Friday, 29 September 2017

“Do yer mind? Excuse me! Excuse me! Could you tell him to keep his mouth shut!”

An ‘Investigator’ asking anyone at the July 2017 Hemingbrough Parish Council what happened would get many different partisan opinions about fantasist Chairman Jan Strelczenie who forgets the video and audio recordings of his behaviour.   

None of the Councillors would have the guts to say they let the Chairman slag off a couple of residents while they sat in silence.  We know who they are.  

Watch the 38-second video on YouTube. 
Click the link below.

Earlier in the evening, the Parish Clerk agreed to help with my well-known speech disability, caused by a stroke, by reading my Question for the Public Forum so Councillors and residents would understand it clearly.

The Clerk showed my written question to Strelczenie who promptly marched over to my seat in the public gallery, literally threw my written Question back at me with the statement ‘I will not allow the Clerk to read it out’.

I didn’t argue with the Chairman as he appeared to be in an agitated, pressure-cooker state.  I asked the embarrassed Clerk if she had changed her mind while Strelczenie was telling her NOT to answer as I was recording her – an untruth Strelczenie repeated three times.  The Clerk declined my offer to check my Smartphone to verify who was speaking the truth.

Ken McCann offered the view that Hemingbrough Parish Council “must be the only Council in the land” that would not help a resident with a well-known disability.  

He offered to read out my question for me. 

The Question was, “The Parish Council has a variety of powers and duties that affect Hemingbrough residents.  Community Centres, Conference Centres and Halls are all under the remit of the Parish Council.  Will Vice-chairman Bob Proctor grant the Parish Council the courtesy of a full briefing on the “Hall for Hemingbrough” proposals or plans at its August meeting, so the public meeting planned for September or thereabouts can be informed of the agreed, majority view of our elected representatives at the same time?

Strelczenie was pissed off.   

Bullying is a universally abhorred, ‘black and white’ issue

Judge for yourself the calibre of private ‘Investigators’ appointed by Selby District Council to collect evidence and ‘investigate’ bullying allegations. Almost two months have gone by since the Council's Monitoring Officer appointed them.    

Lengthy video and sound recordings, not short YouTube clips, made openly and lawfully by two Hemingbrough residents can take you the heart of the Parish Council meetings. 

You can watch and listen to who said what to whom and in what tone, who sat silently studying their papers, fingernails or ceiling without coming to the aid of a colleague, who ignored the Council’s Standing Orders about the Code of Conduct. 

We voted for these people when they uttered fine pledges to get a seat on the Council. 

There Are None So Blind
As Those Who Will Not See!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

I think it’s a Resignation issue! (3)

Who are my affiliates?  

That is of no effing concern of anyone at Selby District Council or Hemingbrough Parish Council whom we pay to ensure free, fair and untainted elections.  

Yorkshire is not some African dictatorship, although some parish councillors may act like tin-pot dictators marching up and down village roads in search of a missing Bren light machine gun!   

Why did a Selby District Council employee confer informally with the Hemingbrough Parish Clerk naming 10 Hemingbrough residents who democratically and lawfully petitioned the District Council directly for a by-election, confirming my name was not on the list, asking if the Petitioners were affiliated with me, and offering the Clerk his thanks?

The Hemingbrough Parish Clerk, Mrs. Julie Leighton-Eshelby conferred with the employee informally as follows “Not again!!  Has this petition come from Mr Markham again by any chance?”   (NO, IT DID NOT, AND IF IT DID, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NO BUSINESS OF YOURS OR YOUR FRIEND AT SELBY DISTRICT COUNCIL!) 

Leighton-Eshelby singled me out from 10 Petitioners for the June 2017 by-election.  She went beyond her official duties of implementing agreed Council decisions.  She circulated the names of Petitioners to Councillors by informal emails that may have been viewed by relatives and friends and may have fuelled the village gossip grapevine.  According to that village grapevine, the ruling Clique does not want anyone else from the Hagg Lane Green Group on the Council.  

This is what can happen for asking awkward questions or recording Council meetings.  It reminds me of the former professional Clerk saying Councillors were not smart enough to remember what lies they had already told, and the current Chairman publicly admitting he had lied, but not blatantly, when chairing a Council session.                 

I am assured Leighton-Eshelby did not circulate Petitioners’ names to all Councillors in the June 2017 by-election.        

By their actions, Leighton-Eshelby and her Selby Council friend could have damaged the integrity of the election announced on 4th September 2017.

For the record, I do not know Terence Cook, Peter Parish, Linda Moore, James Moore, Charles Rhodes, or Patricia Rhodes, all residents of Hemingbrough.  It is possible I may have said ‘Good Morning’ or some other pleasantry to any of them when walking through the village. 

I know of Keith Terry if he is the Parish Councillor I have filmed at Council meetings and have written to without reply when asking Councillors to stop Chairman Strelczenie bullying Councillor Chilvers in a ‘nasty’ way.  I have exchanged two short pleasantries with him before Council meetings.  

I spoke once to a Mr. Harrison, Market Gardener of Newhay, when we shared critical comments about the village Welcome Sign erected opposite his house some year ago.  I think he may be Peter Harrison, so I do not know a John Harrison of Hemingbrough. 

I know Roland Chilvers primarily as a Parish Councillor.  I believe his relatives own or manage the village convenience store.  I have filmed him being bullied in Parish Council meetings, while the Parish Clerk, the Council Vice-chairman (now resigned) and other Councillors did nothing to defend him despite the Council’s Standing Orders and the Councillors Code of Conduct.  I have ‘known’ Chilvers for some years, as we crossed swords to his disadvantage some years ago on Parish Council and Local Charity matters.  In recent years, Chilvers and I discovered we had mutual interests: Railway Locomotives, Photography, Family and Local History, and the National Health Service.  We consigned our earlier battles to history. 

I may recognise Marian Frank as a member of the St. Mary’s Church congregation.  I filled the post of Parochial Church Council Secretary at the request of the Vicar when he knew the Church was approaching an Interregnum and he needed my particular communication skills.  Ms. Frank was not a part of the Church Council.  I cannot recall any conversation with her.

I do not want the Petitioners tainted as affiliates of mine, when in fact they are not, or face retaliation from some elements of the Parish Council.

I have not yet identified the Selby District Council employee before a Complaint Procedure happens.  The Hemingbrough Parish Clerk’s name is available to anyone accessing the Council’s website.  Councillors, Council Employees and the public may be recorded by the public at open Council meetings.   

(To be continued … )

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Why so suddenly?

Why did Vice-chairman of the Parish Council Bob Procter resign so suddenly in July 2017 after the Parish By-election in late June without any explanation for the Council or for those who elected him and expected him to do his best in the Council for all residents? 

It’s a shame he didn’t resign in June to save the costs of another election. 

When he campaigned for a seat on the Council and accepted a Leadership role, people expected him to deliver on his pledge “Committed to working together for the Community  - to facilitate the provision of a Community Centre for all.

His partner, Liz Carstairs, campaigned for a Council seat on the vision of “would like to see a Community Centre based in the village.”  Now Carstairs has resigned from the private company “Hall for Hemingbrough”.   

I thought they meant working within the Parish Council!  You will be hard pressed to find much about a Community Centre in the Council minutes for the past two years beyond Chairman Strelczenie saying Its nowt to do with t’Council, or something similar. 

Now I hear allegations that Councillor Davidson, another private ‘Hall for Hemingbrough’ company wallah, without his Parish Council Hat on, wants the Playing Fields Association to chip in their assets.  

Apparently, he didn’t have much to tell that Committee either.  Does he mean he wants the Cricket Field, reputed to be one in the finest in the local league, and the Bowls Club, to move elsewhere freeing up the existing playing field for residential development and generating lots of money? 

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I think it’s a Resignation issue! (2)

Interfering with the electoral process. 

Compromising the integrity of the Hemingbrough Parish Election.

I would be delighted if the Hemingbrough Residents named by the Selby District Council ‘Democratic  Services Department’ Employee in an email to Parish Clerk Julie Leighton-Eshelby  were “affiliated” (allied, united, joined, or associated) with me.

If they were, they would oppose the persistent bullying of Roland Chilvers at Parish Council meetings this year.  

They would be unlike Clerk Leighton-Eshelby who sat silently while volatile Chairman Strelczenie ranted on and on in front of the public, and my video cam, about his erstwhile political ally and friend.  They would be unlike Vice-chairman Bob Procter (now resigned, with no explanation for the Council) who stared at the ceiling.  They would be unlike two Councillors who seem to revel in anything that makes Chilvers uncomfortable, even doing his duty.  They would be unlike other cowardly Councillors who ignored my request to put an end to the public, nasty bullying.

I claim local M.P. Nigel Adams is allied with me as he has condemned YouTube video clips of Hemingbrough Council as “NASTY”.

I absolutely reject the actions of the unidentified person masquerading as that contacted the Democratic Services Department Employee by email, and then forwarded a copy to me.  That cowardly person addressed the anonymous email to the Employee by name and the only place where the Employee’s name is used is in the communication between Parish Clerk Leighton-Eshelby and Councillors

Somebody will identify the author in time, just as the Snakes that authored the scurrilous, anonymous website about Parish Council proceedings were identified.
Elections are formal events, governed by rules and regulations.
The Clerk and the Selby District Council Employee need to answer questions to avoid a cover-up:

If ten Hemingbrough residents, democratically and by right, petition the District Council for a local election, what official paperwork flows between the District Council and Parish Council?

When the Clerk heard about the petition, why did she confer with the Democratic Services Department Employee by informal email as follows “Not again!!  Has this petition come from Mr Markham again by any chance?

Why did the Clerk single me out from ten residents that included two Parish Councillors who petitioned for an election in June 2017 that was welcomed by Selby District Council?

Why does the Clerk, whom we pay to implement Council decisions and give advice to Councillors, and nothing else, meddle in Parish elections?

Why did the Employee respond to the Clerk by informal email with the names of the ten Petitioners, confirmation my name was not on the list, ask if the residents were affiliated with me, and offer his thanks?  

Why did the Employee meddle in a Parish Council election when the Democratic Services Group already knew about a complaint of bullying at Hemingbrough?   

(“To Democratic Services Group
The enclosed, sealed envelope contains my “Complaint of bullying by Jan Strelczenie, Chairman, Hemingbrough Parish Council” that I was authorised to submit by Gillian Marshall on Friday 14 July 2017.  I wrote it over last weekend, as she requested.)

Who at Selby District Council is collected details of my affiliates?

What right do both Clerk and Employee have to identify if the Petitioners are affiliated with me?

Will the Clerk’s circulation of the Petitioners’ names discourage any possible Petitioners from supporting any other candidate?

Does Selby District Council always inform the Hemingbrough Clerk of the names of all Petitioners, and in what form, and at what stage of the election are their names circulated to Councillors by the Clerk?

Why does the Selby Council ‘Parish election - Nomination paper” ask for only a Candidate’s Proposer and Seconder, and not all ten petitioners?    

Did the Employee inform the Clerk of all Petitioners’ names for the June 2017 Parish Council election? 

Did the Clerk circulate the names of all Petitioners for the June 2017 election to all Councillors on unsecured email addresses, and when?            

Who is Sunshinebabe who talks about “Village Gossip” within two days of the Clerk’s email?  Who uses Mail for Windows 10? (Not too many)

Will the inappropriate communications between Clerk and Employee, and Clerk and Councillors, compromise the integrity of the Hemingbrough Parish Election? 


(To be continued …. with my response to ‘Are they my affiliates’)

Friday, 8 September 2017

I think it’s a Resignation issue!

If you are not yet plugged back into the village grapevine after the summer holidays, you may not understand the furore.

The Parish Clerk Mrs. Julie Leighton-Eshelby emailed Parish Councillors this week with 

the names of

Terence Cook,

Peter Parrish,

Keith Terry,

Linda Moore,

James Moore,

Charles Rhodes,

Patricia Rhodes,

John Harrison,

Roland Chilvers,

Marian Frank.

The Parish Clerk and a Selby District Council employee have been conferring “ ….. are the above affiliated with him?  Thanks.  By him, they mean “Me”, and that’s not just a supposition: they were foolish enough to refer to me by name.   

WTF has it got to do with either of them in their official roles?  WTF has it got to do with one faction on the Parish Council?             

The Clerk’s email means Councillors’ spouses, partners, friends, friends of friends, people who thought they were friends, but may not be now, may have seen her inappropriate correspondence.  Something caused village tongues to wag this week!  You may as well see what the Parish Clerk did.      

As the Clerk is thought to seek the Chairman’s permission for almost anything to do with the Council, the trail might lead to his door as well.  After all, he has been quizzing a member of the public who asked a question about grass cutting at a recent Council meeting – Did Markham put you up to it?  (The answer was NO!)  That was after Strelczenie suggested in Council that the respected Councillor Chilvers was taking instructions from me.

Strelczenie might be hearing voices.  After Selby District Councillors Deans and Arthur were talking in a recent formal Council session, Chairman Strelczenie accused Ken McCann and me of talking.  He also accused us of trying to blame the talking on the Selby Councillors.  We weren’t talking; we are not that stupid to give the volatile Chairman any excuse to rant about us.  

What was really stupid?  Forgetting I record every open Council meeting, openly and legally within national rules, and the Chairman is supposed to tell everyone at each meeting, and I post many clips on YouTube.  At least Councillor Arthur was honest and sensible enough to admit it had been the two of them talking.              

The next Council meeting is not until 21st September 2017.

I wonder if “sunshinebabe” will be there.     

(To be continued …. )

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Are all Hemingbrough Parish Councillors literate?

Do they think about anything but their own special interests?  They obviously don’t check the accuracy of Council minutes before waving their hands in the air to agree they are accurate.  Can’t Chairman Jan Strelczenie check his own notes, hesitantly read at Council meetings, to ensure the Parish Clerk, Mrs. Julie Leighton-Eshelby, or perhaps a surrogate, writes minutes accurately before he signs them into history? 

Perhaps this could be a conspiracy to stop the recording of the Parishioners Forum, which he hates.  

He is on the film and sound record, stored on the Cloud and sometimes broadcast on YouTube, month after month, literally, making ludicrous statements – ‘Allotments are not in the remit of the Parish Council’, or ‘last year’s Annual Parish Meeting was a short one in the Hemingbrough Village Institute with no members of the public present’.  

All completely WRONG, and approved by Councillors this year.  Who writes this guff for him to read?

Here's the latest one to the Clerk to Hemingbrough Parish Council, Mrs. Julie Leighton-Eshelby

Dear Parish Clerk,

This a formal challenge of your minutes of the 20th July 2017 Parish Council that Councillors carelessly confirmed to be a true and accurate record on 18th August 2017.  I assume you alone wrote those minutes.  Those minutes are not available on the Council’s web site nor on the Council’s Notice Board in the village at the time I am writing this letter.  I obtained a copy from a Councillor as they are deemed to be publicly available. 

You wrote Prior to the Public Forum the Chairman reiterated that the public forum is not part of the formal meeting and therefore should not be recorded in any form.

Your account that is a part of the Council’s legal record in perpetuity is wrong. 

Do you want to see how WRONG is the Clerk's minute?  Listen to Strelczenie at the Council Meeting on this YouTube video. Read the transcript below.  Whoever wrote that minute above is WRONG!. That is not just an error, that minute is Strelczenie's Council Policy to deny the public access to the heart of this disgraceful Council and see and hear what really happens, even if they cannot be there in person - as the Law allows!  Click here to hear the truth, not what Councillors said is the Truth!  

What Council Chairman Jan Strelczenie said as he called the Council meeting to order on the stroke of 7pm was “Just before we go on to Parishioner’s Forum, I’d just like to point out that I have been informed by a member of the public that people may be recording Parishioner’s Forum, filming or recording.  I’ll just read out Number 5 of Standing Orders 71 which states “A person or persons recording the Parish Council meeting are reminded that the public participation period may not be part of the formal meeting and that they should take advice for themselves as to their rights to make any recording during that period.”

I assume he meant ‘you’ when he referred to ‘a member of the public’ as you were heard telling him immediately before the meeting that two Hemingbrough residents would be recording the Council meeting.

Not only was your July 2017 minute untrue, but you failed to inform the Council of your minutes of 19th May 2016 “Consider and decide on amendment to the effective management of recording local Council and Parish Meetings” that remains the statutory and legally binding formal record of council decisions.

A Local Councils Association offers the following advice:

a public participation session, whenever it takes place in relation to the parish council meeting, would not occur unless a meeting of the council had been lawfully convened in the first place. Also, given that public participation can influence a council’s decisions, public participation sessions form part of the council meeting in law.
 public participation sessions should be ordered by the Chairman of the council as part of his/her role in presiding over the council meeting and in accordance with any standing orders adopted;
 public participation sessions should be incorporated in the minutes of the council meeting and should, where appropriate, record the identities of those who make comments during this session;
 if a councillor has an interest in the matter being discussed he or she would need to declare it and act in accordance with the Code of Conduct adopted by the council;
 public participation sessions should form part of the agenda.
I assert the Public Participation sessions at Hemingbrough Parish Council meetings are a formal part of the Agenda accompanying the Clerk’s Summons to attend to consider and resolve the business to be transacted at the meeting as detailed in the Agenda.

Your standard Agenda format begins with “Parishioners Forum: 15 Minute Session (Extendable by agreement of the Council).

The Forum is a part of the lawfully convened meeting of the Council, is chaired by the Council Chairman, is extendable at the Council’s sole discretion and is minuted by the Parish Clerk.  Accordingly, it may be recorded subject to the published guidelines about openness, intrusion, exclusion, filming of children, young people and vulnerable adults, equipment safety, lighting, reporting etc. (The transcript of my film record – openly made under national rules - will surely mirror the Council’s own recording made to aid you in writing accurate minutes.) 

I note that neither you nor Strelczenie follow the Hemingbrough Council Resolution: filming, recording and broadcasting requirements are to be displayed on the Council’s web site or notice boards and that a copy of these rules / guidance will be provided to members of the public in attendance at a meeting of the Parish Council.  Neither of you remind the public of the rules and guidance enabling any type of recording to take place, nor “Those who attend a public meeting should expect to be filmed.  This includes councillors, council officers and members of the public.

I believe your minute is so far from the truth that maybe you did write it yourself.  I also believe the minute is a part of a campaign of prolonged bullying of a Parish Councillor and any resident who asks ‘awkward’ questions.    

I require the Council to correct its error at its next meeting, and to place the truth on record.  I intend to inform the relevant authorities of this incident.

I note you did not minute the disturbance later in the same meeting when Strelczenie falsely accused two Hemingbrough Residents, Markham and McCann again, of talking loudly during the formal Council meeting and accusing them of trying to blame the visiting Selby District Councillors Deans and Arthur.  In fact, it was those two Councillors who were talking to each other at the back of the meeting rooms in tones that could be heard by Strelczenie at the far end of the meeting room, and Arthur has admitted it was them.  

Surely, such an incident is worthy of note, especially as Strelczenie referred to it from the safety of his “Chairman’s  Remarks” section of the August 2017 meeting, when the two residents concerned did not have any right to reply to his scurrilous remarks.

By the way, the Council’s web site link to the Interests of Councillors is broken, yet again. 

Friday, 25 August 2017

Fools, Horses and Peasants

Fishy Politics at Hemingbrough Parish Council

Why did experienced Parish Council Chairman Jan Strelczenie, who is experienced in YLCA matters of the correct and legal ways to conduct a Council, a leader of the Parish of Hemingbrough Historical Heritage Society (PHHHS) try to rush the transfer of the Memorial Garden into public ownership without Council due process?

Why did the Parish Council accounts for 2016/2017 include covert financing through the accrual of high reserves to pay for the transfer of the Memorial Garden to the public purse at paltry rates of bank interest without any Council Resolution or discussion of the financial and technical risks of doing so?

Why did Chairman Strelczenie vote AGAINST a Council Resolution in August 2017 that required the Council to conduct a Risk Analysis, as it is required to do, after PHHHS had made the Memorial Garden totally safe?

Why didn’t PHHHS share with Councillors the email sent on 30 June 2014 by the Senior Enforcement Officer of North Yorkshire Trading Standards, Lawrence Black, to Bob Procter, at that time an Officer of PHHHS and Parish Councillor, who would become Council Vice-chairman in May 2015, then resign suddenly from the Council without explanation, in July 2017?

Why didn’t PHHHS follow the recommendation of the Senior Enforcement Officer?

Why didn’t Council Vice-chairman Procter reveal to the Council and Public that North Yorkshire County Council had taken a charge of £3,387 against the Memorial Garden to recover the costs of filling the Petrol Tank with BritFoam if the property is sold, and had not been written off as Strelczenie claims?

Why didn’t Procter reveal the Enforcement Officer’s advice “IF THEY (three diesel tanks) ARE TO BE LEFT IN SITU COULD HAVE DEGENERATED TO THE POINT WHERE THEY MAY BE LEAKING”?

Why were all three Councillors who objected to the Strelczenie’s rushed transfer of ownership plan absent from the Tank Inspection Site Meeting of the Council or PHHHS? (It’s not certain whether it was a Council or PHHHS Inspection)? 

Why did Clerk Leighton-Eshelby, Chairman Strelczenie or Vice-chairman Procter not prepare an announcement of the Inspection for all Councillors at their Meeting the night before it?  

Why were those three Councillors, Chilvers, Terry and Harrison, kept away?

Why didn’t the experienced Clerk, Mrs. Julie Leighton-Eshelby, who clerks for a number of Councils, advise the Council that the Chairman should NOT vote on a Resolution in which he was wearing two hats, Council and PHHHS, when even experienced Council Watchers in the Public Gallery knew better BEFORE the vote?

Was this a conspiracy to delay the tied vote until the September Council?  Strelczenie could have a majority then to defeat the ‘Chilvers’ proposed Resolution that would be against  the PHHHS interests, but very much in the interests of Hemingbrough residents.  Ex-Chairman Drew will have returned with his ‘anti-Chilvers’ voting history, and Bob Procter’s (now resigned) Partner, Councillor Liz Carstairs may have returned to the Council after she missed the August Council without her apologies recorded by the Clerk?         

Why didn’t the Clerk Leighton-Eshelby tell Councillor Stebbings, a PHHHS Member, (one of only three remaining Members, I think, that defies the PHHHS Constitution and appears to be like Rats having left the sinking ship) shouldn’t vote on the same Resolution?

Why did Clerk Leighton-Eshelby only make public her concerns AFTER the Vote had taken place and Chairman Strelczenie had used his second vote to break a tie?

Why did the Fools, Horses and Peasants on Hemingbrough Parish Council not know enough about legal Council voting procedures?  WHY DID SOME VOTE WITH THE CHAIRMAN? Don't they know about Councils rules, or don't they care?

Something smells very fishy in Hemingbrough, and it’s not leaking diesel fuel!

Personally, I don’t trust this Council to abide by the rules or tell the truth.  If this was a backstreet Club, they could do what they want, but this is the first tier of Government in England.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Let me be quite clear.

During an amicable conversation, the Clerk and I assured one another that there were no personal difficulties between the two of us.

Her problem is the fantasist Chairman.

Strelczenie arrived last night in a foul mood.  His first words to the Parish Clerk were “He’s recording you!”  He lives in a fantasy world. The Clerk didn’t need to check my phone to confirm he was imagining things again!  She knew I wasn't recording her.  

Strelczenie appears to be paranoid about being recorded.  Perhaps he hasn't forgotten the ten residents who reported him to Selby District Council when he admitted, as Chairman, he had lied to residents about a number of issues at the time of the Sewerage Works Planning Application. I must dig up the archives.         

The Clerk was willing to help me overcome my speech disability so my ‘voice’ would be heard and understood by the Council.  She was concerned my request for her to read aloud my statement in the Council’s ‘Parishioners Forum: 15 Minute Session (Extendable by agreement of the Council)’ “put her in a difficult position” in relation to the Chairman.  It is the bullying Chairman who puts her in a difficult position. 

She agreed to help when I said Hemingbrough Parish Council might become the first Council in Britain to become known for its continued unwillingness to help a resident with a well-known disability.

For the second month running, Strelczenie would not let the supposedly independent Clerk read out my statement.

Ken McCann stepped up and offered to read it for me. He’s not afraid of the Chairman.

Hemingbrough Parish Council is the first tier of Government in England.   Its record in 2017 has not been a good one.

Our Westminster MP Nigel Adams has viewed links to YouTube videos featuring bullying tactics at Hemingbrough, and regards what he has seen as “Nasty”,

The Council’s accounts for 2016-2017 have been challenged over a seven-year rolling contract with its largest contractor, and for building financial reserves “for the acquisition of Memorial Garden and ongoing maintenance costs” without a Council Resolution to do so,

A Council ‘Risk Management’ regime did not underpin a Resolution to transfer assets and financial risks of a private group to the Public Purse,

Councillors never identified the local archive of plans and specifications needed for a Risk Management assessment of the potentially costly transfer of assets from a private group,

The Clerk’s willing agreement to ensure my well-known speech disability did not stop my voice being heard by Councillors and the public at the Parishioners’ Forum in July 2017 was countermanded by the Chairman,   

Two residents were falsely accused in public of interrupting Council proceedings in July 2017 and trying to lay the blame on two Selby District Councillors,

And the Selby District Council Monitoring Officer, following initial assessment, has appointed ‘CH&I Associates’ to conduct an independent investigation of a complaint about conduct at Hemingbrough.

Hemingbrough Residents deserve better!

No wonder Strelczenie didn’t want residents to hear the dreadful state of our Parish Council under his bullying, so-called leadership.

The evening went downhill from there’ believe it, or not.  (To be continued) 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


Our Lazy Parish Councillors woke up yesterday morning to find this in their email. 

15 August 2017
To Hemingbrough Parish Council and the Clerk to the Council


Would you buy a Pig in a Poke?

“An item sold without the buyer knowing its true nature or value,
particularly when buying without inspecting the item beforehand.”

Would you buy a Pig in a Poke for one pound?  Would you be suspicious of a parcel of land for a quid?  A private Company is entitled to buy as many such Pigs as it chooses, at its own risk.  Hemingbrough Parish Council, the first tier of Government in England, is NOT entitled to buy any such Pigs.

The private “Parish of Hemingbrough Historical / Heritage Society” (PHHHS) may have bought a very large Pig! 

Eddie Kinsella, Chairman; Les Stebbings, Vice Chair; Susan Strelczenie, Secretary; Bob Procter, Fund Raising Officer; Mr J. Frank, Project Manager; and Indistinct Signature,’ Treasurer updated a PHHHS Constitution with their signatures on 18 June 2014.  Those active PHHHS project managers had Roland Chilvers as their Archivist to record what they did.  Shortly afterwards, Jan Strelczenie replaced the ‘Indistinct Signature’ as Treasurer.

The active PHHHS managers of Kinsella, Stebbings, Procter and Jan Strelczenie were either Hemingbrough Parish Councillors or would become Parish Councillors after the 2015 parish elections.  Susan Strelczenie, wife or partner of Jan, had been a Hemingbrough Parish Councillor until she lost her Council seat when the close relationships between Councillors became a local issue, especially as her husband/partner had voted for her in a co-option, despite professional advice for him not to do so.

Having bought their Pig for virtually nothing, the PHHHS allegedly took short cuts in turning it into the Memorial Garden, which all agree, is a better sight than the derelict Service Station that stood at the main village entrance.  PHHHS did not fill in three old, underground diesel fuel tanks.  Now, the PHHHS folly has been exposed, the massive tanks need to be drained, any contaminated fuel transported and safely disposed of, and the tanks filled with concrete slurry towards the end of the 2017 – a significant expense.  PHHHS failed to win a grant to cover the expense. 

The “Good Councillor’s Guide, essential guidance for local councillors” a Government publication, is standard reading for professional Parish Clerks and elected Councillors.  It says Councils cannot buy Pigs in a Poke, and Councillors must safeguard public money.  It is specific about “risk management and possible disaster.”  

The rules set by Government[i] are designed to make sure that the council takes no unacceptable risks with public money.  The words risk management should be engraved upon every councillor’s mind. The good news is that the rules protect you and your council from possible disaster. Your council should establish a risk management scheme which highlights every known significant risk in terms of the council’s activities and makes clear how such risks will be managed.” 

Hemingbrough Parish Council Chairman Strelczenie, in his official role, or as the former or maybe even current PHHHS Treasurer and project driver, it’s not clear which, - spoke from the Council Chairman’s seat, but sounded like a PHHHS Officer – to inform Councillors and the Public that PHHHS bought the land on which the derelict Service Station stood without documentation.  At least, that is what the official Council minutes say.

PHHHS was legally entitled to risk the money it raised by donations from residents and organisations.  It was their risk.

At their April 2017 Parish Council, Councillors faced an unusual piece of ‘correspondence’, as it was called on the Council Agenda, allegedly sneaking a major issue on to the Council Agenda in a  distinctly unusual way.

PHHHS, with Council Chairman Jan Strelcenie without his Council hat on, and Susan Strelczenie allegedly at the helm, proposed the transfer of the Memorial Garden to public ownership.  Allegedly, PHHHS offered no plans, drawings or detailed specifications.  PHHHS wanted rid of the Pig in a Poke land on which stands the Memorial Garden with its potentially high rectification costs.

In other words, PHHHS wanted to foist on to local residents the Pig in a Poke land without official, technical documentation, and without an official, Parish Council inspection beforehand.  From the ensuing Council actions, PHHHS, and Jan Strelczenie, expected the Parish Council to take over the land, the Memorial Garden and the associated costs without its own risk assessment or inspection.     Classically, this was a Pig in a Poke offer, despite the Good Councillor’s Guide and Standing Orders.       

Two Councillors, Forbes Davidson, the person who let Council Vice-chairman  Bob Procter’s[ii] private ‘Hall for Hemingbrough Project” details out of the bag recently at a bowls event, was the proposer of a Motion to take ‘the offer’.  John Sedman, who rarely speaks at any Council Meeting, about anything, ever, seconded the Davidson Motion.  The Clerk to the Council. Mrs. Leighton-Eshelby, allegedly gave no advice to Councillors, as often happens when the Chairman wants something.  Councillors must answer the allegation that they acted in defiance of the Council’s Standing Orders, the Good Councillor’s Guide, and common sense.      

Only Davidson, Sedman, J. Strelczenie and Parish Clerk know why they acted as they did.  Experienced Councillors, like Councillor Chilvers, believe the Council voted in principle to take over the Memorial Garden only when an independent Risk Assessment said it was safe and cost effective to do so.  No sensible Councillor would have done otherwise.   

Chilvers tried to warn you all of the folly of the Council accepting a Pig in a Poke without a formal risk assessment.  Chilvers told you technical plans and drawings must exist for a Service Station storing inflammable fuels.  He told you the Council should pass a Motion to locate them. 

Instead, you lazy, disinterested Councillors watched him bullied, month after month, by the Chairman, and did nothing to protect him.  Not one of you, Councillors or Clerk, could be bothered to locate the drawings and plans and report to the Council.    

Having listened to Councillor Chilvers from the Public Gallery, I took him at his word.  I resolved to find those plans and drawings.  I wanted to ensure the Council did not take over the potentially costly Pig in a Poke land without a Council risk assessment, from by a private group, PHHHS, that has insider help on the Parish Council.  I wanted to expose your disdain for the residents you allegedly serve.

I was shocked to discover the Parish Clerk admitted in the formal accounts for 2016/2017 that the Council had been building up financial reserves to take over the land and Memorial Gardens.  There was no Council mandate.  Councillors did not know! What significant costs were anticipated?  Only the Chairman and Clerk seemed to know that fact until I objected to the apparent deception in the official accounts!    

With one email and two telephone calls, with very little effort, in other words, I sat in front of the Selby District Council’s microfiche equipment reading and filming the full planning application, technical arguments, plans and drawings of the Service Station and the location of the fuel tanks.

I suggest you get the Clerk to do the same and include those plans in an independent Council risk assessment.  I suggest you publicly apologise to Councillor Chilvers, who was trying to do his Council duty, while you watched the bullying to keep him quiet, and you voted to exclude him from a meeting.  Shame on you.   

It is all on videotape.  By your actions, or lack of them, I think most of you should get off the Council and let Hemingbrough start again.    

I also suggest a Freedom of Information request to learn from the Selby Council microfiche record who accessed the same planning file in the past five years and may have been lying to the Council!

[i] The Good Councillor’s Guide
[ii] Bob Procter resigned from the Parish Council in July 2017, without any explanation.