Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Order! Order! Order!

Without public scrutiny, they do what they want, not what they should. 

Now it's easier with camcorder, camera and voice recorder. 

Dear Chairman Drew

Hemingbrough Parish Council meeting 21 August 2014

Items 10 ‘Consider planning applications received and decide on advice to Selby Council’ is an official session of the Council’s meeting that can affect the social and financial circumstances of parishioners.  It must be treated with the formality it deserves.

At last Thursday’s meeting under your Chairmanship it was a casual, slapdash, uncontrolled, noisy affair in which Parish Councillors and Clerk split into little groups for social chatter while plans were treated like pass-the-parcel objects and the level of noise in the meeting room prevented anyone in the public seats from hearing most of the comments from whichever splinter group had the plans in their possession. 

If your visitors from Selby District Council and North Yorkshire Council cannot sit in their seats at the Council table for the less than 90 minutes of your meeting, and keep quiet during the planning session, then I suggest you ask them to leave before that Item begins. 

Do District Councillors wander away from the Selby District Council table to natter with anyone in the public seats when they are bored?  I think not.   

In the neighbouring Parish of Barlby & Osgodby the same three visiting Councillors are required to sit in the public seats and speak only when invited to do so by the Chairman and obey the rules governing parishioners.  Comparisons between your session and that of your neighbours are to your detriment.  

For the sake of the parishioners at least it is your duty to maintain control so get a grip, please.

Monday, 25 August 2014

53,000 Visitors

The more people who know about Hemingbrough Parish Councillors and their antics, the better!  Hopefully the new scrutiny will force them to behave and put residents at the forefront of their intent, which is what the ruling ‘Hagg Lane Green Gang’ pledged to do when campaigning for election the last time.

Parishioner - Would it help? Chairman Drew – NO!

A parishioner living at Church Farm, Main Street addressed the Parish Council during the Public Forum about her planning application which had been turned down by Selby District Council and the Parish Council.  She hadn’t realised she could have spoken to the two Councils to get help to ensure her application was correct before submitting it. 

She explained her thoughts about the objections, for example, the planned ‘Velux’ windows could only be viewed from the Church roof, and not from street level.

Chairman Drew’s response was less than helpful, “We will discuss it at the appropriate moment.”  When the parishioner asked, “Do I need to come back for that?  Would it help?” she got an abrupt “No!” from Drew so she went home.

If Drew had been helpful he would, with Council agreement, have moved the scheduled discussion of her application to near the start of the formal meeting so she could have heard the Councillors talk about smoke from her property getting into an adjacent property at Sunday Dinner Time and causing a falling out between neighbours (according to Strelczenie) for example.   

Clearly, Drew’s NO! meant her presence would not have helped Councillors.  It would have been very helpful for the parishioner to hear the rabble babble way in which her application was examined again and understand the Council’s concerns before submitting a new application.     

The Clerk asked the Council, “So we are putting through the same objections as last time and we still object to the application?  Strongly! called out a Councillor.

Drew offered the observation, ‘We no doubt will receive a new application in the fullness of time.  I don’t think their description changed very much, but we shall discuss that when we get it.’

These self-centred Councillors do very little to help parishioners, as a survey of the past year's minutes will show.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Surprise email from Councillor Chilvers

Having been made aware of your 'blog 'peek a boo' picture of me, of which (I don't care a toss), please allow me the liberty to make you aware of a few facts

After a very stressful visit to my wife laying (sic!) in a high dependency ward in York District Hospital, I attended Hemingbrough Parish Council August 2014 meeting as was my public duty.  Due to a number of matters relating to the eventual return home of Mrs. Chilvers at some point in time, I arrived at the P C meeting without my agenda so could not follow the same. Although I spoke on a few agenda items, in the main I sat back from the table and kept out of items I could not follow.

I am fully aware you may publish this email or an amended version, but once again (I could not care a toss) as to me there are more important things in life.

Cllr. R.Chilvers.

Dear Mr Chilvers

I was genuinely sorry to hear about your wife's stay on a hospital high dependency ward as I know how stressful that can be for the patient and relatives. I hope she is soon restored to the family home.

About the photographs, I have been told that Councillors thought the first Hemingbrough Parish Council to take place under full public scrutiny with video and audio recording was a marked improvement from the usual Bear Garden when you and Strelczenie and your mates are at loggerheads with the ruling 'Hagg Lane Green Gang' and the parishioners are disadvantaged by your collective bad-tempered tomfoolery.  I am pleased to have had such an effect on the Council and look forward to seeing you all in future.

I am taking this opportunity of thanking you and your clique for your efforts to set up a village memorial for the Great War and hope to see a start on the Rose Garden soon when I will be around to photograph it.

If you really don't give a toss about my photography then I think it would be better for you not to waste your time with correspondence,  Best wishes


More Chilvers Bullshit.

Chilvers could follow the meeting even without his copy of the agenda.  He was sitting within spitting distance of the Clerk so could have asked for a copy, he was sitting between his two mates so could have looked at their copies, and Chairman Drew announced each section as they moved on to it.  See how eagerly he entered the session when they came to the item of Tree Cutting. 

All is not as it appears to the casual observer.  ‘Mark’ and ‘George’ are code words for the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group and the ‘Chilvers Gang' respectively.  McCann (top left) and Senior (bottom right, sitting where they can signal to each other) want Mark to do the tree work as he is part of their Conservation Group while Chilvers and Strelczenie (sitting together so Strelczenie can remind Chilvers what they are talking about) oppose anything the other two want.  

The ineffectual Clerk can be best described as “all at sea.” You would think she would know more about the Parish Contractor so she could avoid a silly statement http://www.fillinghamandsons.co.uk/forestry/  

Eventually ‘Mark’ loses out to ‘George’ by way of a seconded ‘Proposal’ that nobody voted for.

For a detailed account of the loathing between the two factions, see “Toxic Treachery” below when McCann and his mates described Chilvers as “never seemed to be able to follow the meeting, nothing different there, and did not understand what had been asked.  He was probably wandering off at a tangent as usual.  His resignation letter from the group was as usual not the true facts,” (See 6 May 2014 Post).

What the eye doesn’t see – now gets recorded.

It is usual for Parish Clerks to record proceedings as an aid to preparing accurate minutes.  The Council’s recorder is visible on the table.  

What is unusual is someone making a recording without informing Councillors and courteously asking for their approval.  

Watch the You Tube video of Councillor Jan Strelczenie, who is also the Chair of the Selby Branch of the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations, and the Parish Clerk slip a voice recorder in front of the Chairman early in the meeting and what looks like the Councillor’s subsequent ‘naughty boy – I hope I haven’t been caught’ behaviour.

Strelczenie has learned over the years that other Councillors try not to see or hear his behaviour in the hope of avoiding a bad-tempered row if they mention it.

The ‘Mute Newt’ Councillors often told the story of how one had called the Parish Clerk’s home and left a message with someone who asked “Is that Uncle Jan?” which affected their trust in the impartiality of the Clerk.

Council Chairman Drew refers to lady Parishioner as a Nitwit

Maybe Councillors forgot they were being recorded and filmed for the first time. Thank you, Eric Pickles.

To get a cheap laugh at the expense of “a somewhat irate lady” Parishioner who had contacted the Parish Council after receiving an anonymous letter about the state of her front garden, Councillor Drew amused his fellow Councillors with his unnecessary description after he had been to her house, ‘There are two sorts of nitwits in the world, those who write them and those who read them’.

The Parish Council Chairman should know some people, especially the elderly living alone, find anonymous letters psychologically difficult to deal with because the writer is not morally bound by society’s rules.

Hemingbrough Council is still plagued by an anonymous letter writer who may be a serving Councillor and is certainly very familiar with the Council’s financial records.  

Last year, Councillor Chilvers was publicly associated with a scurrilous anonymous web site by posters in the village and both he and the Council refused to comment on the anonymous allegation.

If I had been accused of writing such anonymous, outrageous comments, I would have been quick to deny any association.  

The Parish Council has two warring factions. Lies, deceit and retaliation against Councillors and Parishioners who ask awkward questions have been a regular feature.  Councillors set the tone for the village. Is this the best we can do?       

(Transparency and openness should be the fundamental principle behind everything councils and other local government bodies do, and new rights have now been introduced by the Openness of Local Government Bodies 2014, which will enable members of the public to know how decisions are made.)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Hemingbrough Bear Garden

This is the first photograph of Hemingbrough Parish Council operating under the new national rules allowing the public to record, film and photograph Councillors in action.  The Parish Clerk, Julie Leighton-Eshelby has Chairman Richard Drew on her right sitting next to his Deputy Ken McCann.   Jan Strelczenie sits to her left next to Roland Chilvers who spent most of the meeting trying to dodge the cameras.

Strelczenie was his welcoming self as he and his sidekick exchanged comments about me “He’s had a haircut.  He should have had his throat cut.

As the meeting progressed, Strelczenie turned his usual shades of Pink to Scarlett and Crimson as he looked first at me, then my colleague then the camcorder presumably knowing anything he said out of order would be recorded for all to hear.  Moments after the meeting finished and the cameras were turned off he burst out with a comment directing at me “THEY TELL ME YOU HAVE CANCER. IS THAT RIGHT?”

I ignored his ignorant remark but saw that he looked like a person having just emerged from the lavatory, at last, after keeping his runny innards in check for two hours.

 Councillor Chilvers plays peek-a-boo all night.

Some Councillors get down to serious business as it should be.

More to follow about the agenda topics and some surprising remarks. 

Smoke and Mirrors, A Pack of Lies, or Same Old, Same Old McCann?


January minutes.  “It was agreed that the quotes received for the land valuations would be discussed at the March meeting and the Parish Council would look into the funding for this.”

February minutes. “It was agreed that the Parish Council would apply to the Community Engagement Forum for a grant towards an assessment of the potential allotments sites. It was then proposed by Councillor McCann, seconded by Councillor Drew and unanimously agreed that subject to receiving a grant from the Community Engagement Forum the Parish Council would part fund the assessment.”

March minutes. NOTHING

April minutes. NOTHING

May minutes. NOTHING

June minutes. NOTHING

July minutes. (I bet it was Nothing)

McCann has been ‘managing’ the Allotments project for a couple of years!!!  (Three exclamation marks were introduced by the previous Clerk to convey a particular meaning – ask Brian)

Now, let see what the present Clerk declared to the Auditor this year about the Council reserves, of which more later.

Can anyone show me where the Council has passed a resolution to fund allotments?  They haven’t even completed an assessment of possible sites after two years plus, and they can well afford it!!!

‘Deep Throat’

With an intimate knowledge of affairs and records at Hemingbrough Parish Council someone, perhaps a serving Councillor, fancies them self as a purveyor of allegations of questionable Council events unless that  individual is just living out an elderly, frustrated, sexual fantasy complete with ‘anonymous’ letters. 

So far, whatever information I check appears to be true.  I have not yet checked this particular allegation, but I will, with the help of the VAT office.     

Thank you, Eric Pickles (2)

Open and accountable local government: plain English guide

A guide for the press and public on attending and reporting meetings of local government

Transparency and openness should be the fundamental principle behind everything councils and other local government bodies do, and new rights have now been introduced by the Openness of Local Government Bodies 2014, which will enable members of the public to know how decisions are made.

These rights allow members of the public including citizens and professional journalists to:

•           use modern technology and communication methods such as filming, audio-recording, blogging and tweeting to report the proceedings of the meetings of their councils and other local government bodies

•           see information relating to significant decisions made outside meetings by officers acting under a general or specific delegated power.

The national rules have been changed to make councils, including parish and town councils, more transparent and accountable to their local communities.

Part 1 Your rights to attend and report meetings

We now live in a modern, digital world where the use of modern communication methods such as filming, tweeting and blogging should be embraced for enhancing the openness and transparency of local government bodies.

Who do these rules help?  These rules help any members of the press and public who want to know about, view or report the work of local government bodies. The “press” is defined in the widest terms – including traditional print media, filming crews, hyper-local journalists and bloggers.

The new national rules have increased your rights to film, audio-record, take photographs, and use social media such as tweeting and blogging to report the proceedings of meetings that are open to the public.

Councils are required to allow any member of the public to take photographs, film and audio-record the proceedings, and report on all public meetings. While no prior permission is required to carry out this activity, it is advisable that any person wishing to film or audio-record a public meeting let their local government staffs know so that all necessary arrangements can be made for the public meetings.

Do I need to have advance permission to report the meeting?  No.  Whilst we would encourage people to contact staff in advance if they want to film or record, equally, we would discourage any system which “vetted” journalists or restricted reporting to “approved” journalists. Councils should support freedom of the press within the law and not seek to restrict those who may write critical comments.

It is a legal duty for the local government body to follow the new provisions. If a local government body’s existing Standing Orders are not fully in line with the new legislation, in the short-term, we recommend they simply waive the relevant provisions of those old Standing Orders which could be taken to inhibit the new reporting rules, and then take steps to update formally its Standing Orders.

Thank you, Eric Pickles

Dear Mr Markham,

You may be interested to know that Parliament now has approved the draft Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, which the Government intends to make on 5 August. These Regulations will therefore come into force on 6 August, giving the public new rights to film and report council meetings, including meetings of committees and subcommittees, using digital and social media.

Regards, Eleanor Smyllie, Democracy Division |  Department for Communities and Local Government Zone 3/J1, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU 

Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014

Dear Parish Clerk

I intend to exercise my rights from time to time under the “Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014” as a Member of the Press as defined  in the Department for Communities and Local Government publication ‘Open and accountable government’ publication so when I attend tonight I would appreciate you making available the “reasonable facilities to facilitate reporting. This should include space to view and hear the meeting, seats and ideally a desk” as defined in the publication.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Scraping a dirty barrel

The Parish Council minutes for June 2014 note Councillor Jan Strelczenie has been re-appointed as Chairman of the Selby Branch of Yorkshire Local Councils Associations (YLCA) which includes over 500 local councils in Yorkshire supposedly working “to support councils by giving members legal and technical advice, information and training relevant to their work and generally to support their work and governance.”

While acknowledging their democratic right to appoint their own Chairman, you must wonder if Members knew what they were doing, or does Councillor Strelczenie represent typical Parish Council leaders?  

If Strelczenie stands for any elected public office other than Hemingbrough Parish Council, his opponents will have a heavy barrel of materiel to work with, including the probable record of being the only local Parish Council Chairman to be the subject of a complaint about lying to residents signed by more than 10 people.

Excerpts from ‘The Collected Unbelievable Works of Councillor Jan Strelczenie’ of The Labour Party.

·         Parish Council Minutes.  ‘The Chairman (Jan Strelczenie) read out a statement of advice he had received from Selby Council Solicitor regarding United Charities.  He stated that it would be adviseable (sic) to reduce the number of trustees to 3 non-prejudicial trustee’s.(sic)’.  When Selby District Council was asked under the Freedom of Information Act for a copy of the advice given by their Solicitor to the Hemingbrough Parish Council Chairman, THEY COULDN’T FIND IT IN THEIR FILES!  When the Hemingbrough Parish Clerk was asked for the same, she said it wasn’t available as Strelczenie said it was a ‘personal’ communication, he wasn’t willing to share it with his Council colleagues and she had never seen it.  PURE FANTASY LAND!!!

·         ‘They are the bad guys’ Strelczenie told the public when three Councillors declared an interest in a planning application and left the Council meeting room while the plans were discussed.  Councillors who declared personal and prejudicial interests MUST leave the meeting room for the discussion and vote. In fact, Strelczenie was THE BAD GUY for lying to the public and characterising the three Councillors in that way.  Previously, Strelczenie had refused to accept the experienced Clerk’s advice that he should not stay in the Council meeting room to take part in the co-option of his wife onto the Parish Council.  She was voted in by the ruling Gang who added another close family member to their Gang.
When speaking to residents as the Parish Council Chairman, Strelczenie said, “We  (Parish Councillors) haven’t seen anything to do with Yorkshire Water’s plans”  Yorkshire Water’s Director, Environmental Business Unit contradicted that: “At the meeting, Yorkshire Water staff showed Councillors copies of the plans.  What was given to councillors to view was: A full site plan, a side elevation, a zoomed-in detailed site plan, a computer-generated graphic image of a side elevation, a computer-generated image showing an elevated view.  Some Parish Councillors not in Strelczenie’s Gang publicly rejected his statement. 

        To a Press Representative at a Parish Council Meeting.  The Tenant passed his Charity cheque to the Parish Clerk to pass on to the Charity "in the usual way".  Another lie. C) Note receipt of cheque for £340.00 payable to Hemingbrough United Charities for rent of land to be held until United Charities conform with the constitution.  Strelczenie told the public that the independent charity was nothing to do with the Council even though the Council admitted it ‘administered’ the Charity without legal rights to do so, and he had been discussing it with Selby Council. The Charity Commission did not like this one little bit, and said so!!!

From a Hemingbrough Parish Council Chairwoman about the bullying behaviour of Councillor Jan Strelczenie at a Council meeting  

Dear Jonathan Lund, Monitoring Office, Selby District Council

During the Parish Council meeting Councillor Strelczenie made repeated accusations, directed at me, that I had given a copy of the Structure License for the siting of the village entrance sign to a resident which was a complete untruth.

Despite my telling him more than once that this was not the case he continued shouting “I don’t believe you.”  His manner throughout was extremely aggressive and bullish and resulted in other Councillors telling him he was being disrespectful and that his behaviour was unacceptable.  He took absolutely no notice of me or his fellow Councillors and continued with his rantings.  I personally found this insulting as he was in effect calling me a liar.

I told him to stop being rude and insulting towards a member of the public. Again he took no notice.  As a result of this incident the meeting was disrupted for such a period of time that we had to call an additional meeting to finish our business.

I view Councillor Strelczenie’s behaviour on this and on many other occasions as disgraceful.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

“Moley Mk. 2”

Thank you for your “information (facts)” about the incestuous relationship between Hagg Lane Green and Hemingbrough Parish Council.  

I dug up my information by Freedom of Information Act request that was handled professionally by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Be careful, some Councillors will be starting another Hemingbrough Mole Hunt and I guess neither of us want You to be known as ‘Moley2’.