Anston Parish Hall. 7pm on Monday 18th May. First meeting of the new Parish Council. The Annual Parish Meeting.
Item 1; To elect a Chairman. Cllr.Clive Jepson unanimously elected. A well deserved reward for his years of service and hard work for the residents of Anston and the voice of commonsense.
Item 7; To elect a Vice-Chairman. Cllr.Stuart Thornton unanimously elected. Positive recognition for a councillor who was not afraid to take on the Labour party despite their underhand efforts to belittle and undermine him.
There were 29 items on the agenda. This was going to be a long evening.
Items 2,3,4,5 & 6 were procedural matters.
Item 8; This was to reverse the Labour motion to ban Cllr.Thornton from all committees. (Cllr.Thornton left the room at this stage of the proceedings) 8 Independent councillors voted to allow him back on all the committees, John Ireland voted against the motion. Item 9; To consider the formation of the Finance Committee and the Emergency sub-committee. OR to consider whether the full council should meet twice a month to carry out the functions of the Finance Committee, this will ensure no councillors will be excluded from the decision making process. Don’t you just love fresh thinking? The motion was carried that the Parish Council will meet twice a month. Items 10–26 Procedural items. Item 27; To approve Annual Awards Evening. Item 28; To approve Annual Quiz Night. Thanks to the questions from Independent Cllr. Chris Sadler we now know the costs for the Awards Night is £800 and the Quiz Night costs £350. Strange is’nt it, the Labour party never disclosed these costs to the public? Another sign of original thinking: Suggestions from councillors included combining the two events on one evening or holding them after a parish council meeting. These options will be discussed properly at a later date. Item 29-a). Mrs.June Thomas-assisted by her friend Jo Carr-informed the council about their efforts to organise an ‘Anston Festival Day’. There is no provision in APC’s 2015/2016 budget for this therefore if the Festival Day is to go ahead private and public funding is needed. The sum of £1500 was mentioned as a possible APC grant and after much discussion it was agreed the Anston Festival Day support group will send the council detailed costings and in the meantime the AFD group will also seek private sponsorship and/or funding.
This was quickly followed by the remaining few items on the agenda. At this stage in the proceedings RMBC Independent Person Phil Beevers (aka Jacqui Collins’ hit man)-who had been observing the council-left the meeting. He was obviously a disappointed man. His report can only say the meeting was positive, properly chaired and orderly.
On to the Parish Council meeting. Items 30-38; Procedural and Planning items.
Item 39- with 32 sub paragraphs and Item 40- with 29 sub paragraphs and Items 41-46 are held over until the next meeting on 15th June. This shows once again the shambles the Labour party left behind at APC.
The meeting was closed at 10:15pm.
It was a refreshing change to see and hear councillors working together and determined to clear up the mess they inherited. There was no shouting, no political point scoring nor silly smirking.
It soon became very clear the new intake of councillors has the financial acumen to put APC back on the road to recovery and also showed they are believers in and practitioners of open and transparent democracy.