Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hemingbrough Parish Council - 31st July 2014




Last Minutes on the Parish Notice Board 15th May 2014
We don’t answer Freedom of Information Act Requests
We don’t answer ‘difficult’ questions
We don’t do very much at all,
We take your money and put it in our bank account where it earns Sweet F*** All
We wouldn’t support a WW1 Memorial proposal; we don’t like Councillors Chilvers & Strelczenie 
Don’t forget to Vote for Drew, McCann and the Hagg Lane Green Gang next year.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Dear Parish Clerk, julieeshelby@sky.com

Last year’s accounts.

In the last fiscal year did Hemingbrough Parish Council insure the whole or any part of the boardwalk installed around the Hagg Lane Green Ponds, please? 

If a part, what percentage of the boardwalk insurance did it pay?  

How was the ‘first phase’ boardwalk accounted for in the Council’s assets and liabilities last year as it was initially funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund after a joint submission from the Council and the ‘independent’ Conservation Group.

Thank you


Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys

On the day that EU leaders meet in Ypres, Belgium to commemorate the outbreak of the Great War I want to thank Councillors Chilvers and Strelczenie and their friends at the Parish of Hemingbrough Historical Heritage Society for their tenacity to pursue a local memorial despite the hostility and opposition of the Hagg Lane Green Faction on the Parish Council.

I understand the Heritage Society plan to buy and then replace Hearthstone Garage at the village entrance with a Memorial Rose Garden.  Their original idea was a Parish Council Initiative for a cenotaph-like memorial that was supported by more about 450 residents of Hemingbrough and Cliffe.  

That idea was turned down by a Parish Council resolution moved by Councillors Wilkinson and McCann supported by Councillors N Pickering, G Harrison, M Senior and R Drew who have yet to offer any explanation for their petulant behaviour which was all the more extraordinary given that those particular people campaigned together for your votes at the last Parish Council election and pledged to put the interests of residents at the forefront of their intent.


Why would anybody support these untrustworthy Councillors at next year’s Parish elections?

Monday, 23 June 2014

How much are they hiding?

He’s smart!  Why did Councillor Chilvers really resign as the Chair of Hagg Lane Green Group when he was also Chair of the Parish Council?  Was it because of the reasons bragged about by the little Councillor McCann and his cronies – he threw his toys out of the pram because we didn’t invite him to a meeting and we thought he was a waste of space?   Or was it because the Chair of the Parish Council/Conservation Group/United Charities thought there may be a problem with the joint Hemingbrough Parish Council -  Conservation Group application for thousands of pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund and he was really passing the parcel?   


 Dear Parish Clerk, Under the Freedom of Information Act I am seeking information on the ownership of the Village Green known locally as the Hagg Green Ponds, Hemingbrough either sent by the Council to the Hemingbrough Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group or received by the Council from that Conservation Group


Dear Parish Clerk, As a Hemingbrough resident I am writing one last time on this subject to you as the Parish Council’s Proper Officer asking you to fulfil your statutory duty immediately to provide me with the information I requested under the Freedom of Information Act dated 12 January 2014.  You failed to respond to my subsequent communications of 11 February 2014 and 20 April 2014.


Still no reply to the Freedom of Information Act request or the request for clarification of the claim that the Parish Council or Conservation Group owns the freehold of land at Hagg Lane.  I wager that it will be talked about at the Open Day when one person hits the beer.  

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A Bugger’s Muddle*

* Bugger's Muddle, Complete cock up, Disastrous outcome caused by mismanagement and incompetence

Try to reconcile these Council minutes with the two Posts immediately below.   

MINUTES OF MEETING OF HEMINGBROUGH PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE INSTITUTE ON THURSDAY 21st JANUARY 2010 AT 7.30PM.  08/493 DISCUSS APPLICATION TO LAND REGISTRY FOR HAGG LANE GREEN AND ASSOCIATED AREAS

A councillor suggested that Hagg Lane Green is registered as a village green but another councillor advised that AS THERE IS NO LEGAL OWNER THE PARISH COUNCIL NEED TO GO FOR POSSESIONARY (sic) TITLE. {I’m sure Councillors & Clerk meant POSSESSORY TITLE but as the Councillors signed off the minutes as Confirmed and Approved it sounds like none of them knew what they were really talking about. I would have expected McCann to know, but then I could never trust his version of accurate minutes}

A proposal that Hemingbrough Parish Council should go for possesionary (sic) title was made which was seconded.

A COUNTER PROPOSAL THAT HEMINGBROUGH PARISH COUNCIL SHOULD NOT GO FOR LEGAL OWNERSHIP WAS THEN MADE AND THIS WAS ALSO SECONDED. A vote on the counter proposal was then taken and achieved four votes.

A councillor then said that Hemingbrough Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group could not get lottery funding if the land was owned by the Parish Council and may also have to pay back grants that they had already received.

The Chairman (Strelczenie) then stated that he wanted to look into this further before any decision was made and advised he would seek advice from Selby District Council.

08/494 TO RE-CONSIDER THE PARISH COUNCIL BEING THE ACCOUNTABLE BODY FOR THE HAGG LANE GREEN CONSERVATION GROUP  In view of the above it was decided that no decision on this would be made until further advice had been sought.

MINUTES OF MEETING OF HEMINGBROUGH PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE VILLAGE INSTITUTE ON THURSDAY 18th MARCH 2010 AT 7.30PM.  08/527 HEMINGBROUGH HAGG LANE GREEN:-

a) Ratify action taken by the Chairman at the 21st January 2010 Parish Council Meeting of seeking further advice from Selby District Council regarding Hemingbrough Hagg Lane Green. RESOLVED

b) The Chairman confirmed that he had attended a meeting at Selby District Council on Monday 15th March when he was told that they could not advise him on the issues in question and THEY RECOMMENDED THE PARISH COUNCIL SHOULD EMPLOY A SOLICITOR. {I don’t think they ever did} They also recommended that Cllr’s Senior and Pickering should advise the Parish Council in writing as to why they would have to pay back monies already received and why the Hemingbrough Hagg Lane Group would receive no further grants. {I don’t think they ever did}

Discussion then took place at length regarding the HHLGCG Grant application, the request for the Parish Council to be the accountable body for HHLGCG and the change in constitution of the Hemingbrough Hagg Lane Green Committee.

IT WAS PROPOSED, SECONDED AND ACCEPTED WITH A SHOW OF HANDS THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE GRANT APPLICATION AS LANDOWNERS AS  HEMINGBROUGH PARISH COUNCIL WERE NOT THE REGISTERED LANDOWNERS. RESOLVED

It was also proposed, seconded and accepted with a show of hands that the Parish Council could not become the accountable body for HHLGCG due to the change in their constitution. RESOLVED

{I am reminded of the former Parish Clerk's comment to me when he had to withdraw minutes because they contained a blatant untruth about me: The Councillors get confused because they can't remember what lies they told you.}

This topic has caught their attention today
   

Letter to the Parish Council

Dear Parish Clerk and Hemingbrough Parish Council Chairman,

Reference: Hemingbrough Parish Council and the Hagg Lane Green Group

By a Freedom of Information Act request I obtained a copy of the Grant request to the Heritage Lottery Fund in which Hemingbrough Parish Council and The Hemingbrough Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group as it was constituted at that time jointly applied for funds for work on land beside Hagg Lane with the Conservation Group, a sort-of quasi-Parish Council Group bound to the Council by its constitution with a number of Parish Councillors directing its actions, acting as “the lead organisation” and the Parish Council acting as the ‘accountable body’.

In that joint application I note that the Heritage Lottery Fund was told the land at Hagg Lane Green “is owned by the Parish Council”, the Group/Council “own the heritage item or property your project is based on” and the ownership of the property was “Freehold or other type of outright ownership”. 

I want you to provide me with the justification for those three claims as Parish Council discussions and official paperwork do not seem to confirm them to be true.

Could this be the reason why my properly framed Freedom of Information Act request for information about the communications between the Parish Council and the independent Conservation Group as it is constituted now has not be honoured by Hemingbrough Parish Council which I noted in writing to the Parish Clerk and is reproduced below:

Dear Parish Clerk,
 Freedom of Information Act
Since you have not yet completed my Freedom of Information Act request dated 12 January 2014 detailed below, and failed to respond to my enquiry of 11 February 2014, I have concluded that you have conspired with Parish Councillors who are either Members of the independent Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group and/or Parish Councillors with whom those independent Steering Committee Members campaigned for election to the Parish Council and are known locally as the 'Friends of the Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group' to deny to me access to the information I requested presumably because of concerns that the legal parish records are either incomplete or contain information that Hemingbrough Parish Council does not want known to the public.

12 June 2014

Copy: Heritage Lottery Fund

          Selby District Council 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Toxic Treachery (5)

Screwed and humiliated!

You can’t blame Councillor Roland Chilvers for not trusting the behaviour of Councillors McCann and Senior.  Why should he trust every word uttered by the small droning Councillor -on and on and on!-and his mostly silent partner?  He knew something was up.

According to Chilvers, the Parish Council Chairman, he was THE Founding Member of the Hagg Lane Green Committee, which was a great idea if only Hemingbrough Parish Councillors could have worked together instead of being at one another’s throats.  I never understood how there could be a Founding Member, or even Founding Members of a Parish Council Committee, which is not surprising given the lies they tell and their manipulation of Council meetings to serve their own ends.  

The Parish Council needed money for the project so they asked the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant and changed the Council Committee into “The Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group” which became “the lead organisation for a joint project.”  The Parish Council acted as the ‘accountable body’ for the project while the ‘Group’ was made up of Parish Councillors and a few others.

Having got a copy of the original Grant Application Form under the Freedom of Information Act I can see the Heritage Lottery Fund was told the land at Hagg Lane Green “is owned by the Parish Council”, which has a specific meaning in law and appears to be contradicted by the Council’s own minutes, the Group/Council “own the heritage item or property your project is based on” and the ownership of the property was “Freehold or other type of outright ownership”.  It will be interesting to learn how the Parish Council will explain this information or try to avoid answering it at all.



The Heritage Fund awarded money to the joint Hagg Lane Green Group & Hemingbrough Parish Council team and the money was spent, which now raises issues about the application, the continuing financial liabilities for the permanent structures on the Village Green, and the accountability and costs if the site is occupied by unlicensed travellers, for example.

It wasn’t long afterwards that the Councillors fell out, Chilvers left the ‘Group’ (see below) and he started fretting about his pet project against a background of factional in-fighting and strife and the ‘Peter Principle’ of Incompetence slithered into the Parish Council Chamber with an evil cackle.

In a flagrant breach of Parish Council protocol, Chairman Chilvers snubbed his Parish Clerk, the inoffensive and submissive Brian Hopper, and personally sought guidance from the Council’s professional advisers, the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations, (YLCA).  Chilvers did not tell his Council Vice-Chairman or other Councillors about his shady contact, apart from his political cronies, Councillor Strelczenie and his wife who had been co-opted onto the Council in a dodgy fashion that had firmly put the Clerk in his place!

The YLCA, attempting to cover their own backsides, confirmed, we “have a policy that advice for the Council will normally be given via the Proper Officer [The Parish Clerk].  However, we will give advice to a Council Chairman when the Clerk is unavailable and we have been advised of this, or the query related to the employment of the Clerk.”

“The Associations have been approached by the Chairman, Councillor Chilvers, about the  ......[problem] ...... currently being experienced by the Parish Council.  We have now had opportunity to look over the constitution of the Hagg Lane Conservation Society .......

[Who do you think sent the Conservation Group’s Constitution to the YLCA? (1) Denis Hails, the Conservation Group’s Secretary/Treasurer.  (2) Chairman R Chilvers, (3) the Parish Clerk.  Hint – probably not (1) or (3)].

The YLCA Deputy Head Honcho went on, “I can confirm that the Associations were contacted by the Council Chairman by telephone on numerous occasions and discussed issues raised by him.  This resulted in ... the meeting on 8 September 2008.” [That let the cat out of the bag! MEETING? WHAT MEETING?]

On 8 September 2008, the Deputy Chief Officer of the YLCA sneaked into the village for a clandestine meeting about the Hagg Lane Green Group in the private home of the Councillors Strelczenie with Chairman Chilvers, the Strelczenies and Parish Clerk Hopper, who really should have known better.

“In consenting to [The Hagg Lane Green Group] being formed and agreeing to its remit, the Parish Council has effectively handed over management of the Hagg Lane Ponds to the [Group]” said the YLCA on 23 November 2008.

We (YLCA) “are aware that the [Group] has also been referred to as a sub-committee of the Parish Council [by Chilvers], but again, this is unfortunately incorrect. Hagg Lane Green Group is now “an autonomous body separate from the Council.”  


McCann, Senior and their Hagg Lane Green Group cronies had changed the Conservation Group’s Constitution.  They had taken out the part that bound the Group to the Parish Council.  The Hagg Lane Green Group was no longer a part of Hemingbrough Parish Council, no longer a partner of the Parish Council.  They had in effect given the finger to Chilvers – that obscene hand gesture also called the middle finger wave that conveys extreme contempt and roughly equates to "go f*** yourself” or "shove it up your a***".


Imagine the effect on Hemingbrough Parish Council meetings and the local charity meant to benefit the ‘Parish Poor Folk’.  The elected Councillors McCann and Senior and their Hagg Lane Cronies would be sitting down with Chilvers and his cronies to discuss matters supposedly of benefit to residents with one side gloating about their treacherous takeover and the other smarting over the injustice.  


Chilvers all along had believed and referred to the Conservation Group as a Parish Council (Sub?) Committee over which the Council had control “THE PARISH COUNCIL SHALL HAVE THE ABSOLUTE POWER TO REQUIRE THE ASSOCIATION TO BE DISSOLVED SUCH POWER TO BE EXERCISED AT THE ENTIRE DISCRETION OF THE PARISH COUNCIL AND TO TAKE EFFECT NOTWITHSTANDING THE DISAGREEMENT OR OPPOSITION OF THE ASSOCIATION OR ITS MEMBERS.”

The YLCA advice must have been a shock for Parish Chairman Chilvers; McCann and Senior, as they have so often boasted in recent times, had screwed him and taken away his pet project. 

Chilvers’ humiliation would extend far beyond the loss of his project, as we will see in the next episode. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

From the Bear Garden Blog Archives (2)

Extract from
'The Unapproved, Very Unwelcome ‘Official’ History of Hemingbrough Parish Council - 2007 – 2011.' 
(Not ‘Official’ as in ‘Endorsed’, but ‘Official’ as in ‘Extracts from the Parish Paperwork and notes’.) 

“I think the phrase rhymes with Clucking Bell” said Blackadder to his underscrogsman Baldrick.

Hemingbrough Parish Council should resemble a meeting of eleven residents of equal status, competently chaired by one of their own, concerned with the best interests of all the village residents and guided and controlled by a firm but fair Parish Clerk who works for the residents, not the Chairman or a clique.

The Council’s ‘Standing Orders’ were of no help, because when I asked for a copy, and was fobbed off, I assertively claimed a copy and found they were dated 16 September 1976 – they were 32 years old. I thought the Chairman, Vice-chairperson and Clerk should be ashamed of themselves, which was a polite, understated way of expressing my thoughts in public.


Parish Council discussions revealed what those self-obsessed Councillors thought of Hemingbrough. 

It’s a dormitory village with too many Incomers who leave early every morning.  It is difficult to get people involved in anything in the village.  Hemingbrough has over-stretched roads, electricity, sewerage, schools, parking, etc..  Incomers have filled up the School!  ‘Local’ children living at the top end of the village have to go to Cliffe and Selby.  There should be no more Incomers until action is taken.  Estate Agents make it worse by advertising Hemingbrough as a place with excellent schools and promoting it as a place of hope and expectations.

The Parish Clerk lamented “Unfortunately, this village has a history of lack of cohesion.  The long-standing residents are getting too old for any task while most Incomers do not seem to expect to stay long in the village to put down any roots or become involved, except for the school, for self-interest if they have children of school age.”  

The Clerk explained “There has never been a village-wide survey of residents’ thoughts and wishes done in my time as Clerk, over 6 years now, nor to my knowledge, during the previous Clerk’s term in office, another seven years.  (Who cares what Incomers think?)

The proletarian Labour Party Gang felt threatened by Incomers, after all, Incomers owned the Convenience Shop, the Post Office and the Take-away, sat on the Parochial Church Council, held voluntary Office at the village Church and Chapel, made up a third of congregation at St. Mary’s Church, organised dinners and parties in the village, drove new cars and lived in nice, new houses down Landing Lane and at Orchard End, near the old, well-hidden Sewerage Works which became the focus of another village war, this time between the Labour Party Gang and the Incomers.  

Observation of Parish Council meetings revealed that Councillors had no time to discuss what they wanted for the future; they didn’t have a clue about priorities or a written plan to generate enthusiasm. They spent hours going over the same old ground, repeating arguments ‘ad nauseum’ and fighting and voting on everything.  The Planning Application session was a free-for-all with one copy of the plans being passed from Councillor to Councillor.  The women of the Council vegetable patch only came alive when then poked their noses into what their neighbours were doing.

Unfortunately, Selby Council had the same view of Hemingbrough Parish Council, for example, after receiving Bear Garden Councillors’ comments about a planning application: “It is considered that no evidence has been forwarded to support the assertions made.  Having had regard to the responses of consultees it is considered, on balance, that little weight should be afforded these issues.” ‘Wasting everyone’s time’ in other words.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Toxic Treachery (4)

Screwed and peed off!

Maybe Parish Council Chairman R. Chilvers sensed the attitude of Councillor Ken McCann and his Hagg Lane Green/Parish Council colleagues, Senior, Harrison and Pickering, towards him around Christmas 2007, “Roland 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, I think he wanted to be remembered for his work on Hagg Lane and unfortunately the majority of the group thought he was a waste of space.”

Maybe that’s why the retaliation at the Parish Council started early in 2008.  The January Council lasted until 10:40pm.  The sanitised Parish Council Minutes show McCann having a dig at the local charity of which Councillor R. Chilvers was the Chairman and Councillor C. Chilvers (son) was the long term tenant of that charity’s only asset, agricultural land; “Cllr McCann raised the issue of (the Parish Council) appearing to treat this local charity more favourably than other local organisations by deciding their level of donation (from the public purse) before the rest.”  The Hagg Lane Green Project wasn’t discussed due to “time constraints”.

‘Toxic Treachery (3) reminds us of Strelczenie’s ‘Lawnmower’ skirmish in February and the start of the ‘Colepark Cottage Newts’ retaliation in March.  Councillor McCann was the first to set the tone for the bad tempered March Council by asking and having it minuted that he “also asked if anyone else, other than Cllr Bilton, had an interest to declare, in this issue.”  That was McCann’s way of challenging another Councillor by insinuation (and everybody knew at whom he was having a dig), as each Councillor must decide if they have a declarable interest.

The sanitised Minutes “07/263 Colepark Cottage – issue of Pond and Newts” illustrate life in a Yorkshire Village and the egos of tin-pot, grudge-bearing Councillors.

McCann lives close to the cottage that the former owner had sold to a developer and a planning application was being hampered by the allegation of protected Great Crested Newts in the cottage pond.

The former owner had demanded the Parish Council tell the District Council the ‘agreed’ facts about there being newts in the cottage pond. (There weren’t any!)

The Clerk had drafted two letters - to the District Council and the owner – which were approved by Council although McCann was peed off because the “other Councillors” (???) in his opinion should have had copies “of the letters” that “contained references which related personally“to him.

The Police had visited him “regarding the suggested of great crested newts to the (cottage) pond, having been reported due to the suspicion of the former owners of the property.”

“McCann was also very dismayed to read in the letter the Clerk had given him that another Councillor had implied to the letter writer’s wife that McCann had led the Parish Council to understand that there “could be protected species in the pond at Colepark Cottage.

(The suggestion was it was Hagg Lane Green Newts that had made the trip across the Hull Road and through the village and by reference to old charts and village maps the Council understood that the newt’s reproductive capacity would have been severely impaired by such a journey so if they were breeding behind the cottage they must have been transported by bucket!) (I will never forget the scene of aged Councillors poring over the maps while muttering about newts' gonads.)

 McCann was still peed off because the Clerk flatly denied that McCann had ever said he had seen newts in the cottage pond. The Chairman, the aggrieved Roland Chilvers, admitted he had spoken to the cottage owner when asked about the (Council’s position on the) possibility of great crested newts being in the cottage pond, he said that “there could be.”  

McCann was even more peed off “as he felt the Chairman was undermining his position by misleading (the cottage owner) into believing he had led the Council into a course of action for his own ends as he lived behind the planned development.”

At this stage, the Council’s Vicechairman temporarily took over the Chair, possibly while the Chairman enjoyed the retaliation. (This Council ended at 11.15pm).

In April, after a month of festering emotions, the Council kicked off in an even more peed off atmosphere as Councillor McCann had handed a prepared statement to the Clerk, Chairman and Vice Chairman about the possibility of copulating creatures in the cottage pond wanting the Chairman to stand down with the Vice Chairman taking over to resolve the issue.   McCann proposed this motion, supported by the Hagg Lane Green Gang, but they lost so McCann felt “he had no choice to withdraw from proceedings though he stayed in the room for the rest of the meeting.”   

Eventually, matters were resolved; the Standards Board for England said McCann had no case to answer, the Police found no case to answer, the Council swept more details under the carpet when they were recorded as having handed over the Council to the Vice Chairman without a motion, and then went into private session, then some Councillors wanted an independent investigation, but they were out-voted, the Chairman admitted he had been approached by the Police and the cottage owner “which, perhaps, had caught him off guard” about the newts mirage.  


During this entire furore, McCann, Senior, Harrison and Pickering, the Councillors on the Council’s Hagg Lane Green Conservation Committee were plotting their retaliation now that they had got rid of Chilvers. 

They had turned their attention to Clause 12(c) of the Committee’s ‘Constitution’ - 


THE PARISH COUNCIL SHALL HAVE THE ABSOLUTE POWER TO REQUIRE THE ASSOCIATION TO BE DISSOLVED SUCH POWER TO BE EXERCISED AT THE ENTIRE DISCRETION OF THE PARISH COUNCIL AND TO TAKE EFFECT NOTWITHSTANDING THE DISAGREEMENT OR OPPOSITION OF THE ASSOCIATION OR ITS MEMBERS. 

Is this one of the Issues being concealed by the current Parish Clerk’s refusal to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act? 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

From the Bear Garden Blog Archives (1)

Extract from 
'The Unapproved, Very Unwelcome ‘Official’ History of Hemingbrough Parish Council - 2007 – 2011.' 
(Not ‘Official’ as in ‘Endorsed’, but ‘Official’ as in ‘Extracts from the Parish Paperwork and notes’.)   

Hemingbrough residents had their opinions about the Parish Council confirmed by Selby District Council’s Senior Solicitor.  Miss Caroline Fleming inadvertently gave details of the Hemingbrough Parish Councillors’ (11 Councillors and the Clerk) Self-assessment Survey devised for their training course on Parish Council Laws, the Members ‘Code of Conduct’ and Standards.  She hadn’t intended to do so, but the data she provided were easily converted into the following statistics.

Eight of the twelve participants thought the public could expect reprisals if they challenged Parish Council decisions

Ten Members expected reprisals themselves if they challenged Parish Council ‘7 votes to 4 votes resolutions’ – in other words, the Labour Party Gang’s seven Members led by Strelczenie and Chilvers versus the ‘others’.  Presumably the other two Members were the ones responsible for the reprisals (guess who?).  Presumably the ten Members included the four independent Councillors, and the Labour Party Vegetables who had to toe the Party line!

Six Members felt they could rarely or never carry out their roles without being harassed, bullied or intimidated.  Not a single Member felt they could trust each other!  Only one Member thought that confidences would be kept by their fellow councillors.  After the training, only half of them felt they could now trust each other, SOMETIMES!
Seven of them were fairly or very unclear about the difference between personal and prejudicial interests.  Five of them said they did not know they had to leave the meeting room if they had a prejudicial interest in an item of business!  In other words, about half the Council thought that if they had a financial or close family interest for example in the subject to be debated, it was acceptable for them to stay in the meeting, listen to the discussions and watch or glare at those who voted against them with the ever present threat of harassment, bullying or intimidation.   

Imagine the state of mind of Councillors who would write to the Archbishop of York and the Diocesan Secretary to complain about a member of the public who commented on their untruthful, bullying ways.  

Imagine an aged Councillor threatening to fight another Councillor outside the meeting room.  Of course, the Councillor being threatened was smaller than the portly, septuagenarian oppressor but he would have defended himself robustly.  

Imagine a Councillor’s family hammering drunkenly on a resident’s door late at night and not spotting the CCTV cameras.  

Imagine an anonymous, scurrilous Blog with detailed briefings from an anonymous Councillor.  Imagine the Council leadership asking Cllr Bygrave to go to the village Post Office to find out what a resident had been doing in there, what he was talking about with another Parish Councillor and what was he carrying in a yellow folder.  And she went!

The Council Leadership never had the courage or moral fibre to complain directly to members of the public, presumably because they had the evidence and witnesses.  One of Council Chairmen was in trouble for the disrespectful treatment of a lone, female resident when she wanted to ask the Parish Council a question!

Such was life in the Yorkshire village of Hemingbrough in 2010.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Toxic Treachery (3)


As Parish Councillor Ken McCann and his Parish Councillor friends who still make up half of the Hagg Lane Conservation Group Steering Group describe events with self-satisfied pride, especially when alcohol has been flowing for a while, ‘Once we had got rid of Chilvers, we changed the (Group’s) Constitution to keep him and his mates out of the (Conservation) Group and even if the Parish Council voted one of them on to the Group, we don’t have to accept them, or take any notice of them’. 

This is an extraordinary claim and needs examining in the official Parish Council record that has weight in a court of law. To date, the Parish Clerk and Councillors have improperly withheld information requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Conservation Group had been a Hemingbrough Parish Council initiative and the Group was in reality a Parish Council Committee. On 17 May 2007, according to the official Parish Council minutes, “07/20 Hagg lane Green Conservation Project. b) The accounts had been received from the treasurer (Denis Hails) and these would be incorporated into the Parish Council’s figures, being the accountable body.

On 21 June 2007 the Parish Council minutes noted that ‘the position of the 4 councillors on the (Conservation Group’s) executive committee was also discussed as two of the candidates were the RESIDENTS’ REPRESENTATIVES on that committee.  (The experienced Clerk referred to the Group as a Parish Council Committee!) The Clerk added to the official minutes, “The (Conservation) scheme was a Parish Council initiative anyway and the finances were included within the Parish Council accounts.

In October 2007 the Conservation Group was twice referred to in the Parish Council minutes as a Committee.

At the 15 November 2007 Parish Council, according to the official Council minutes, after the snubbing of Conservation Group Committee Chairman by McCann and his cronies, the Parish Council “was closed by the Chairman to discuss the Hagg Lane Constitution.”  In other words, the Parish Councillors did not want their actions made known to the public, nor minuted.    

When the Council was re-opened “Cllr (R) Chilvers formally tendered his resignation (by letter) as Chairman of the Hagg Lane Committee.”

In the Parish Council minutes for 21 February 2008, “the Clerk pointed out that the whole (Conservation) scheme was Parish Council lead and the reason for the “arms length” Hagg Lane Green Conservation Group was formed was to gain access to external funds.  All grants received and expenditure made was included in the audited accounts of the Parish Council.

In early 2008, Parish Council Chairman R. Chilvers approached the Council’s Profession Advisers, the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations about the Hagg Lane Green Constitution. He told them the Conservation Group was a “sub-committee” of the Parish Council. 
To anyone reading the legal record, the Group was clearly a Parish Council Committee (you cannot have a Sub-Committee without having a Committee to which it reports) that suddenly (?) became an “arms length” Group to attract funding although it was led by the Parish Council and grants were included in the audited accounts of the Parish Council. 
It will be interesting to examine the submissions made by the Conservation Group when applying for Lottery funding, for example.

While Chilvers was asking the Council’s Advisers for advice and not sharing it with the Parish Council, and even sneaking the Deputy Chief Adviser into the village without telling his Vice-chairman, relations between Councillors was deteriorating, fast.

‘Baldrick’ Strelczenie got into a right paddy at the February 2008 Parish Council when “a vote on the issue (the Parish Council’s ride-on mower was being kept in a secure garage at an address close to the Hagg Lane Ponds site (the home of Conservation Group Treasurer Denis Hails) and “had been insured as an asset on the Parish Council’s (Insurance) Policy” and Strelczenie was concerned that Hails might be using it to mow the grass on his horse farm) “but a vote on the issue revealed that he was the only one who objected”.

At the March 2008 Parish Council, McCann “also reported that he had been visited by the police regarding the suggested transfer of great crested newts to the pond” to interfere with a planning application at a property near his home.  

(Who do you think set the Police on him?) 


Matters were going to get much worse when it was discovered that McCann, Senior, Pickering and Harrison acting as “Not Parish Councillors” at the Conservation Group had indeed been fiddling with the Constitution of that Parish Council Committee.