)

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (May 2012 to date)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Culture and Tourism  (May 2013 to date)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Culture, Lifestyle, Sport and Tourism (May 2011 to May 2012)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Safeguarding Children and Adults (May 2012 to May 2013)

Transport Liaison Group (May 2012 to date)

(b) other roles

Hospital Teaching and Home Tuition Service (2012 to 2013)

South Yorkshire Joint Committee on Archaeology (May 2012 to May 2013)

Renewal or Discharge of Guardianship Order Panel (May 2013 to date)

Rotherham Council Sinks Beneath the Waves of Truth

Rotherham Council’s chickens came home to roost big time last week with the publication of the Casey report following on from the Jay report of last year. The Secretary of State announced that government commissioners would move in to take over executive duties in Rotherham and the serving cabinet of Labour Councillors resigned at once.

Yet what is not so well known is the part played in these events by our local Councillors, some of whom are still in office, others now bit players on Parish Councils.

Iain St John was Lord Mayor of Sheffield during the period in question and probably should have spent more time challenging officials and the Police instead of riding around in the big car opening things.

Judy Dalton is licensing supremo in Rotherham, at least was as this role will be passed to the government soon. Taxi drivers were lambasted by the Jay report for providing the means in many cases to ferry victims around Rotherham and further afield. She was also adviser to the now resigned Children’s Services supremo.

Jo Burton was a member of a scrutiny committee who were tasked with oversight of child protection. She was vice chair of the committee for a couple of years and also served on the licensing board during the worst of the abuses. She was a senior adviser to Sean Wright the disgraced Police Commissioner when he ran Children’s Services.

Dominic Beck has resigned as a cabinet member, he has also served on the licensing board

Jacqui Falvey has also served on the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Panel and on the licensing board when abuse was rife.

Jane Havenhand has had the following roles:

Licensing Board (May 2004 to date)

Licensing Committee (May 2005 to date)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services (May 2007 to May 2011)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services (May 2005 to May 2007)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Developing Learning Opportunities for Children (May 2011 to May 2012)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Safeguarding Children and Adults (May 2012 to May 2013)

Why did they serve on all these committees and take on all these roles?

They got paid. Thousands of pounds.

What were they doing? Taking the money.

LoveDinnington says:

1. All RMBC Councillors should resign. Now. From all roles in public life.

2. All the Councillors who held licensing and child protection scrutiny roles should pay back all the money they collected over the years to be paid into a fund for the victims.

3. RMBC as an entity should be disbanded and each Area Assembly allowed a vote as to who governs them from now on.

The government should act now to kill the rot and punish the rotten Councillors and officials who through greed, inaction and incompetence ruined the loves of hundreds of children.

Judy Goes on a Walk

Our very own Anston Councillor Judy Dalton has discovered a new walk she’s enjoying recently, no it’s not a one trip she is planning on coming back, despite being a key player at Rotherham Council which was described as “not fit for purpose” recently.

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Apparently Judy’s walk was “heralded by birdsong” unlike her job as Taxi Licensing supremo which has been heralded by the arrival of government commissioners sent to replace her and her colleagues. Taxi’s were highlighted in the recent reports into RMBC child protection failings as ace facilitators to the child trafficking trade, ferrying victims around Rotherham and to cities beyond.

Well we’re glad Judy had a nice walk and her dog enjoyed itself, but with hindsight wouldn’t it be better if she’d spent the morning tightening up on background checks and other licensing matters?

In fact Judy, rather than having the cheek to walk round Anston and campaign for re-election in May with Sir Kevin Nutkin it might be better if you just kept on walking…!

Anston Parish Council Meeting 24th September

Anston Parish Council sinks deeper into its quagmire of incompetence, rudeness, bickering and despair.

Video from the meeting, Part one and Part two, apologies for the poor quality, I was a bit late and couldn’t set up properly!

Some high(low)lights;

1. The Council are installing their own system to record meetings, but it’s not quite finished.

2. Stuart Thornton is under investigation for various things as usual, for balance I would have to add the allegations are all from Labour Cllrs or their supporters. The local Police have told me that Labour party Cllrs have made statements against him despite not actually seeing the incident they were giving a statement about. Interesting…!

3. Cllr Burton will not be resigning despite spending quite a few years scrutinizing child protection in Rotherham.

4. Cllr St John likewise (he was a borough Cllr) and major at the time much of the abuse and trafficking was going on.

5. Many Cllrs stayed away from the meeting.

6. A local lady thinks the Anston Wells may be making children ill. I’ve been drinking it all my life and it’s never hurt me!

Response to Cllr Judy Dalton

Our Response to Councillor Judy Dalton’s letter to the local papers.

I would like to respond to Cllr Judy Dalton who said in the local papers last week that she no longer wants to attend Council meetings because members of the public are being disruptive, rude and abusive.

In the interest of free and open debate I thought it might be helpful to supply a bit of background information about the goings on at Anston Parish.

Firstly Parish Councils should not be run along party lines and it is quite unusual to have the situation at Anston where two groups, Labour councillors and Independent councillors + their supporters are constantly at each other’s throats.

This situation and the huge amounts of complaints attracted the attention of Rotherham Borough Council who are responsible for Anston Parish’s conduct and they have had to send in an “Independent Person” to sort things out. This independent person did recommend training for the councillors as Judy says.

Training would certainly help as councillors currently struggle to understand briefing notes from RMBC, meeting procedures and even their own accounts. Regular attendees and independent councillors gradually became frustrated at this situation and began to push for more openness, transparency and scrutiny of the Councils affairs. Many awkward questions were asked and Labour councillors responded by battening down the hatches and pretending it wasn’t happening.

Frustration grew on both sides and meetings became more and more unwieldy, on one occasion two Police officers were summoned to throw out one pensioner who refused to sit down when the councillors ignored a letter he’d wrote.

Judy was present at this meeting and could have stepped in as an experienced councillor and shown a bit of leadership. She did not.

I would like to reiterate some of the suggestions I have made in the past to improve things:

1. Start dealing efficiently and openly with real issues that affect the most vulnerable people in Anston. Instead of carping on about hanging baskets let’s start to tackle the pockets of unemployment and deprivation in Anston and Dinnington. Let’s push for a decent bus service to the big centres of employment, Sheffield and Meadowhall. This would improve everybody’s quality of life as it would also help tackle crime and ASB.

2. Please Councillors get some training in the basics of budgets, planning and the other matters that come from RMBC. If members of the public challenge you challenge them back to suggest a better course of action.

3. Please start to work together with Dinnington Town Council, we are essentially one big community, joined at the hip. Let’s work together, this would allow us to get a much better deal when putting a case forward to bodies like RMBC. Let’s present a united front.

4. Film council meetings. It’s amazing how much more civilised people are when they know what they say might end up on YouTube. The government agrees with this and has asked councils to adopt this approach.

5. Let’s try and encourage more people to attend council meetings in Dinnington and Anston. If we start to tackle bigger issues more people will get involved.

Judy, Anston and Dinnington deserve better, so instead of threatening to take your ball in, get back in the game!

 

Election Aftermath

As the dust settles in Dinnington and the wider Rotherham Borough has anyone from the ruling Labour group realised why so many people voted UKIP here?

UKIP is a protest party, an angry party. You vote UKIP when you want to say that you are unhappy in no uncertain terms with the status quo.

Are Rotherham Labour genuinely surprised that people are so unhappy with them?

Was it the fact that they ignored child abuse in the town for years and put those councillors most responsible for this neglect into positions of greater power?

Was it the greenbelt issues where our local councillors did not one useful thing to oppose Rotherham Council building a thousand houses over our countryside? (In Dinnington’s case)

Was it the fact that when they pay themselves 1.1 million pounds a year and then try to save money by closing children’s centres?

The cuts to our library? The closure of the Council service centre?

The answer is probably yes to all of the above, Dinnington gets a raw deal in Rotherham and we are sick of it.

Labour supporters fought a massive negative campaign against UKIP, accusing them at times of being a Nazi or Facist party.

Which party spent a decade or more undermining our personal freedoms, taking away our right to free speech, introducing draconian legislation and starting two major wars? Labour.

Who allowed uncontrolled immigration and epic abuse of our benefit system? Yep, look in the mirror folks and you’ll see what an oppressive party really looks like.

BUT I didn’t vote UKIP.

In amongst all the excitement did anyone notice the independent candidate running, our tireless local stalwart Dave Smith? Dave took 579 votes and although this wasn’t the thousand and odd the other two got I think it a great achievement for a guy who stands up for Dinnington on his own with no party machine just a few friends and family helping him out. If you don’t like UKIP and want to see change next time consider voting for Dave because if you want someone who will tirelessly fight for Dinnington and not cow tow to a party line he’s your man.

Dave almost certainly took enough votes off Labour to ensure they didn’t escape by the skin of their teeth as Jo Burton and Gerald Smith did in neighbouring wards.

That’s why I didn’t vote UKIP, I voted for Dave.

The Changed Landscape

Our map below shows the new results from the other night at a glance…

Purple is UKIP, red is Labour, pink shows Labour seats which UKIP missed by a very small amount of votes.

Just to be clear this indicates the results from the last election only, it doesn’t show the balance of power in Rotherham which is still predominantly Labour.

After2014Election

Summary of wards with majority for each:

Anston and Woodsetts 31 Rotherham East 220
Boston Castle 161 Rotherham West 39
Brinsworth and Catcliffe 1628 Silverwood 539
Dinnington 98 Sitwell 675 (Tories 2nd)
Hellaby 675 Swinton 59
Holderness 3 Valley 185
Hoober 211 Wales 278
Keppel 400 Wath 149
Maltby 63 Wickersley 203
Rawmarsh 343 Wingfield 391
Rother Vale 347