London's most famous Bear Garden served as both a theatre and a bear-baiting, blood sports arena. The bloodthirsty entertainment consisted of vicious dogs attacking tethered victims. The bear, chained to a pole in the centre of the ring, was set upon by a pack of dogs that tried to kill the bear by biting its throat. The bear was baited for about an hour.

Bear baiting started in England during the Middle Ages. It was patronised by all classes of Elizabethans including the Queen, courtiers and diplomats. In 1648, theatres were closed by the Puritans but Bear-Baiting was allowed to continue and was popular throughout the Puritan era. The practice died out as people became more civilised and considerate.

The tradition must have carried on in parts of Yorkshire unless there are high fidelity re-enactment groups masquerading as Parish Councils where wrinkled old males regularly bully and savage their victims, especially if they have an intelligent, articulate and assertive female tethered to the pole.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Very helpful information from Sheena Spence at the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations.

The YLCA policy for responding to enquiries from member councils.

Where an enquiry is received by e-mail we paste a copy of the enquiry that was sent to us at the foot of the response that is sent to the member council.  In this way the council has a record not only of the advice given but the details of the enquiry as well.
 
Where the need for written advice emanates from a telephone conversation we begin the response by summarising the question that has been asked and our understanding of the situation based on the information we have been given.  We also clarify the context in which our response is being given.

Occasionally, the question is included in the body of the response, for example, “The council has asked ..........”, we then go on to respond to that question.

These working practices have been in place for some time now and officers do try to ensure that this internal policy is followed;  now and again a response will slip through to which the policy has not been applied but these are few and far between.

So, now we know!  Don’t be taking anymore, “I took advice” nonsense from Clerks and Chairman without asking to see the Question they asked. 

So now we also know the dates for local parish councils to make their ledger, books, receipts, cheque-book stubs, contracts, internal auditor’s report, etc., available for inspection and for the public to take copies.

Get the Clerk’s agreement NOW that you can use your digital camera to take copies of the ledger, etc., and insist advice is obtained from the YLCA if necessary BEFORE the inspection period begins – and don’t forget to get the question asked as well as the ‘advice’.   Give Clerks time to find out the rules so they don't makes fools of themselves, no matter how highly paid they are.  Be kind!!!

Are highly paid Parish Clerks also "Council Fat Cats?"

What a difference a year makes!           

Friday, 13 April 2012

A RESULT!!!

ELECTED.  COULDN'T BE BETTER.  LET'S SEE HOW MARSHALL HANDLES HIS NEW COUNCILLORS. GOOD LUCK TO THEM..


I HEAR THE OSGODBY 'ELECTION'  WAS MIRED IN CONTROVERSY;  I STILL WOULDN'T TRUST SOME PEOPLE TO ORGANISE MY CELEBRATION IN A BREWERY, NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY EARN. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council 25 January 2012

At a meeting of this troubled Parish Council, already beset by accusations of bullying and unnecessarily raising the precept by 18%, Chairman Brian Marshall accused another Councillor, a female Justice of the Peace, of lying and calling him a liar. Marshall took exception to a comment Councillor Beverley Foster wrote in a response to the Council’s plan to assume financial responsibility for the Hill Top library when North Yorkshire stops its service at the end of March.

Marshall, in increasingly strident tones, told the J.P. Councillor, “You are calling me a liar! I work with eleven J.P.s week in and week out and I have been talking to them about you. I am going to report you.” Mrs. Foster steadfastly maintained she had not called him a liar and had responded only with a comment made by a parishioner. She was supported by Councillor Mrs. Chopping who told Marshall she had heard the same comment from a parishioner.

Earlier in the evening, the J.P. Councillor told colleagues she had not received the Council’s precept proposals for an 18% increase in her briefing pack last November and was immediately contradicted by Chairman Marshall, who said she had! There followed a ping-pong match in which Mrs Foster maintained she had not had the proposals while Marshall said she had until she asked the Chairman if he was accusing her of lying. Mrs Foster was supported by the recently resigned Councillor North who insisted she had not had the precept proposals in November either.

One Councillor commented after the meeting that the Chairman does bully women and the previous Chairman, a woman, had been able to control his excesses.

Selby Council’s Monitoring Officer said last week when told about this dysfunctional Council where accusations of mistrust, cheating, lying and bullying are regular occurrences, “Neither the Standards Committee nor the Monitoring Officer have any powers to interfere with the operation of the parish council as a body, nor with the decisions it makes or the policies it operates.

How many more Councillors will resign because of belligerent and intimidating behaviour from those with some authority over them?

I am ashamed to be a Yorkshire man when I watch and listen to the treatment being dished out to the ladies. Unfortunately, nobody with authority admits to having any responsibility to stop it.

I wonder how the lady Chairman of Selby District Council feels when she watches what goes on at Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council month after month. Why don't any of these Council Professional Standards people sit in the public seats occasionally to see and hear what goes on?


Comment: Could it be his excesses are controlled when faced with a woman who has authority over him, but he bullies those women 'beneath' him!?

Selby District Council Standards Committees

Snipped from the Selby District Council website yesterday, 56 days to complete the investigation of a complaint? 

My three complaints were ALIVE for 91, 78 and 95 WEEKS!!!  No wonder some Councillors think they can act with impunity month after month after month ......  Professional Standards Committees? Ugh!



My outstanding complaint has been live for 27 WEEKS SO FAR and I am waiting for the investigation to begin.






Monday, 23 January 2012

Any Standards Committee Member can go to Wednesday’s Parish Council meeting with open eyes and ears.

(In plain English to avoid a bad ‘Horse’s Ass Readability Score’, see below)  



There is little chance of Standards Committee people sorting out a renegade Parish Council.

They will not watch what goes on under their noses.  One Committee received a complaint signed by ten Hemingbrough residents.  They said they all heard the Parish Council Chairman admit he had lied about matters to do with a Yorkshire Water Planning Application.  ‘Bang to rights’ as some would say.  The Committee refused to investigate or find any matters of fact.  Instead, they invited the whole Council for training.  Did it do any good?  No!  Residents are still living with the consequences of letting that belligerent Chairman get away with almost anything.  Almost anything.
 
While Standards Committees avoid rocking the boat and stick to their interpretation of the Members Code of Conduct, residents can have an effect.  Ask them in Hemingbrough.

·         The Parish Clerk admitted Councillors were frightened of assertive residents because they weren’t smart enough to remember what lies they had told.

·         The grumpy old Chairman had to personally apologise in public to a member of the public.

·         The deputy high muck-a-muck of YLCA, now the head honcho, had to apologise in writing to the same person.

·         The grumpy old Chairman resigned his position, but not his seat on the Council, shortly after a public argument with his Vice-Chairman about a clandestine meeting about the assertive resident.

·         The Vice-Chairman resigned his position, but not his seat.

·         The Parish Clerk, who let Members with prejudicial interests stay in meetings, found new pastures.

·         The Council was paralysed when it came under public scrutiny for its shady practices and Members had to follow the rules.

·         Councillors found their antics widely publicised in the ‘Bear Garden Blog’ and local newspapers, which did little for their reputations in the district.  

·         The Council was forced to open contract proposals in public instead of letting existing contractors carry on so, for example, the grumpy Chairman’s son couldn’t have just carried on with the village grass cutting.  

·         The bad-tempered, belligerent replacement Chairman, who took part in the co-option of his wife to the Council against the deputy high muck-a-muck’s advice, antagonised residents when he admitted he lied in office, and demolished his reputation.

·         The grumpy Chairman was found to have breached the Councillor’s Code of Conduct. You have to deliver the body with fingerprints, photographs and recordings to get the Standards Committee to agree.

·         The grumpy Chairman’s son was found to have breached the Councillor’s Code of Conduct.

·         The belligerent Chairman was found to have breached the Councillors Code of Conduct (only a tiny bit, according to the Standards Committee, like being only a tiny bit pregnant.)

·         The District Council Solicitor had to remove personal, irrelevant, critical comments that favoured a Councillor from one of her official reports when challenged.  

·         Disgruntled residents came together to find election candidates to take on renegade councillors.

·         Allegedly, some district political ambitions were irreparably damaged.

·         The ruling clique known locally as “The Labour Group” lost two of its Members, the belligerent Chairman’s wife and the grumpy Chairman’s son at the 2011 election, and its grip on the Council.  

·         The Council had to abandon its claim to ‘administer’ a local, independent charity and was told by its External Auditor that its procedures may be unlawful.

·         A Councillor had to apologise for bringing the Council into disrepute and hasn’t been seen very often in meetings since then.

·         The Council stopped appointing only its own Members as Charity Trustees where the grumpy Chairman and his son were the Charity Chairman and sole tenant respectively and ‘financial aid’ was given to wealthy residents not qualified to receive it.

·         The Council got a new Chairman and Deputy in 2011; it was worth it!  


And so on ........

Residents should take heart.  Renegades always act in character.  There is always plenty of rope around.

Has the ruling clique ignored a Council’s Standing Order of May 2010?: “The need to rescind a previous decision within six months of it having been taken will be very rare, but if 4 members sign a written notice of the intention to move a special resolution the Council will consider that resolution or the report or recommendation of a Committee or Officer.” Of course, the Council may argue that “If the business requires it”, the Council can do anything the LaLa LuLu Members want to do.

Will the Chairman introduce the existing ‘Library Steering Group’ that will run the library, raise funds, etc. to the public on Wednesday night?

(P.S. Don’t be bamboozled into believing nothing can be done.  To be continued/......)


Friday, 20 January 2012

Localism!  Councillor North should not hold her breath waiting for a satisfactory resolution of a complaint about bullying. 

The Local Government Act 2000 (as amended in 2007, and due for substantial repeal by the Localism Act 2011).

Standards Committees have powers of investigation and sanction in respect of breaches of the Councillor Code of Conduct by individual Parish, Town or District Councillors.  When a complaint reasonably points to a potential breach of one of the elements of the code of conduct the procedures to assess the complaint, determine whether to investigate the complaint, consider whether a breach has occurred and determine the appropriate sanction all follow as required by regulations laid down by Parliament.

Standards Committees don’t have any powers to interfere with the operation of a parish council as a body, nor with the decisions it makes or the policies it operates.  Moreover, Parliament has also denied the Local Government Ombudsman any powers to consider complaints of maladministration against Parish or Town Councils.  This leaves dissatisfied electors with the limited options of pursuing a complaint directly with the Parish Council, challenging a demonstrably unlawful decision in the Courts by way of judicial review or defeating the Councillors at the next local election.

Complaints about the procedures for establishing and disbanding committees and making appointments thereto, procedures for producing and verifying minutes, the remuneration and hours of the Clerk, levels of reserves, levels of precept etc. are all matters of policy and procedure for which Parish Councils are the responsible body.  Provided that there are no breaches of the Code of Conduct Standards Committees have no powers to act and, provided there are no breaches of law the Courts have no powers to intervene.  Alleged financial irregularities or questions arising in relation to the finances of the Parish Council should be pursued via the annual audit and potential failures to comply with Freedom of Information obligations are dealt with by the Information Commissioner.  

(The ‘Horse’s Ass Readability Score’ is a measurement of how Government Officials pompously pontificate when talking down to the public: Flesch Reading Ease for this bit of writing 21.7 - target for easy reading, aim for 80, yes EIGHTY!  Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level = 17.8, aim for SEVEN!)

(P.S. Don’t be bamboozled into believing nothing can be done.  Ask them in Hemingbrough.  To be continued/......)








Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Some serious stuff!

15 January 2012.

Dear Chairman Marshall,

I have seen that your Parish Clerk has responded to a Freedom of Information Act request with claims and themes that were never mentioned during the Councillors’ discussions and support of the Resolution carried at a recent Parish Council meeting. Her imaginary claims are contradicted by the notes and recollections of many people present, including the Councillor who moved the proposal.

I have seen that she wrote, “The Parish Council instructed me to record the November meeting as an aide memoire to producing the minutes as, following disruption at previous meetings from the public gallery, the equivalent of three months business was to be transacted. This was done on my site meeting dictaphone and as I compiled the minutes immediately after the meeting I have since re-used the machine so that information (tape) has not been held since 2nd December.”

My own notes, and a transcript of them less than twelve hours after the meeting that was published on the Internet, recorded events as, “I am upset”, she [the Clerk] exploded, when she was cut off by an objection, not from the Chairman, but from a resident who knows she is not his elected representative and should not speak at Council Meetings other than to clarify legal and procedural points when invited by the Chairman.

Councillor John Potter suggested Members should allow their meetings to be recorded to resolve the continuing problems about inaccurate and fabricated minutes, despite Chairman Marshall’s insistence that all recording devices, including mobile phones be SWITCHED OFF. That sensible motion was carried. Then, District Councillor Deans told the Members of a letter he had received that alleged poor governance at this Parish Council, poor quality of debates, and lack of openness and transparency for protocol and fiscal matters. Then a Councillor, expert in gauging the truth of matters, supported Councillor North’s written list of alleged inaccuracies in the minutes; the third or fourth time Councillor North had felt compelled to make a list since May 2011 to help ensure the Minutes can be approved as a true and accurate legal record of Council proceedings.”

I am writing to contradict her completely different but self-serving account of the Resolution. I reject her statement that Councillors instructed her to make a recording as an aide-memoire for one particular meeting only and because there was a backlog of events to minute.

The Resolution was passed because some of what she has written in recent months, purporting to be a complete and accurate account of Council proceedings that can be relied upon in Court, that has been approved by an inappropriate, visible, partisan, majority voting bloc in the Council, has been challenged many times in the few months I have been attending meetings to listen to the less than edifying discussions about Barlby library.

I am also informed that you unilaterally announced at the January 2012 Council meeting that the agreed official recording of Council meetings was to be stopped at once. If that report is true, I object to your action as you must know a Council Resolution should not be re-visited within six months and the Chairman does not have the power to unilaterally overturn a Council resolution.

I am less concerned with whether one particular official minute or report is a true and accurate version of an event than with the frequency with which your Council minutes are described as untruthful and the continuing apparent poor governance of the Council under your Chairmanship, which I have observed myself, and the lack of openness and transparency for protocol and fiscal matters that were drawn to your attention by a District Councillor.

You must take action to correct the Clerk’s flagrant attempt to put personal concerns before those of the Council by having the Council correct her official correspondence. This is yet another occasion when the Council documents produced by this Clerk are publicly challenged for their veracity.

By copy of this email I am informing the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations and the Monitoring Officer at Selby District Council that the public records of Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council cannot be relied on in Court.

For your own record, I have attended several recent Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council meetings because of my interest in the Barlby Hilltop library. I have never spoken during the public sessions of those meetings. I did not know any of the Members of that Parish Council when I started attending meetings. North Yorkshire County Council describes that library as being for the residents of Hemingbrough and Barlby Parishes. I live within three miles of the Parish boundary and am qualified to offer myself for co-option or election to the Council. I will continue to attend your meetings for as long as the Barlby library is being discussed.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/freedom_of_information/information_request/destroying.aspx

When a Parish Council passes a Resolution to record its proceedings to enable the truth or otherwise of draft minutes, for example, to be determined, that recording becomes an official document, discoverable under the Freedom of Information Act.

Friday, 13 January 2012

UNBELIEVEABLE! PURE FANTASY!

I am responding to your enquiry about what I noted at the Barlby & Osgodby Parish Council on 26 October 2010. My notes of Hemingbrough Parish Council proceedings have never been challenged in three years even though they make uncomfortable reading for some Councillors there. I was complimented by the former Hemingbrough Clerk for the accuracy and high fidelity of my note taking.

My notes below resulted in the following information being posted on my public blog less than twelve hours after the meeting:

 “A sudden icy wind at Parish Council meeting.

An amazing natural phenomenon! It seemed all the air had been sucked out of the room. The highly-paid Parish Clerk had just breathed in deeply ready to launch a tirade against the seemingly universal condemnation of her minutes, this Local Authority’s legal record. A similar event happened at last month’s Parish Council.

“I am upset”, she exploded, when she was cut off by an objection, not from the Chairman, but from a resident who knows she is not his elected representative and should not speak at Council Meetings other than to clarify legal and procedural points when invited by the Chairman.

The Clerk had been thoroughly humiliated at the start of the meeting when Councillor John Potter suggested Members should allow their meetings to be recorded to resolve the continuing problems about inaccurate and fabricated minutes, despite Chairman Marshall’s insistence that all recording devices, including mobile phones be SWITCHED OFF. That sensible motion was carried. Then, District Councillor Deans told the Members of a letter he had received that alleged poor governance at this Parish Council, poor quality of debates, and lack of openness and transparency for protocol and fiscal matters. Then a Councillor, expert in gauging the truth of matters, supported Councillor North’s written list of alleged inaccuracies in the minutes; the third or fourth time Councillor North had felt compelled to make a list since May 2011 to help ensure the Minutes can be approved as a true and accurate legal record of Council proceedings.”


I have noted the Parish Clerk has given you a completely different but self-serving description of the event. I completely reject the Clerk’s assertion that the instruction was an aide-memoire for one particular meeting only and suggest you seek confirmation from the Proposer of the resolution on that night, Mr. J. Potter. Clearly, very little this Clerk commits to paper as a complete and accurate account of proceedings can be relied upon, which was exactly the reason the proposal was made and carried.

“The Parish Council instructed me to record the November meeting as an aide memoire to producing the minutes as, following disruption at previous meetings from the public gallery, the equivalent of three months business was to be transacted. This was done on my site meeting dictaphone and as I compiled the minutes immediately after the meeting I have since re-used the machine so that information (tape) has not been held since 2nd December.”


You are free to share my assertions with anyone you choose, and I will give this testimony under oath if required.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Councillor quits over 'bullying'

“bullied and intimidated by other members of the parish council”

 “hostile opposition”

“not agree with things going on at the parish council”

 “a seven month nightmare”

 THE PARISH COUNCIL CLERK’S SALARY

BUDGET AND STAFFING COMMITTE DISBANDED


“there appears to be a constant split in the voting”

“a majority group of six (aka Marshall’s LaLa Land Lackeys) and a minority group of five”

BARLBY PARISH COUNCIL DECLINED TO COMMENT.


THE BEAR GARDEN BLOG CHARTS COUNCILLOR NORTH’S ‘BULLYING’, THE LaLa Land Lackey's, THE VICE-CHAIRMAN'S PIG IGNORANT MANNERS, THE  CHAIRMAN'S MEGALOMANIA, THE QUESTIONABLE MINUTES, etc. etc

 AND THE FURORE OVER THE PARISH COUNCIL’S STAFF COSTS!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Spare a considerate thought .....

“Took a serious toll on her health and well being .....”

As an experienced observer and recorder of Parish Council shenanigans (ask anyone at Hemingbrough Parish Council or click http://hemingbroughbeargarden.blogspot.com/  to go to the Hemingbrough Bear Garden) when the Council is dominated by a voting clique and the rule book is flouted, I say read the earlier posts on this Bear Garden Blog to learn something of the way in which Councillor North was abused by the Chairman and his LaLa Land Lackeys. 
For sheer Pig Ignorance meted out to a member of the public, read the first post which concerns the Council’s Deputy Chairman while he was on official Council business!

I say shame on each and every one of Chairman Marshall’s compliant, hand-raising, LaLa Land Lackeys.  I wouldn’t talk to a dog in the way Councillor North had to suffer. WHEN CHAIRMAN MARSHALL INSISTS ALL RECORDING DEVICES ARE TURNED OFF BEFORE THE START OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING, I WONDER IF IT IS TO PREVENT ANYONE FROM CHALLENGING THE SUPPOSEDLY OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE MEETING.  My pencil and paper do just as well!
I also wonder what is the role of the Selby District Councillors who sit and watch the abuse suffered by these new Councillors for month after month when they get a rude awakening by stepping into the Bear Garden where events are well beyond ‘robust debate’. “This is worse than Hemingbrough”, said an otherwise mute observer.  Can’t they help?  I also wonder about Selby Council’s Professional Standards Panel and associates led by the Deputy Chief Executive, Jonathan Lund! Ugh!          

Something to hide?

11 January 2012

Dear Mrs. Dumbell,

Clerk to Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council

Freedom of Information Act


I reject your reason for withholding the information as it is clearly not exempt under Section 40.

The taxpayers pay for the Parish Council to receive advice and guidance from the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations (YLCA). The Council is on record as invoking the advice of that body when the Chairman responds to challenges from Councillors and the Public. When he does so, he does not specify what question was asked by the Council to elicit the advice he claims was given.

The advice of YLCA and similar professional advisory bodies about the Parish Clerk’s employment is that the public is entitled to ask the Parish Council how much the Clerk is paid and similar questions under the Freedom of Information Act because the Clerk is a paid employee of the Parish Council which is an employer and as such, must abide by employment law and should apply good employment practice.

For the record, I am not asking you how much you are paid, I asking you to tell me in which Council Minutes is it accepted and minuted that your working hours are 42 each week exclusively for the Parish Council as you have stated in a email to me! See below:

Further to your response to my Freedom of Information Act request about the Barlby & Osgodby Parish Council Clerk's contracted hours, "this is accepted by and minuted by the Parish Council despite", please send me details of the Minutes to which you refer and I will pay you the fee so I may have a copy of them for my files under the Freedom of Information Act.

When you say “we are withholding” the information about which particular minutes the previously provided information is in, is that a resolution of the whole Council, a decision of a clique or your own personal decision?

Your ‘decision’ gives me the opinion that the failure of the Parish Council to back up your claim that your extended working hours exclusively for the Parish Council is minuted may not be entirely correct.

Please have the Council review the decision in your letter of 3rd January 2012 in the light of professional advice from YLCA showing Councillors and the public what question was asked to elicit the advice.

I post our correspondence on my blog at http://barlbybeargarden.blogspot.com/ so it can be read by the public, unlike the Parish Council minutes.

Yours faithfully

In a message dated 05/12/2011 11:06:00 GMT Standard Time, EmailGMarkham@aol.com writes:

Further to your response to my Freedom of Information Act request about the Barlby & Osgodby Parish Council Clerk's contracted hours, "this is accepted by and minuted by the Parish Council despite", please send me details of the Minutes to which you refer and I will pay you the fee so I may have a copy of them for my files under the Freedom of Information Act.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Wet Knickers


There was a massive New Year’s outbreak of knicker wetting in Osgodby that seems to have spread throughout the District.  Like a highly contagious virus, it just spread like wildfire and some people had to take to their beds.  A couple of well known residents said it was very similar to the norovirus in that it was accompanied by vomiting.  As there was no specific cure, resident’s had to let it run its course over a couple of days, drinking plenty of fluids while the aches in their sides subsided.

One local Grand Dame remarked that it was a particularly unpleasant experience, but it wasn't thought to be dangerous.  Everyone recovered within a couple of days, without having to see a doctor.  Professional advice was to stay at home and  don't go to the Barlby & Osgodby Parish Council for a while. 

The source of the outbreak is alleged to have been having to sit through the Chairman’s Opening Remarks and then having to contain the almost irresistible urge to burst out laughing which increased pressure to exploding levels in the nether regions.  

It is reported that Chairman Marshall, him of the weak, squeaky voice, screeched at everyone that he was going to have respect.  ‘I am going to have respect!!!’, ‘I am the Chairman and Leader of the Council and I am going to have some respect’ were accompanied by his usual finger jabbing and table thumping.  ‘I am treated with the utmost respect at County and at Selby District Council.’ 

The pressures were heightened by the whispered asides from those who have seen him in those chambers, where he is subject to the usual rules and the inmates have not taken over the asylum. One is alleged to have whispered, ‘Respect? Didn’t his Council ask the Police to patrol the Parish Council meeting?’

(Recent Parish Council Publicity in the 'Selby Post' & 'SelbyTimes')   

Apparently, Chairman Marshall then led his majority band of willing LaLa Land hand-raisers to agree a 15% increase in the precept to fund ‘Barlby Town Hall’ that may open as a library one day a week and will take many years and much money to open occasionally as a community centre. His earlier agreement to consult residents seems to have been dumped in the pot.

Can one assume the 15% tax increase is being applied to the Council’s Staff Costs of more than £31,000 for the Clerk’s 42 hour week just on Parish Council business.  I am told that eagle-eyed residents are keen to ensure that the Parish Council costs are not used to subsidise District and County work.

[There’s more to come on this particular story.]

Sunday, 8 January 2012

An eloquent message to the residents of Barlby & Osgodby

Dear Councillors

I hereby give notice of my resignation as Councillor of Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council, with immediate effect.

I have tried my best to represent the residents of the ward of Osgodby and those in the wider community under the B & O PC. However, regretably, I have met with such hostile opposition to requests for information, queries as to the propriety of decisions and suggestions for improved practice from the Clerk, Chairman and a majority of councillors, that I have effectively been denied the right to do so.

Coupled with this I have been targeted by the same group of people to be bullied and intimidated. False allegations have also been made to defame my character and discredit me.

Over an 8 month period, this has inevidtably taken its toll on my health and well being and I resign on the realisation that any attempt to encourage intelligent and reasoned debate will always be stifled while the aforesaid clique maintain the balance of power. I am, however, proud of the contribution I and a minority of councillors have made in making the PC more transparent and informing the residents of key local issues.

I wish Councillors Foster, Speck, Potter and Chopping the very best of luck in continuing with their work in ensuring the best interests of the residents of the Parish are served; in particular that the public money, for which the Parish Council is responsible, is used to best effect to benefit the community as a whole.

Yours sincerely

Julie North

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

NO REPLY YET. I WONDER WHY?


I HOPE MY REQUEST FOR A COPY OF THE MINUTES IN WHICH THE CLERK CLAIMS HER INCREASED HOURS WORKING JUST FOR BARLBY & OSGODBY PARISH COUNCIL WERE ACCEPTED AND MINUTED BY THE PARISH COUNCIL IS NOT DELAYED BECAUSE NOBODY CAN FIND A COPY OF THE RELEVANT MINUTES.  I TRUST THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST WAS ANSWERED HONESTLY.

THE NEW YEAR MAY BE COMING, BUT THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY.

I DID NOT ASK WHAT SHE DOES WITH HER TIME JUST FOR BARLBY & OSGODBY PARISH COUNCIL. 

Subject: Re: Freedom of Information Act Request.  To: barlby.pc@btinternet.com
Dear Mrs. Dumbell,
Further to your response to my Freedom of Information Act request about the Barlby & Osgodby Parish Council Clerk's contracted hours, "this is accepted by and minuted by the Parish Council”, please send me details of the Minutes to which you refer and I will pay you the fee so I may have a copy of them for my files under the Freedom of Information Act.  Thank you
In a message dated 25/10/2011 13:59:26 GMT Daylight Time, barlby.pc@btinternet.com writes:
The Clerk to Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council currently works 42 hours per week, this is accepted by and minuted by the Parish Council despite the contracted hours being 33 hours per week.
Dianne Dumbell, Clerk, Barlby and Osgodby PC

On Tue, 4/10/11, EmailGMarkham@aol.com wrote:
Subject: Freedom of Information Act Request.
To: barlby.pc@btinternet.com
Date: Tuesday, 4 October, 2011, 16:44
Dear Mrs. Dumbell
I have sent this Freedom of Information Act request to most of the Parish & Town Councils this afternoon. I have all the financial figures for Barlby & Osgodby Parish so I would be most grateful if you would answer my final question under the Freedom of Information Act, the Parish Clerk's contracted hours, so I can complete my analysis.
Thank you

Freedom of Information Act Request.
Since I discovered Barlby and Osgodby Parish Council spent £31,634 on staff costs in the 2010/2011 fiscal year, 43% of its total spending for the year, and my neighbouring Parish of Hemingbrough spent only £5,111 in the same period, I decided to survey Parish Council spending for that year in Selby District.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, would you provide me with the following information for your parish for the year ending 31 March 2011, please?
Balance brought forward £
Annual precept £
Total other receipts £
Total staff costs £
Total all other payments £
Total cash and short term investments £
Total fixed and long-term assets £
Parish Clerk’s monthly contracted hours.
Thank you.