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Our council ignores petitions, holds secret meetings and then if you can get a matter onto an agenda it isn't discussed properly - just votes. Often they go into private session so no one  ones knows what is going on. Recently a training center wanted to discuss its plans with the PC. They were invited to  a meeting and then had to try to deal with confrontational remarks and were abusive to its Chair. Only one councillor is elected. Many have resigned during the last four  years and those who sit on it are co-opted. It is selective and ordinary people aren't  voted on 

A Job Club was formed locally to help long term unemployed into work and applied to go on the agenda to ask for a free space.  It is currently held in a resident's front room. They wanted a larger space to raise money and encourage more to attend. The PC owns the Community centre and the Church won't help.  The Parish Clerk act as Chair on its committee and seems to only decide on what she wants. She is on a trial. This is a deprived area.

The  Representative of the Job Club  waved his hand to speak in the Forum last month and was told to sit down as the matter was on the agenda but this was the Training Centre. When the matter  arrived the PC Chair said it had already been discussed and refused - a few attending tried to say it was the Job Club not the Training Cdentre but were ingnored. One was told to shut up or leave.

Now there has been articles in the local paper  and leaflets put through the door saying a drop in was to start where advice and training was avilable. It was claimed it was funded by WLDC and the ESF. The programme is a mixture of what is offered at the Job Club and by the Training Centre. The PC must have made up its mind already to do this at the meeting of the Training Centre and by Septembers meeting so the Councillors had a conflict of interests and the Officers and two others - including the Parish Clerk should not have participated,

We and the Job Club have complained. The minutes from the meeting with the Training Centre were circulated but they only had 3 sentences that were truthful. Today The training Centre has received a message from the Council - again talikng about refusing a free space - the questions to it was not mentioned, nor was the Job Club.

A message was sent to the Clerk by them saying that as anyone could come to the Drop In they wanted to use that facility. No answer..

The WLDC says it has a programme funded by ESF to offer career advice and teach the over 55 computing skills. This has been on offer and used by many residents in the area over the last 5 years. We asked the WLDC why they were replicating programmes already available and free.  Their asnwer was that they had provided 4 desk tops to the Centre so the wireless network could be used and that the Course was requested by the Parsih Clerk.

The message to day to explain themselves was saying that they hadn't done anything wrong, that they could do what they wanted,it was up to them and them alone to deicde what was best for the residents . They could spend (a very large precept for a small community) on what they decided and if they gave free spoace everyone would want it.

The Job club wanted a free space for a short while  till they raised some funds. The Community Centre is very large with many rooms. During the week only one seems to be used and that only 3 times a week.

One of the rersidents reminded us that there was a legal ruling on councils using the excuse of `everybody'  connected to it being used as an excuse not to do anything. The Village only has 180 houses so the CC  is never likely to be full. We can't wait until next year. We feel they are applying for a grant using devious excuses to try and acquire it and what is the Parish Clerk doing in being allowed so much control . We need to be heard and quickly   


by (120 points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Any six electors can call a parish meeting.  That is open to all electors of the parish, whose meeting it is.  The parish council chairman must chair the meeting if present (or the vice chairman likewise).  Otherwise, a chairman must be elected as the first item of business.  The parish clerk would ideally make the arrangements, but if the clerk is uncooperative, electors can make all the arrangements.  Notices specifying the time and place and business of an intended meeting and signed by the conveners must be placed in some conspicuous place or places in the parish.  The conveners may give whatever publicity they think fit, in addition.  The minimum notice is 7 days (probably this means 7 clear working days).

Public disaffection can certainly influence councillors, but bear in mind that the most effective remedy is to elect new councillors.  All parish councils are up for election next May.  As this happens only once every four years, it is an opportunity not to be missed!
by (33.5k points)
0 votes
At the Parish meeting those present could agree to call a Parish Poll, which the parish council would pay for but which is organised by the principle authority.  The ballot papers for the poll would need a question along the lines of " Do you hold a view of no confidence in the way X Parish Council conducts its affairs?  With a Yes or No Choice. It would not be binding but could be used to send a clear message.
by (840 points)

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