Tag Archives: Beck

The Police and Anston Parish Council

The Police have made an appearance for the last three meetings in Anston. In the first meeting last month they were summoned by the chairman to remove a rebellious disabled pensioner.

A week later at meeting #2 a duo of PCSOs made an appearance at the request of the Council to ensure that no repeat of the previous week’s rebellion took place.

I was keen to find out why no fewer than 3 PCSOs attended last night’s meeting so… I asked them. Apparently they were NOT there for crowd control but to take part in the meeting and listen to the concerns any local residents had RE policing in general.

They were not expecting the meeting to take 2 and a half hours and one of the officers described the proceedings as “an eye opener”.

I myself thought it was more of an eye closer, but each to his own I always say!

More info on our local bobbies here.

Don’t miss the Safer Neighbourhood Team meeting next month.

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.

Anston Parish Council Meeting Feb 25 2013

It’s Monday night and off we trot to Anston Parish Hall to meet the usual Councillors, agitators and members of the general public for a fantabulous Anston Parish Council!

Mr Beck looking marvellously turned out (maybe he thought he might get on film again?) and opening the proceedings with an appeal for calm and orderly conduct. Politely given and well received by all but the most bloodthirsty.

Two Police officers promptly walked in and stood at the back near to the previous chief protagonist Mr Lewis, thou to be fair I think that was coincidental, they were just trying to get out of the way.

No filming, recording or broadcasting during the meeting please says Mr Beck politely and oh off we trot! Protestations galore from many present, mostly referencing the government’s belief that bloggers and citizen journalists are within their rights to film and tweet at Council meetings.

I have to say I tweeted throughout and it was pretty obvious what I was doing, in full view of the Police and no one pulled me up on it.

A little bit flustered by this Mr Beck kept his composure (mostly) as we hit the next obstacle, is this a new meeting or a continuance, should the public be allowed to speak? Mr Saint John insisted it was, others disagreed, names were shouted as Mr Beck threw the rabid dogs a distraction…

Mr Lewis’ letter from last week was read out in full by Mr Beck, if only he’d done that last time, thou in all fairness it was pointed out that the letter concerned SJ and now he was here to answer for himself the time was right. Fair enough.

Mr SJ gave his version of events, many members of the public and councillors shouting at him claiming he speaketh with forked tongue. Mr Lewis called him a liar and demanded an apology, SJ told him where to get off.

Cllr Brindley and Mr SJ also accused the hecklers of bullying and stopping the Council machinery from grinding onwards. I also have to say some counter attacks came from the back against the hecklers, certain people had obviously brought a fan club.

Cllr Thornton made the general point that the Council need to pull their socks up big time and received the only applause of the evening for doing so.

The letter was dispatched to RMBC standards committee forthwith and Stuart closed with a request for a letter to Mr Lewis and a call for the Council to put together its own procedure for complaints.

Mr Beck expressed doubts, saying that’s what the standards comm. is for (he should know, he’s on it of course)

Cllrs SJ and Thornton clashed over a letter allegedly sent to the standards committee containing lies, then a surreal moment descended as the song “Englands Green and Pleasant Land” floated in from the room next door. This was short lived as…

..Cllr Thornton struck again, announcing he was calling a Parish meeting with the support of another Cllr. There was some debate over whether he could do this, but the meeting was duly scheduled for April 29. With tea and biscuits.

An email from Save Our Greenbelt Dinnington prompted calls for a private meeting with the group, but Cllr Thornton asked it be public. SJ appealed for calm and eventually it was decided to arrange said meet so the group could give a presentation. Cllrs were again accused of selective memory but the meeting moved on.

Next up the possibility that money might be tight next year, and was this the best time to be getting a loan to buy some land (wonder where that could be? *cough* Anston Stones)

Questions were then asked of all councillors whether they had been contacted by the Brethren prior to a previous meeting where the religious sect’s planning application was to be discussed. Mr SJ was also criticised for attending the planning board as a member of the public then supporting the application whilst announcing he was a Councillor. Mr SJ poo pooed this saying he was his own man.

Most Councillors declined to answer the question of whether or not they were contacted, Mr Beck said yes he was, but for routine enquiries only. This was poo pooed, but Mr Beck moved to progress. Cllr Dalton confirmed she met the Brethren but she wasn’t at the vote.

Stuart called for more time for the public to speak at meetings, Mr SJ threw more poo poo on this suggestion saying it would need a lot of debate and a change to standing orders. Stuart disagreed, called for a vote and lost spectacularly.

Councillors agreed to object to the closure of the Council centre in Dinno and the reduction on library hours, plans were also put in motion for greater public consultation for future budgets. Local roads were slagged off, pot holes the size of craters don’t go down well with anybody quite frankly.

The suggestion that the Council adopt the RMBC code of conduct when dealing with planning was carried. Some members thought this would have improved the handling of the Brethren application.

A vote was taken to set aside up to 1500 quid for an Anston Day of some kind, and an amendment was put forward to pilfer the fund for a Chairman’s chain of office to help pay for it. This was defeated handily by the chain loving majority.

Mr Beck then took questions from the public, handling things well and politely.

The Core Strategy will be discussed at next meeting. The greenbelt may be doomed, but the chain of office lives to fight another day.

A meeting will be held about bus cuts in the Dinno Interchange at 10-3 on Friday, so don’t miss that. Not more bad news hopefully.

Then came Mr Lewis again! An apology was demanded again from Mr SJ and another Cllr and as things started getting shouty Mr Beck was asked to comment on his own comments made in the local paper.

Not missing a trick Mr Lewis came around for another bombing run on the poor chairman only to find the meeting closing before his eyes and the barrage balloons going up. Another saga ended we filed out into the rain to contemplate next meeting and hopefully a proper discussion of the Core Strategy.

A far more civilised affair then last time, thou I don’t think this was anything to so with the presence of the Police. Heckling actually got better when they left, it was at it’s loudest right from the start as I recall.

An improvement from Mr Beck definitely, but there remains something rotten at the heart of this Council. I hope meetings will continue to be well attended and pressure brought to bear to bring real improvements to the way they do business.

This is only of course my recollection, if I got anything wrong please tell me, if I got anything right please feel free to tell me I’m a good lad. All the best and good night.

Anston Parish Council Meeting Feb 18 2013

My first attendance of Anston Parish Council was to be all about Rotherham Council’s local plan and the programme of housebuilding which could see our greenbelt swallowed up by hundreds, possibly thousands of houses over the next 15 years. I didn’t expect much satisfaction when we raised the question of whether Anston would follow Dinnington’s lead and object formally to the latest round of consultation. The chairman Mr Beck said it could be discussed at the next meeting, conveniently forgetting that it would be too late by then.

The few rational voices on the Council were drowned out as Mr Beck’s cronies fell over themselves to bury an issue which is proving to be a major embarrassment for the local Labour party.

What happened next really took me by surprise, however.

An elderly chap called Mr Lewis has asked a question earlier concerning a complaint he had with another Councillor who was not present today. Not placated by Mr Beck’s evasive and unhelpful answers Mr Lewis refused to sit down and doggedly insisted that his emailed complaint was read out in full.

Mr Beck didn’t like this challenge to his authority, and tried repeatedly to censure Mr Lewis by warning him that if he wasn’t quiet he would be asked to leave. Mr Lewis is made of sterner stuff and kept on insisting that he was entitled to a full answer and asked time and again for his complaint to be read out to the Council. Finally to try and assert his dubious authority Mr Beck ordered Mr Lewis from the room, Mr Lewis refused to go and so Mr Beck left the room saying he was going to fetch the Police. He returned some time later with the meeting adjourned and we all settled down to see what would happen.

It was actually quite pleasant as the room broke up into smaller groups which allowed those of us representing various issues to talk one on one with the Councillors and much constructive discussion took place. Without knowing it Mr Beck had transformed the meeting into a useful brainstorming session.

Time passed and then some more time passed, the Police were nowhere to be seen. Perhaps they were fighting crime, or perhaps they already knew what we were beginning to realise, that Mr Beck is a twit.

Finally with half the room remaining and people rubbing their eyes and yawning Mr Beck once again took his seat to declare the meeting closed. All of a sudden who should appear but two Police officers, up jumped Mr Beck, and started explaining to the officers why he wanted the vile disabled pensioner physically removed from the hall.

It should be said that whilst Mr Lewis was very determined and rather loud he never exhibited rude or offensive behaviour, he was never threatening or even overly disruptive, he simply would not be brow beaten by the local little Hitler.

I started to film the scene at this point as I genuinely thought I was going to witness an elderly fellow dragged away by the Police for standing up to the local bully.

It was left to others to point out to Mr Beck that as he had declared the meeting closed there wasn’t really a meeting for Mr Lewis to be ejected from. Faced with this logic the Police made a dignified exit and handled the situation superbly. My video footage won’t be ending up on YouTube. There are people on it who are innocent of Mr Beck’s brutal democracy and they may not appreciate it.

Comedy quote of the night must go to Mr Beck, however as the Police went to leave, “But officers, officers, this gentlemen is getting in the way of democracy!”

Oh, Mr Beck… How embarrassing… You really are a twit.