Tag Archives: Parish Council

What have our Councillors been up to?

Ever wondered just what your local Councillors actually do? How they spend their time and money whilst they are representing us? Me too, so join with me and digest the cornucopia of information below.

BECK Dominic  (Councillor from May 2011)

(a) committees

Vice-Chair of Self Regulation Select Commission (May 2013 to date)

Self Regulation Select Commission (May 2011 to date)

Health Select Commission (May 2011 to May 2013)

Licensing Board (May 2011 to date)

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (May 2013 to date)

Standards Committee (May 2013 to date)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Community Development, Equality and Young People’s Issues (May 2012 to May 2013)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Community Development, Equality and Young People’s Issues (May 2011 to May 2012)

Groundworks Trusts Panel (May 2012 to May 2013)

(b) other roles

Wales Educational Foundation  (May 2012 to date)

Rotherham Citizen’s Advice Bureau – Trustee Board (May 2012 to May 2013)

Rother Valley Country Park Steering Group (May 2012 to date)

Unity Centre Steering Group (2011 to 2013)

 

BURTON Josephine   (Councillor from May 2002)

(a) committees

Health Select Commission (May 2011 to May 2013)

Improving Lives Select Commission (May 2013 to date)

Licensing Board (May 2002 to May 2004 and May 2009 to May 2011)

Planning Board (May 2004 to May 2011)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Communities and Cohesion May 2013 to date)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Community Development, Equality and Young People’s Issues (May 2011 to May 2013)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Community Development and Engagement (May 2009 to May 2011)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Communities and Involvement (May 2007 to May 2009)

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

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Community Cohesion  (May 2005 to May 2007)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Community Planning and Social Inclusion (May 2004 to May 2005)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Social Services (May 2002 to May 2004)

Adult Services and Health Scrutiny Panel (May 2005 to May 2007 and May 2010 to May 2011)

Vice-Chair of Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Panel (May 2007 to May 2009)

Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Panel (May 2007 to May 2009)

Democratic and Resources Scrutiny Panel (May 2003 to May 2004)

Democratic Renewal Scrutiny Panel (May 2002 to May 2003)

Environment Scrutiny Panel (May 2002 to May 2003)

Social and Community Support Scrutiny Panel (May 2004 to May 2005)

Performance and Scrutiny Overview Committee (May 2007 to May 2009)

Transport Liaison Group (May 2012 to date)

(b) other roles

Redbarn- Rowan Management Group (2006 to 2008)

Rotherham Alcohol Advisory Service (2006)

Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (2007 to 2008)

RMBC and Voluntary Action Rotherham Liaison Group (May 2009 to May 2010)

Voluntary Action Rotherham – Board of Trustees Executive Committee (2011 to date)

Women’s Refuge Group (May 2009 to date)

Women’s Strategy Group (2009 to date)

Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (May 2012 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)

FALVEY Jacqui    (Councillor from May 2007)

(a) committees

Vice-Chair of the Rother Valley South Area Assembly (May 2011 to date)

Chair of Improving Places Select Commission (May 2013 to date)

Vice-Chair of Improving Places Select Commission (May 2011 to May 2013)

Improving Places Select Commission (May 2011 to date)

Licensing Board (May 2007 to date)

Licensing Committee (May 2011 to May 2013)

Local Plan Steering Group (May 2013 to date)

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (May 2011 to date)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Cultural Services and Sport (May 2009 to May 2011)

Senior Adviser to Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning (May 2007 to May 2009)

Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Panel (May 2010 to May 2011)

Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel (May 2007 to May 2011)

Transport Liaison Group (May 2012 to date)

(b) other roles

Adoption Panel (2010 to date)

Redbarn- Rowan Management Group (2007 to date)

Chesterfield Canal Partnership (2013 to date)

 

HAVENHAND Jane   (Councillor from May 2004)

(a) committees

Chair of the Rother Valley South Area Assembly (May 2010 to date)

Vice-Chair of the Rother Valley South Area Assembly (May 2007 to May 2010)

Health Select Commission (May 2013 to date)

Improving Places Select Commission (May 2011 to May 2013)

Licensing Board (May 2004 to date)

Licensing Committee (May 2005 to date)

Education Consultative Committee (May 2008 to May 2013)

Rotherham Local Admissions Forum (May 2007 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)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning (May 2008 to May 2009)

Adult Services and Health Scrutiny Panel (May 2005 to May 2006)

Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel (May 2006 to May 2011)

Social and Community Support Scrutiny Panel (May 2004 to May 2005)

(b) other roles

Adoption Panel (2007 to date)

Rotherham Holiday Aid (2006 to date)

Rotherham Women’s Refuge (2008 to 2009)

Dinnington Community Centre and Recreation Group – Trustee Group (2008 to date)

Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (2007 to 2011)

Rural Action Yorkshire (2011 to 2013)

 

JEPSON Clive    (Councillor from May 2012)

Improving Places Select Commission (May 2012 to date)

 

TWEED Simon     (Councillor from May 2008)

(a) committees

Planning Board (May 2008 to date)

Self Regulation Select Commission (May 2011 to date)

Standards Committee (May 2013 to date)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing (May 2013 to date)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Environment (May 2011 to May 2012)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Streetpride Services (May 2010 to May 2011)

Adviser to Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services (May 2009 to May 2010)

Democratic Renewal Scrutiny Panel (May 2008 to May 2011)

(b) other roles

Dinnington Community Centre and Recreation Group – Trustee Group (2008 to date)

Rotherham Holiday Aid (2008)

Local Government Association – Rural Commission (May 2011 to May 2012)

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.

Anston Parish Council Branded as “Arrogant” in Formal Complaint

A formal complaint from an Anston resident has been picked up by the Dinnington Guardian.

Essentially Anston Parish meetings are a mess. We have the borough big guns of Jo Burton, Judy Dalton and Dominic Beck aided by the grumpy old men brigade up against the few independents on the Council who do their best to hold the rest to account but are hampered by lack of numbers. All other Cllrs act as cannon fodder.

The only support the Council can usually conjure up at meetings are individuals who just happen to work for them.

Unacceptable.

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Anston Parish Council Meeting on Monday

There is an Anston Parish Council meeting this Monday, usual place, usual time, agenda is as bare as a baby’s bum!

“ANSTON PARISH COUNCIL
AGENDA
of business proposed to be transacted at a
MEETING TO BE HELD ON MONDAY 29th April 2013
1. To receive apologies for absence.
2. To disclose members’ interest in any item to be discussed.
3. To resolve to exclude the press and public due to the confidential nature of the
business to be transacted.
4. To approve honouring existing commitment for the use of the land.
5. To approve contract for, and purchase of, land.
6. To agree terms and approve submission of loan request to the Public Works Loan
Board.
7. To approve solicitors’ client agreement and cheque for search fees.
8. Date and time of next meeting, 20th May 2013, 7:30 p.m.”

Download your own copy here.

Obviously the main item of discussion will be the land they are secretly purchasing.

Does anyone know anything else about the purpose of the meeting?

An Open Letter to Anston Parish Council from Tim Wells

Local resident Tim Wells has copied us into this open letter to Anston Parish Council. We are pleased to reproduce it here, Tim is not the first person to challenge the parish council on their reluctance to openly discuss this issue and we applaud his efforts.

Dear Dominic
I feel as though I am having the wool pulled over my eyes by the Parish council.  The reason for this letter being an open letter sent to the local guardian and forwww.lovedinnington.com to put on their web site.
At the meeting which was cancelled after the police were called, a lady asked you to vote for or against the core strategy in the question time.  At the re adjourned meeting I confirmed with you in the closing questions that a vote would happen at the next meeting and you confirmed to everybody in attendance, that would be the case.
However at the next meeting you walked around the vote without having it.  Even though a number of independents, voiced their opposition to building on the greenbelt.
I ask at the next Parish meeting in May, that you put on the Agenda an item to vote for or against the core strategy and the vote be recorded.
Dinnington have already voted completely against the core strategy and it is time that Anston Parish council stick their neck out and do so.  Before any further houses are built in Anston, there has to be consideration of schooling, congestion on roads, services and an area of land set aside for a civic centre for Anston.  RMBC need to plan more sustainable communities, not massive housing estates with no soul, we aren’t part of Rotherham.
Building on the greenbelt should be the very last option, if at all.  The houses we really require around here, are 1 and 2 bedroom houses, which would enable larger houses to be freed up for young families.  Rather than building across fields, it is important to utilise existing brown field sites, which are plentiful in Rotherham and Sheffield and where traditional industry no longer exists.  It is perhaps a time for people to move back into towns and city’s, the opposite to what happened in the 60’s and 70’s, after much industrial land became vacant.
As a country we need to become more sustainable and start to grow more of our own food, we have lost over 5 farms since I came to Anston in 1966.  Farming land is important for food and to allow people around here to feel as though they do live in the countryside, not urban sprawl.
I await you confirming that a vote will take place at the next Parish meeting?
Yours in anticipation

Anston Parish Game of Thrones April 15 2013

It’s a calm and peaceful evening in Dinnington, there’s beer in the fridge and the latest episode of Game of Thrones to watch on telly. I however decide to eschew this masterpiece of slashing, blood and heaving bussomry, Anston Parish Council beckons and the game is afoot!

The meeting kicked off with Cllr Crowther in the chair for finance and general matters, 3 Borough Cllrs were present along with the usual supporting cast, Cllr Beck watching from the side-lines. Stuart Thornton opened with some concerns on grants that have been issued but we moved swiftly to the main session as more Cllrs and public arrived.

Mr Beck took the chair to announce a presentation by RMBC highways maintenance, it was explained to us that the budget for repairs is 5 million quid or thereabouts and that roads are regularly surveyed and repaired as funds allow. Residents raised concerns about the quality of repairs and work carried out by utility companies. The officer defended his position saying that funds often meant repairs had to be temporary and overall contractors do a good job. Lack of money and equipment means the Council cannot always provide the service we would like, but they do their best.

I have to say this was received with not a little bit of scepticism.

Cllr Ireland commented that RMBC do a good job but the roads are rubbish, not quite sure how you can have it both ways! Cllrs Burton and Dalton held their tongues throughout.

A question came from a resident asking about a sustainability impact assessment for building work near the Butterfly House. Cllr Burton jumped in and said that there were no plans to build near the Butterfly House, to which Stuart enquired about just how much Borough Cllrs know about the future sites and policies document that isn’t supposed to be out yet and details the decimation of our green belt?

I can assure everyone that all Borough Cllrs know exactly where the next big building sites are going; they went for a briefing on it ages ago. In fact by the time you read this the parishes should know as well.

Cllr Burton denied this however, it’s confidential don’t you know?

Mr Lewis asked about the pending land deal and called for the chairman’s head on a platter, Judy Dalton replied that it is a complicated question. Stuart disagreed, finding the chairman’s head very appealing; he was instantly attacked by Cllr Stonebridge who accused him of sound bite politics.

It got some applause so maybe he has a point!

The skate park was discussed and the chairman accused of fobbery, which is the wilful fobbing off of the public. Mr Lewis accused various Cllrs of wearing nappies and Stonebridge and Thornton clashed again. It got a bit shouty.

There followed much arguing over who interrupted who and who did what which saw Mr Beck getting redder and redder and Stuart and Stonebridge especially getting louder and louder. Cllr Saint-John was moved to express his despair at how the Council was conducting itself lately as Mr Beck wrestled back control.

The local plan was discussed and Stuart accused more or less everyone of delaying discussion so it was too late for the Council to object or comment. Cllrs Dalton and Burton in particular had not acquitted themselves well according to him. SJ jumped in and Cllr Ireland this time lamented the poor form in which meetings are held.

Cllr Ireland continued to call for a well-rehearsed vote of confidence in the chairman, this led to severe heckling from Mr Lewis in particular and comments from Stuart along the lines of you must be joking. Mr Beck’s head was called for again. Cllr Ireland poo pooed this and in summing up said that Mr Beck’s head was in more demand than is decent and certain people (Stuart) should stop being nasty. This was greeted with mirth from the audience, but support came from the Council fan club (all one of them)

The vote was carried easily as the flock rushed into the pen.

An RMBC planning document on how sustainable the Core Strategy is was dismissed by all as gobbledy gook, except Judy who said it was technical and rather good. Hmmm.

Final questions from the public… A merciless attack by Mr Lewis on the vote of confidence enjoyed by Mr Chairman, then a strong attack by the Council fan club on Stuart calling him a                  puppet.

No one was very surprised when Stuart pointed out that the numerous commercial contracts the questioner holds with the Council might have something to do with the line of questioning. And let’s not examine that one too closely, meeting closed job done.

So to sum up, a depressing return to bitch politics, no real decisionsor debate leaving a frustrated public who at one point were described by Cllr SJ as anoraks with nothing better to do.

The movers and shakers in the building are clearly the Labour Borough Councillors, who, opposed by the two main independents, use the grumpy old men brigade to shout down any common sense by sheer weight of numbers.

Everyone else round the table seems to be either sheep or cannon fodder, so essentially we have Bodie and Doyle vs. Ronald Wealsey and Victor Meldrew.

Hmmm, at least Game of Thrones is waiting at home to help me wind down.

Anston Parish starring Bodie and Doyle

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On the agenda for tomorrow night:

Cllr Ireland proposes “That the Council records a vote of confidence in its Chairman, Cllr Dominic Beck” Don’t know what’s going on there.

For all you green belt fans there will be discussion aplenty on that subject also, as well as the usual gossip outside later on.

Also Stewart to be beaten over the head on several occasions (not on the agenda but likely)

I think I’m going to start calling Clive and Stewart “Bodie and Doyle”, it sorts of fits with Clive calmly taking things in and Stewart kicking down the door. Applications for the position of “Cowley” will be taken on the night.

Agenda is here.

Rough Guide to Dinnington Politics

Welcome to our guide to the local and not so local politics of the Dinnington and Anston area.

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Let’s start at the grass roots and work our way up…

Dinnington St John’s Town Council

A Town or Parish Council takes care of the ultra-local side of things, they do NOT take care of stuff like planning and highways, although they can send their opinions to the people who do. Dinnington is a town nowadays rather then a parish so we have ourselves a town council. Meetings are held at the Lyric once a month and are open to the public for the first half when residents are allowed to ask questions. The second half is held in private. You can find details about the councillors and the Council as a whole here.

Anston Parish Council

If you are an Anstonian you are living in a parish and the parish council web site can be found here. Meetings are once a month at the Parish Hall.

Rother Valley South Area Assembly

Is our part of the greater Rotherham area. They also meet regularly and might be a good place to raise issues which aren’t borough wide but extend beyond Dinnington. Details are here.

Rother Valley South Safer Neighbourhood Team

Is our local division of South Yorkshire Police, obviously not political, but handy to know if you want to raise something with the boys in blue. They have regular meetings in Anston Parish Hall, details are here.

Rotherham Borough Council

RMBC are the primary authority for our area and take care of the heavier duty things like planning and emptying bins. Planning and Highways are often contentious subjects and are handled here at the Borough level.
Dinno has 3 borough councillors and Anston shares a further 3 with Woodsetts.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

A new one this, and takes the place of the old Police Authority. You can raise issues of Police policy with the SYPCC, but day to day running of the Police is still with the Chief Constable.

Member of Parliament

If you want to take things to the top our man in Westminster is Kevin Barron. He holds a surgery on alternate Saturdays at his office in Dinnington and his website is here. He is your man if you want the law changed or something raising in the house.

Europe!

Nothing divides opinion like this subject! I offer no opinions on European politics, just note we are part of the Yorkshire and the Humber region in the European parliament and more info is here.

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.