by SIMON BROWN

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To “Have Your Say” go to the bottom of this page. All comments will be published, if legal.

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Parish council

Suggestion.

Dear Herefordshire County Council,

We will not progress our NDP until you effect a permanent solution to the flooding problems at Stoneybridge Farm and Brampton Bryan. We feel that to increase the dwellings and traffic when these two site are flooded every winter is unfair on all concerned.

Yours,

BGPC.

25Sep16

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Parish council

Counterblast to BGPC events of 20Sep16

I repeat something I have said several times here – that a chairman of a parish council HAS NO SPECIAL POWERS over and above any other councillor. He has NO RIGHT to question the behaviour or actions of another councillor or to ATTEMPT TO CALL THEM TO ACCOUNT. To do so is tantamount to bullying. Councillors are NOT ANSWERABLE to anyone but their electorate or the Monitoring Officer. If a chairman thinks a councillor has behaved in a manner contrary to the Code of Conduct he must report it to the Monitoring Officer who will then adjudicate. Such a complaint would be handled under strict procedures AND IN PRIVATE, although the result may be public. Airing your dirty linen in public does not inspire public confidence in BGPC.

Similarly, a chairman has NO RIGHT WHATEVER TO SUGGEST THAT A PARISHIONER IS ACCOUNTABLE to the council and NO RIGHT to suggest that they might like to write to the clerk to explain their actions. To do so is contrary to the Code of Conduct, and, depending on how sensitive the parishioner, is intimidating to the point of bullying.

Both these things happened at the BGPC meeting of 20Sep16 and illustrate the lack of understanding of some BGP councillors THAT THEY ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO THEIR PARISHIONERS, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND. Why can Members of BGPC, and some parishioners, not grasp the principles of Opennness, Accountability and Transparency which are plastered all over just about every document they read? (For edification see “Essential Reading” below.)

In my opinion the chairman’s behaviour at the BGPC meeting of the 20Sep16 was contrary to the Code of Conduct and the chairman should have been advised that way by his clerk as soon as he embarked on such a course. The whole incident was lamentable and may form the basis of yet more complaints to the Monitoring Officer and the SLCC.

This is not vexatious or point scoring, it is quite simply a request that BGPC should get its act together and desist from acting ultra vires. This request has been made many times over the past ten years, but only miniscule improvements have been made so far. Patience is wearing thin.

24Sep16

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Parish council

Here are some guiding principles for town and parish councils and councillors.

23Sep16

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Parish council

Essential reading for councillors and public alike.

The Localism Act
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/20/contents/enacted

A plain English guide to the Localism Act
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5959/1896534.pdf

The Good Councillors Guide, National Association of Local Councils
http://www.nalc.gov.uk/library/publications/801-good-councillors-guide/file

The Code of Conduct
http://www.bordergroup-pc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/HCC-Code-of-Conduct-20JUL12.pdf

Border Group Parish Council Standing Orders
http://www.bordergroup-pc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BGPC-Standing-Orders.pdf

13Sep16

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