Cost of Years of Neglect.


News reaches me that part of Anston Parish Hall is suffering from structural defects. It seems the annexe part of the hall, including the toilets, which is used by the Pre School and other users is falling away from the main hall. Closer inspection revealed the annexe was built without being tied into the main structure and the current problem is suspected to be a broken drain which has soaked the ground and caused the annexe to tilt away from the hall.

Other problems include the roof of the annexe which during the last 12/15 years has suffered from ‘repair’ work by Billy the Bodger and is leaking. I understand a structural survey of the annexe has been carried out by a professionally qualified local surveyor and his report is being considered urgently by APC councillors.

This problem has not arisen overnight. The previous administration knew the annexe was not securely fixed to the main building and as long ago as 2010/2011 a gap appeared at the top of the annexe wall where it joins the hall and has since got progressively worse. From about 2011 amateurs were given the go ahead to supposedly repair the annexe roof and it seems all they did was to put patch upon patch. How much of our money was wasted employing these cowboys?

Plans were drawn up some years ago-at great expense-for a new Parish/Community hall and then shelved. Why is anyone’s guess.

Anston Parish Councillors have the unenviable job of funding and rectifying years of neglect. Not all of the parish council reserves can be used to pay for the new hall.

The Council is required, under statue, to maintain adequate financial reserves in order to meet the needs of the organisation. Section 50 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 requires that billing and precepting authorities in England and Wales have regard to the level of reserves needed to meet estimated future expenditure when calculating the budget requirement.
The Council’s policy on the establishment, maintenance and adequacy of reserves and balances will be considered annually.
The Council will hold reserves for these three main purposes:  A working balance to help cushion the impact of uneven cash flows and avoid unnecessary temporary borrowing – this forms part of the general reserves;  A contingency to cushion the impact of unexpected events or emergencies – this also forms parts of general reserves;  A means of building up funds, often referred to as earmarked reserves, to meet known or predicted requirements; earmarked reserves are accounted for separately but remain legally part of the general fund.
2. General Fund balance
The general fund balance, commonly termed the ‘working balance’, is a balance on the council’s revenue account which is not held for any specific purpose other than to cushion the council’s finances against any unexpected short term problems in the councils cash flow.
The general fund balance is to be maintained at a level based upon a risk assessment carried out annually by the Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) when setting the budget for the forthcoming year. Any surplus on the reserve above the required balance may be used to fund capital expenditure, be appropriated to earmarked reserves or used to limit any increase in the precept.

The impact of unexpected events or emergencies‘. Nobody expected the parish council to have to find the money to repair the annexe at the time when plans are being considered and debated to secure extra external funding to build a bigger and better parish/community hall for everyone’s benefit.

 

 

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Rotherham’s 3 Labour MP’s each awarded £54,000


Rotherham’s three Labour MPs have each won £54,000 High Court libel damages from UKIP MEP Jane Collins over remarks she made about the town’s child abuse scandal.

She has been ordered to pay £162,000 in damages to Rotherham’s three MP’s after her comments were adjudged to be libellous. She claimed in a 2014 conference speech that the MP’s knew about child exploitation in the town but did nothing to intervene and failed in a court bid to prove she was entitled to MEPs’ immunity.

Ms Collins, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, also faces a £196,000 costs bill after the long-running litigation came to an end at London’s High Court.

An interim payment of £120,000 costs plus the damages are to be paid within 21 days, said Mr Justice Warby on Monday.

 

Barry Sheerman, who chaired the Commons Children, Schools and Families Committee – now the Education Select Committee – between 2007 and 2010, said he felt “guilty” about the Rotherham abuse scandal.
The Labour MP for Huddersfield said MP’s were aware vulnerable children were being sexually exploited “up and down the country”. He said: “We knew about that, we didn’t do enough about it. Members of this House, many of us, knew what was going on.”

The Times reported disgraced former Rotherham MP Denis McShane as having said: “I, like so many MPs, preferred to keep silent on some of the dirty secrets about bad practices in the Kashmiri Muslim community”, a community that supplies “vast resevoirs” of votes at election time. He admitted his political leanings stopped him from addressing the problem.

 

A constituent asked whether John Healey, MP for the area since 1997 (also believed to be the year the abuses of the 1,400 girls in Rotherham began), would “call for an investigation of all parties at fault”, meaning local child protection agencies and police as well as the perpetrators. Healey replied” “I am not sure an inquiry would help the girls and their families, especially if it focuses solely on Rotherham and on Asian men grooming white girls”.

Sir Kevin Barron said at the time the scandal broke “The scale of this brutality and violence acted out on our young people in the Rotherham borough has shocked me.
“In the past 16 years I have only been approached by one family and their daughter who was an abused victim and asked for help. “I acted promptly and had meetings with the Rotherham police about the family’s concerns in relation to the apparent lack of investigation and conviction”.
http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/news/view,sir-kevin-barron-criticises-police-over-child-grooming_8900.htm

(Only one case reported to him which is different to how many cases was he aware of?)

Sir Kevin added: “It now appears that this case was not a relatively rare one as I had thought and that the abuse by her attackers and subsequent failure of response by the very agencies whose role it was to protect her was a widespread situation and just the tip of the iceberg in terms of child sexual exploitation.”

“The issue of child sex abuse in Rotherham first came to light in November 2010 when five men from the town’s Asian community were jailed for sexual offences against underage girls.
But suspicions were already growing that the scale of the town’s problem was far more widespread”.

 

It has been suggested the 3 MP’s should donate their monetary awards to charities otherwise it will appear unethical they are profiting from the vile abuse of young children.

Which they claim they know nothing about.

 

Further reading:
Judgement in full: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/barron-v-collins-2017-ewhc-162-qb.pdf

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-38884762
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Council Tax to Increase by 4.99%


Finance bosses will raise council tax by nearly five per cent – and borrow £10 million from reserves – to balance next year’s budget.

Rotherham Borough Council is set to increase the levy by 4.99 per cent – just below the five per cent threshold for a local referendum. The increase includes three per cent which is ring-fenced for adult social care and follows a 3.95 per cent total hike last year.

This will generate a total of £95 million in council tax for RMBC for 2017/18 – equivalent to 46 per cent of the revenue budget. And it will mean band D properties paying £1,394 for the council’s services next year compared to £1277.42 for the previous year. An increase of £166.57 pa or   £2.24 per week.

Most homes in Anston are in Council Tax Band ‘B’ currently paying £1277.14 per year. The increase means these homeowners will pay an extra £63.73 per year-equivalent to £1.22 per week.

RMBC’s reserves stood at £99.7 million at the start of the current financial year last April. Before Christmas, bosses proposed taking £5.2 million to help with budget pressures over the next two years. Now they are suggesting taking a further £5.3 million – mostly to help with children’s services.

The Chief finance manager-Peter Hudson-said: “The council currently has a healthy balance of reserves to mitigate overall budget risk in the short term and to support the budget in the medium term. The proposals include replenishing reserves that are being used and hence support a sustainable financial plan. In essence, the strategy is to use some reserves earlier than was previously planned and to replenish them later.”

The plans also include a repayment back into the pot of £3 million a year from 2018/19.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said local authorities would be permitted to increase council tax by up to 6% over two years, ringfenced for social care, with a maximum of 3% each year. He added “We’ve also just announced an extra £900m for social care, meaning they will have a total of £7.6bn to spend over four years.

Council tax accounts for only about half of local authority income – the rest coming from central grants and business rates.

 

Further reading:  http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/homepage/148/find_a_council_tax_band?terms=S25&page_nr=16
https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/8811
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Brainwashing Children.


Just what have we turned our children into?
We have a generation of children so confused that their mental health is affected. Some are so confused they don’t know what gender they are supposed to be?
Others are having mental health problems at a very early stages in their lives.

We have allowed the discipline, and control of our children to be taken over by so called “experts” .
The end result has been our children are totally confused with twisted, perverted propaganda from sources who should know better.
This is a problem that anybody with a brain cell could forsee many years ago.
Education of our young has been on par with the training the Hitler youth were subjected to; constant mind altering information. Left wing Liberal ideology is and has been used as a tool to distort children’s minds.

The media (mainly TV) has also been instrumental in twisting these young minds.
TV programmers push the boundaries of decency with some programmes that would not be out of place on adult channels.
I doubt the mentality and the morality of the scriptwriters agenda.
A scan of the type of gutter programmes can be seen every day, even before the “watershed” set up to protect our children shows just how far these scum are prepared to go.
These gutter programmes must be a Godsend to the perverts, and paedophiles in our midst?

Television programmes that seem obsessed with lesbianism and homosexual promiscuousness, never seeming to portray the risks associated with this practice.
Soaps are rife with homosexuals and lesbians. Emmerdale and Coronation Street seem to be obsessed with homosexuality with up to ten homosexuals in their storylines.
It leaves me wondering just how far they will push the boundaries of decency for “ratings”?
Will they (before the watershed) show two of the actors having sex and claim they are “showing real life” as an excuse for their perverted sense of ‘reality?

Woman and girls storylines involve multiple sexual partners.
The slightest reason and they jump into bed with no warnings of communicable diseases or the emotional backlash this type of behaviour brings.
All before the “so called” watershed!
Our failing education system has taken away religion in schools which in the past gave the young some guidelines and morals, to be replaced with “rights” of young people too early to be responsibly used.
With the onset of “Health and Safety” rules and the removal of firm discipline along with little or no training to prepare them for their future, schooling from an early age has been a disaster for them, and it could be argued this is why the numbers of confused children has risen substantially.

We have a generation that includes many who are rudderless, isolated and lonely, drifting without any moral anchor or structure to their lives. The values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, to ensure that children first grow up with a proper understanding of right and wrong through a study of morals and ethics.

As a qualified professional once stated “if a child want’s to be a dog, would you give it a bone”?
Parents and so called ‘Educationalists’ have the responsibility  to look further into the environment, lifestyles, and mental stability of these children, and not turn them into social experiments and parents and schools need to reign in what they are exposed to.

Children should be able to enjoy a childhood without those with a twisted, sick, perverted mentality inferring with their lives.
Children love dressing up and pretending, ask any responsible parent. If a child dresses up as a nurse you don’t give them scalpels, do you?

Let’s get some common sense back in our world.

Further reading:    http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/morality-prevents-crime
https://www.channel4.com/news/sex-education-schools-england-world

 

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January 1917 and January 1945


British attacks on the Somme front were stopped during inclement weather. Early January 1917, military operations by both sides were mostly restricted to surviving the rain, snow, fog, mud fields, waterlogged trenches and shell-holes. As preparations for the offensive at Arras continued, the British attempted to keep German attention on the Somme front.

The Fifth Army was instructed by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig to prepare systematic attacks to capture portions of the German defences. Short advances could progressively uncover the remaining German positions in the Ancre valley, threaten the German hold on the village of Serre to the north and expose German positions beyond to ground observation.

British operations on the Ancre from 10 January – 22 February 1917, forced the Germans back 5 miles on a 4 mile front ahead the scheduled German retirements of the (Alberich Manoeuvre/Operation Alberich and eventually took 5,284 prisoners.

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Holocaust Memorial Day is marked every year on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in German-occupied Poland, where around 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered by the Nazis between 1940 and 1945.

Set up in 1940 by occupying Nazi forces near the town of Oswiecim, in what is now southern Poland, as a labour camp for Poles, Auschwitz gradually became the centrepiece of Nazi Party dictator Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” plan to exterminate the Jews.

Men, women and children – mostly Jewish but also Gypsies, Russians, Poles and homosexuals from all over Nazi-occupied Europe – were transported to Auschwitz in overcrowded cattle trains. Many died of hunger and suffocation during the journey which usually lasted days.

 The scale of the industrialised killing at the camp, the cruelty of the guards and the pseudo-medical experiments conducted on prisoners by Nazi doctors have made Auschwitz synonymous with a coldly efficient genocide and total degradation of humanity.

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Going Green is bad for you


EU green transport target ‘may have increased greenhouse gas emissions’

Renewable transport goal has encouraged biofuels including those from palm oil and soybean, which are found to be worse than diesel oil for emissions.

European Union renewable energy targets may have increased greenhouse gas emissions because the dirtiest biofuels produce three times the emissions of diesel oil, according to the most complete EU analysis yet carried out.

Biodiesel made from palm oil emits more than three times as much and soybean oil around twice as much, when the crops’ effects on land use are considered, the research by the Ecofys consultancy for the European commission found.

Europe’s aim of sourcing 10% of its transport fuel to “renewables” by 2020 – mostly biodiesel – will foster crop cultivation on 6.7m hectares of forests and grasslands, the paper says. When the loss of trees is factored in, such ‘first generation biofuels’ would generate around nearly 1bn tones of CO2 equivalent.

“We need to rapidly accelerate the phase-out of first generation biofuels,” said Jos Dings, director of the green think tank Transport and Environment (T&E). “Biodiesel is a big elephant in the room. It accounts for three quarters of the biofuel we use in the EU and this report pinpoints that its emissions are much worse than fossil fuels.”

The study says that an EU decision to cap the contribution that first generation biofuels can make to the transport target at 7% will save more than 500m tonnes of CO2 – around the same amount that Europe’s cars emit each year. But T&E still estimates that, far from slowing climate change, the EU’s transport goals could add approximately 2 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. On an annual basis, that would account for around 2-3% of the continent’s total carbon output. “It is just astonishing,” Dings said.

The report’s publication was delayed for several months and its release online last week – it has since been taken down – followed an access to documents request by T&E. “It was finished ages ago but DG Ener [the commission’s energy wing] never wanted to publish it,” one EU source told the Guardian. Internally, it was argued that the study’s publication could damage international relations with palm oil-producing states. But the official said it was “obvious” that the paper was sat on because its results were inconvenient.                                                                                                                     

 The report examines the effect of land use change on biofuel emissions. Felling a forest for a palm oil plantation has clear consequences for increasing emissions. But when existing cropland is used for more profitable energy crops, the indirect effect can be similar; new land is carved out of forests or grasslands to grow replacement food staples.

For every megajoule of energy used, the study finds that palm oil emits 231g of CO2 equivalent and soybean oil 150g/CO2e, far higher than the UN climate science panel’s estimates for any fossil fuel.

Past commission estimates pegging palm oil’s CO2 emissions at less than half that figure were criticised by industry for being exaggerated. But it now seems that they significantly under-estimated biodiesel’s climate impact by not counting carbon emissions from peatlands drained to make way for oil plantations, experts say.

“Because of the link to deforestation, peat loss to create biofuels is not just worse than fossil fuel diesels, but potentially a lot worse,” said Chris Malins, the head of the ICCT fuels programme, and an adviser on the report. “There is no case for continuing to support virgin vegetable oil-based biodiesel on climate grounds.” Malins said that paper found that ethanol could still deliver emissions savings but had significant indirect effects on emissions, albeit “less fatal” than biodiesel’s. However, Robert Wright, the secretary general of the ethanol industry association ePURE said the study showed that ethanol had low land use impacts, strongly contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and had little effect on food prices.

“We urge European policy-makers to reflect on these findings and identify ways to promote and incentivise the use of biofuels that have high greenhouse gas savings and low land use change impacts, such as European ethanol,” he said.

Dings, an influential figure among Brussels policy-makers, said that while his organisation did not support ethanol, their priority was to push for a phase out of biodiesel.

 

 

Further reading:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/14/eu-green-transport-target-may-have-increased-greenhouse-gas-emissions
Car crash interview with Natalie Bennett Leader of the Green party.
http://www.lbc.co.uk/incredibly-awkward-interview-with-natalie-bennett-105384

 

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Morals and good behaviour.


I pose a question to the good people of Anston. Is it morally right that the Parish Council continues to pay two local contractors who continually, at meetings, verbally abuse the Chairman, and ignore his instructions to stop disrupting the proceedings, and blatantly laugh at the Chairman when he states he may ask them to leave. Both these contractors talk over the Chairman whilst he is trying to conduct the meeting.
For approximately the last 18 months, both Mr Kavanagh and Mr Pearson have attended Parish Council Meetings. At nearly every meeting they have tried to disrupt proceedings by verbally abusing, not only the Chairman, but verbally abusing myself when I stand to protest at their behaviour. I personally have been threatened by both these two contractors.
The two contractors make out that when they attend Parish Council Meetings, they do so as members of the public. They become verbally abusive when they are referred to as contractors.  Immediately the Parish Council meeting finishes, Mr Kavanagh proceeds to lock up the Parish Hall, and in turn Mr Pearson locks the security gates to the rear of the building. Whilst doing this, both are employed/contracted by the very same Council that they verbally abuse. After this continued abuse, the Council then pays them.
Is it morally right that the contractors are allowed to verbally abuse Parish Councillors and then hold out their hand next day for payment from the very people they abuse.
There is another moral dilemma, When the abuse occurs, most councillors just look down at the desk, others laugh along with the contractors when this abuse is given.
The Parish council cannot/ or will not take any action against these two.                                                   Why, are they scared of them ??

One contractor verbally abuses the Parish Staff, posts unsavoury comments about them on social media, undermines their confidence, and still the Council are afraid of taking any action. Why?
The question again is “Is it morally right that the parish Council continues to pay two local contractors who verbally abuse Parish Council Members and Staff?

S Thornton

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Strong words and in many ways wholly justified.

I have previously seen and heard the two people mentioned and I have to say their ignorance of procedures at parish meetings is outstanding.

The rules state clearly that a member of the public can ask a question at APC meetings and an answer is usually given. When the question is answered it is not then an excuse for a debate. If anyone has further questions or needs the answer expanding you either wait until the next meeting or write to the Clerk. It is very simple.

I suspect their behaviour is related to the fact they no longer get jobs handed to them on a plate-as ex part-time councillor Judy Dalton and Iain St.John used to do-nor are they privy to the same amount of information.

 

Comments are closed.

 

 

 

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