Tuesday, 13 June 2017


Having served as Secretary to the Parochial Church Council of St. Mary’s Church, Hemingbrough, and written the Profile of Hemingbrough, Barlby and Riccall for the last Parish Interregnum, I know something about writing minutes.

Parish Council minutes are the sole responsibility of the Clerk, even if she or he takes instructions from the Chairman about what to include and how to write the text.  The minutes are the Council’s Legal Record, and are acceptable when ‘agreed’ in an England Law Court.

Before the days of recording Council Meetings by the public, minutes could be 'shaded' in favour of the Clerk/Chairman, or even invented. 

I threatened the former Hemingbrough Parish Clerk with action over one set of published minutes.  The Council withdrew them from the village Notice Board (an astounding thing to do) and substituted a revised version, and that was in the days before video recording captured every move of conniving or lazy Councillors agreeing what was ‘a true record’. 
Here is a transcript of part of the May 2017 Council.  

It will be interesting on Thursday to read what the Clerk has minuted about the Chairman’s bullying refusing to allow Councillor Chilvers to put a legitimate Counter Proposal and seek a Seconder.

Click here for a 52 seconds video record posted YouTube
Chairman Strelczenie
“So, is that a proposal then, Richard?” (Councillor Drew)
Richard had proposed that we hand the Notice Board to the Church.  Has he got a Seconder?
(Councillor Forbes Davidson raises his hand to second the motion.)

OK, then.  Have we got any Counter Proposals?
(Councillor Chilvers leans forward in his seat and starts to respond to the Chairman’s question)

(Strelczenie, raising his coarse voice, addresses Councillor Chilvers)
NO! NO! We’ve got a proposal.  Don’t start talking about it when we’ve got a proposal.
You’ve read Standing Orders for t’ first time in your life! Now, USE Em!
(Chilvers attempts to respond)

Just use ‘em!
So, we’ve started -  Got a proposal -  Seconder – Can we have a show of hands for (garbled) to the Church?

Parish Clerk
Will you abstain, Roland? (Chilvers)
(Chilvers responding to the Clerk)
No. I’m going to clarify. I wanted a Counter Proposal that we give it (Notice Board) to the Church …...

Strelczenie interrupting Chilvers
To late!  To late! We’ve moved on!   

Chilvers responding to Strelczenie’s interruption
Yes, because you wouldn’t let me  …. with Counter Proposal  

Parish Clerk in quiet voice addresses Strelczenie who is furiously scribbling on his note pad
Yes. I think Roland can  … He did mention it.  Counter Proposal (whispering)

Chairman Strelczenie moved on with the Agenda and the request for a Counter Proposal was ignored by both Chairman and Parish Clerk